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The Truth About Debarking to Solve Dog Barking Problems

By: Dennis Fetko, Ph.D., “Dr. Dog”

So your dog’s barking is driving you and your neighbors crazy—annoyance, lost sleep and more…You may have heard about having the dog debarked as a solution to dog barking problems. Read on to learn about debarking and its pros and cons.

Debarking, or a ventricular cordectomy, as a way to solve dog barking problems is an elective minor surgical procedure in which the veterinarian severs or removes the vocal cords. The pro is that it's fairly immediate. The dog can't make much noise with sliced vocal cords. So there's not much of a waiting period for it to take effect to stop dog barking.

The cons are that it's indiscriminate in that it removes all barking including the kind that protects us. And we know that many lives are saved when dogs bark to warn us of smoke or intruders.

Debarking is often a temporary solution to dog barking problems or puppy barking problems due to scar formation. And it must be repeated--sometimes a number of times. The dog isn't totally silent, but the noise he makes--sort of like a loud, wheezy cough--is really pitiful. And worst of all, it does nothing to relieve that destructive process and stress that a barking dog falls victim to with the ulcers and immune system compromise.

In other words, debarking to stop dog barking treats the symptom of excessive barking, not the problem. Your dog is still barking excessively; the loud bark is just gone. And it gets rid of some positive things at the same time. Also, there's always the risk of anesthetic. It's usually good to not anesthetize unless your dog unless it's absolutely necessary.

The author, Dr. Dennis Fetko, “Dr. Dog” is a world-renowned animal behaviorist who has appeared on the 20/20 television show, managed the reintroduction of captive-bred Arabian Oryx into the Saudi Arabian National Wildlife Research Center, and made a presentation at the South American Veterinary Congress. His ebook, Dr. Dog’s FAST, EASY FUN Behavior Solutions, reveals his proven methods for eliminating barking, jumping, chewing, digging, pulling and his puppy housetraining methods. Click Here for more information.