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jcgonzmo asked in PetsDogs · 10 years ago

Do you consider debarking a dog morally right or wrong?

Yesterday, was the first time I saw a group of debarked dogs. At first I was completely shock. It was the most inhumane practice I have ever seen. After telling in Answers Yahoo what I saw, somebody explained to me what debarking was. Here is the link that person left me . After reading it, I was reminded of a Basset Hound my aunt had. This dog was adopted by two families before her. They passed the dog along, because the dog barked a lot and neighbors complained. My aunt took the dog to her apartment (she needed company, she lived along) but after one month the neighbors complained. She is single and had no time to train the dog, hence she gave the dog to a relative of her. This family kept the dog outside of the house, and the barking continued. Finally, they were forced to give the dog away because the neighbors complained again. After remembering this situation, I ask myself. Was debarking the solution for this dog? Nobody knows were this dog ended up with. But I know if the dog was debarked, he would have remained with a single family. What do you think?

PD: I have never debarked any of my dogs. However, I have never have the problem of a barking dog. I have adopted two mutts when they were puppies. Hence, they are trained not to bark. I have never been in a situation when I adopt an older dog with problems.


Lets keep it real. Most people that own dogs, do not have training experience. Hence, they have no idea how to train a dog not bark OR even know there is a solution to the problem. Most people just want a companion, without knowing everything that is involved. It is not evil, it is just ignorance.

Update 2:

Please, read the article about debarking. Debarking does not mute a dog, it lowers the volume of the dog's bark . The dog IS NOT MUTE . It just does not bark as loud.

Update 3:

I agree with most of your responses. I KNOW about breeds. I would not choose a dog that has a tendency to bark. But how does a person that only selects a breed for its "cuteness" decides? There is no one to teach them, they just select a dog for looks. In addition, they ADOPT a dog because they have the best intentions. They ended up giving up the dog to some random people, and nobody knows were the pup ended up. Apparently, debarking would have solved the the poor dog's life.

Update 4:

The problem with debarking, is the name of the procedure. It should be call "BARK SOFTENING" . The objective of the procedure is to lower the volume of the bark of problematic dogs that fail to adapt.

Update 5:

I restraint my opinion if debarking is right or wrong. However, I know that most people do not have any idea of how to take care of their dog. They would just give it away when they can if the dog annoys you. Look at the movie of Hachiko. The dog was a treasure for the doctor. When he died, neither the wife of daughter cared for the dog. The wife, wanted to "help" the dog and gave it to another family. The family just let the dog on the streets.

19 Answers

  • Favourite answer

    Let me compliment you on taking the time to research and learn that bark softening is really a very humane and often life saving procedure.

    I can tell you I know dozens of dogs who have had this procedure, and they are all happy and healthy. More importantly so are their neighbors.

    Many people have to go to work. Many dogs will bark incessently because they love the sound of their own bark OR there are things going around a neighborhood that gets their attention. Training does not cure that. Exercise does not cure that. People can not be expected to babysit their dogs 24/7.

    At my house in the city the neighbor did not want to debark the dog. The dog was a constant problem barking all night and into the wee hours of the morning. The majority of the neighbors signed a petition and got Animal Control involved, when the owner failed to correct the problem the dog was taken by Animal Control and put to sleep as a nuisance animal. The dog would be alive today if they had done the bark softening procedure.

    The really funny thing is that people who think its ok to remove a dogs reproductive organs-really major surgery with a female dog- are horrified at a little five minute procedure like bark softening.

    That I will never understand.

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  • 10 years ago

    I consider it morally wrong, and it is illegal where I come from.

    In general, it is questionable when we start correcting behaviour problems surgically, and fair enough if there are some that do not consider debarking an invasive and unnecessary procedure, then we can take it from there, but the argument of "if the dog was not debarked it would not have a home" is a poor excuse for proper dog handling. Two wrongs do not make a right, and once we are down that slippery slope where does the limit go?

    Let's do a little experiment:

    - if the cats claws and first joints of its digits were not surgically removed, it would not have a home.

    - if the dog would not be kept confined in the yard 24 hours a day 365 days a year, 15 years of life, it would not have a home.

    - if the b**** was not bred during each heat, and the puppies sold, it would not have a home.

    - if the high-drive dog was not drugged to keep it calm, it would not have a home.

    People who cannot properly train and take care of an animal, should not own one. It all boils down to banning puppy mills, banning the sales of puppies and kittens from pet stores, focusing on educating the general public, so there will be no excuse for being ignorant.

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  • 10 years ago

    For those who think debarking is cruel, what do you do if a neighbor's dog barks and cries at 3 am every night, and talking to the owner doesn't work.

    Three of our five dogs are debarked. Max got debarked when I was living in an apartment. Part of being a responsible owner is consideration of neighbors. Since I was working it would be impossible to for me to train him not to bark. Before we got him he spent his entire life outside and was used for stud. Did I mention Max has luxating patellas? He still isn't completely housebroken. His owner said all I had to do was put him back in the pen if it didn't work out. What would you do? No bark collars aren't reliable and there is no way I'd use a shock collar on him.

    Buck would give a single bark every 10 seconds - approximately 5 barks per minute. Non-stop. Because we are over the legal limit there is no way I can afford the luxury of even one complaint. Now he can bark to his heart's content and I don't have to worry.

    Pepper has this ungodly (literally) howl. Until he realized he wasn't going anyplace, and we were his forever home, he made so much noise we could hear him in our car the moment we turned onto our street. Once again we couldn't afford to get even one complaint. Even now whenever we take him in a car he howls. But at least the sound is somewhat bearable.

    I wouldn't choose a dog that has a tendency to bark either, anymore than I would choose a breed that has a tendency to drool. But what do you do if you end up with one that does bark? It's either taking it back to the shelter or dealing with the situation the best you can. We made a lifetime commitment to all of our pets and there is no way we would actually re-home one. Besides, everyone is unadoptable, based on their age factor alone.

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  • 10 years ago

    its hard to say, if the choice is put the dog down or debark, debark. i do however think that dogs bark for a reason, be it anxiety or something else. trying to get to the root of the problem and fixing it is the ideal solution. You are however right a lot of ignorant people who get dogs have no idea about the journey they signed up for and for some debarking is the only solution. I do think bark collars are the first solution. DEbarking in my opinion is the last resort.

    add: lots of people answer these question with the in the IDEAL WORLD view. truth of the matter is the world is NOT ideal, thousands of people get dogs every day without doing any research. is that right? NO, but its a FACT. until shelters have enough money to properly pre-screen dog buyers there will be no ideal world and i do not see that happening any time soon...

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  • 10 years ago

    I have never had a dog where barking was a problem...and I own a beagle.

    So I really have no stance on this subject. Haven't done enough research on it either way, and haven't had a need to.

    I did want to comment on

    "Hence, they have no idea how to train a dog not bark OR even know there is a solution to the problem. Most people just want a companion, without knowing everything that is involved."

    Is it really *that* difficult for people to type a few words into a freakin' Google search?

    Has society really become so lazy that they can't be bothered to take the longer, more effective way on ANYTHING?

    What people need is a stuffed animal, maybe one of those robotic ones.


    "But how does a person that only selects a breed for its "cuteness" decides?"

    They get a stuffed animal.

    "Cuteness" should be the LAST thing on a person's mind while choosing a living and breathing animal.

    And if someone is to f***ing lazy to actually do some research, which again does not take that long, how on earth can they be expected to look after an animal?

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  • 10 years ago

    I think that when you resort to surgery to solve a behavioural issue it becomes morally questionable.

    Some breeds bark more than others, which is why it's important to do breed research. In terms of the average owner having problems with excessive barking, they should consult a trainer with experience. Personally, I own two notoriously "barky" breeds. Have I ever had a complaint? No. Because I have taken the time to train my dogs. Does that mean my dogs are 100% silent 100% of the time? No. If you want a dog that NEVER barks or makes noise, get a cat.

    EDIT: I should add that we also live in an urban area and have a giant breed with a VERY loud bark, so it isn't exactly like we live in the country with no one to disturb. I should also add that as a trainer I do see ALOT of people coming to me with barking problems, excessive barking etc. The majority of these dogs have recieved very little training. Most suffer from seperation anxiety, which can be eliminated with training. The dog does not need to be medicated. You do not have to be home all day, all the time to train a dog not to bark. I have also seen cases of obsessive barking, in most of these cases the dog was under exercised. And in my experience as a professional handler I have yet to see one responsible breeder de-bark their dog. If people don't want to invest the time or the effort to train their dog and are going to give it away on that grounds, they probably shouldn't own the animal in the first place. I think it's a quick fix for many owners who don't want to put in the work.

    Spaying and neutering procedures, as somebody pointed out, are also surgical procedures done to dogs. But it is not the same thing. It's like trying to compare apples and oranges. People have spays and neuters done to prevent unwanted litters and the host of problems ****** can have if unaltered, not because they didn't want to deal with a behavioural problem.

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  • 10 years ago

    Having a dog surgically debarked (by a vet) is neither morally right nor wrong. It is simply one option for managing a problem.

    It has no effect on the dog.....he does not realize he is making less noise. I adopted a dog that had been debarked, and he acted like every other dog I had.

    I prefer to train my dogs to stop barking when told, but if the only other option is giving the dog up, the dog is obviously better off staying in his home and being debarked.

    Source(s): lots o dogs
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  • 10 years ago

    Until I became a foster mom for sheltie rescue, I thought debarking was cruel too. I now own a rescued de-barked sheltie that has no idea he has been debarked. He huffs with the best of them.

    I see nothing wrong with it, especially if it means euthanasia or a new home because of neighbor complaints.

    I've been a competition obedience trainer for 40 years and have trained many dogs to stop barking, however there are some dogs that are simply impossible to re-train and I'm living with one as a foster mom now. Nothing has worked, and I think I know all the tricks, so unless you've hit a brick wall with a barking dog, don't assume all dogs can be trained not to bark.

    Source(s): Breeder foster mom obedience trainer
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  • 10 years ago

    I have 4 dogs myself, and i would never debark them. Dogs are going to bark, just like people are going to talk. It doesn't seem right to take away an animals way to communicate with people/other dogs.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    There are trainging techniques that you can use. Learn here


    1. A dog straining on the lead is the result of improper early heel-training. Reinstruction will be required to remedy the fauly.

    2. Correct positioning ensures that the dog can anticipate the owner's actions such as a change in direction, sudden stop or new instruction.

    3. A lagging dog can also indicates bad heel training. Frequent sharp tugs on the check chain should encourage the dog to keep up with its owner.


    1. On the command 'sit', press the dog's hindquarters firmly down with your left hand while keeping the dog's head supported in the air.

    2. Keep the lead taut in the right hand, giving it a slight upwards pull as you press the hindquarters down to help the dog respond.

    3. Crouching down beside, but not over, the dog may prove helpful in teaching more unruly dogs to perform the exercise.


    1. Pul the dog in the sit position by holding your hand up in front of the dogs face and giving the command ' sit' in a firm voice.

    2. Then move in the front of the dog jerking on the check chain if any attempt is made to move. If the dog does move, start agian.

    3. Keeping your hand high up in front of the dog, and repeating the command 'stay', back off bit by bit, increasing the space between you.


    1. Tell the dog to speak, if he doesnt, the owner must bark to encourage the dog to bark

    2. soon enough the dog will bark

    • Anna
      Lv 5
      1 year agoReport

      You shouldn't encourage a dog to bark otherwise you should be flogged in public and fined heavily for letting it disturb the peace and it should be put down. Dog barking is really annoying and noise pollution.

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