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How to stop your dog from barking!  He won’t shut up when scolded, neighbors complaining. Bark collars don’t work? There is a surgical de-barking solution!




Should I de-bark my dog(s)?

Linn Vandiver, ShowShots Editor


BARKING DOGS GET ON EVERYONE'S NERVESYou 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…


I 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.


First, and 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.


Larynx is part of de-barking or bark softening surgeryMost 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 Veterinarian 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 swelling 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 better!


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 veterinarian 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. 


Yep…I’m feeling 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 figure…


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.


bark-no-more, just whisper bark softening or de-barkingIt’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 she isn’t!


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 the negative! EST 1998 © 15101611



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BARKING! DEBARKING AND BARK SOFTENING: Does your dog bark too much, too loud? Consider bark softening, the common sense answer for the barking dog and neighbor problems.

BARKING AND WAGGING: How to stop your dog from barking? First you need to understand his language as well as he knows yours, then you can teach him anything because no animal wants to learn more than your dog!


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