Should I de-bark my dog(s)?
Linn Vandiver, ShowShots Editor
You would get just
as many different answers to that question as the number of
people you asked. The idea of de-barking rubs us the wrong
way. Sort’a like asking a man to neuter his dog. But, and
there always is a but, there are times when it is better for
the four footed family members, de-barking that is…
don’t want to engage in a discussion on the pro’s and con’s, but
instead, what you might expect if you do decide to de-bark. And I would
like to say that it was much harder on me than my dogs, and now that 14
days has past, I honestly believe that we are all much happier.
foremost, find a good vet that does de-barks on a regular basis!
If your vet is not willing or is even hesitant, ask for a referral. I
am fortunate to have an outstanding vet so I made an appointment to
take 2 of mine in. We discussed the pros and cons, and together agreed
that it was the right thing to do. Most Vets do this surgery by making
an incision at the upper most point in the throat, especially with a
small or toy breed, instead of going thru the mouth as used to be done.
The long term success rate is much higher this way.
After she did the
surgery on one of my rescue dogs, she phoned to say that she could not
do my Toy Fox Terrier due to the fact that her surgical instruments
needed were not small enough. She referred me to a Vet that does toy
breeds. Amy, my Peke-Chihuahua rescue girl came home a little sleepy
but unperturbed by her experience and by the next day, she was wide eyed
(really!) and bushy tailed.
About 5 days later
she had some welling so back to the vet we went. Come to find out, this
is not uncommon and with the help of a prescribed anti-inflammatory/pain
killer, she was up running around again within 3 hours and never looked
back. I did apply warm compresses for the next 3 days. It made me feel
I called the other
vet and they were able to do the surgery on my Toy Fox Terriers that
week. My husband and I had decided to only do three of our four dogs
but I was thrilled with the new Doctor. He was kind, thoughtful, my
dogs just loved him and didn’t even look back when he himself took them
into the back room.
When we went back
to pick them up, they looked great, small incision with only three
little stitches needed. The vet did explain however that my little girl
(5 pounds) had to have a small blood vessel tied off during the
procedure but it was not a problem. However, we hadn’t gone far down
the road when I glanced back and it looked like my little girl was
bleeding what looked like a bucket full! Keep in mind that no matter
what amount of blood flows on a 5 pound white dog, it looks awful. I
did a uey, rushed back to the vet, they took her right in and placed a
pressure dressing on it with instructions to remove it in 24 hours.
like a real heel at this point and needless to say, I spent a sleepless
night sitting up with her just to make sure everything was ok but she
slept like a rock. The next morning, all was right with our little
piece of the world. I removed the dressing as instructed, incision
looked real good and went back to my computer work. Looked at her in
about 15 minutes and saw blood dripping from the incision site…..NUTS.
Pressure bandage again after running to the drug store for the pads that
I didn’t have.
The next day, took
the bandage off and saw that she was scratching at the incision. I put
some vitamin “e” and a loose bandage back on for 24 hours and that’s all
it took. Now, the other two didn’t scratch at their necks so go
The vet told me
that a breeder client of his who has beagles (bet he does a lot of
de-barks for her) said to prevent them from trying to bark for 3-5 days
after the surgery. She found that she never had a problem if she kept
them quiet and away from excitement. So I made sure not to let them
have anything to bark at for 5 days after the surgery.
It’s been over two
weeks now since the de-barking surgery. Everyone is doing great! The
dogs can still bark, but in a whisper. Amy, our rescue, well, her bark
makes me giggle because it makes her sound so dainty, which of course
Perhaps the best
thing about de-barking your dogs is that we are no longer hollering at
our dogs to “HUSH” or “KNOCK IT OFF”. Now they hear “Hey guys, let’s go
for a ride” or “Come on, let’s play”. Our house is on the market and we
are trying to purchase a 62 acre piece but y’know, even if we didn’t
have close neighbors here, I might do this anyway just for the peace and
harmony it brought to our household. The dogs don’t seem to care how
loud they bark, they still do bark but not nearly as much for some
reason, maybe because now when they do, it is so quiet that they get no
response from us? Hmm.
Well one thing is
for sure, the positive attention is sooo much better than negative
attention and it works for us all.
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