Debarking – the surgical, or brutal, in some cases, alteration of a dogs vocal cords to ‘tone down’ a dog’s bark. I have heard this procedure referred to, mostly in connection to puppy mills where a puppy miller will actually insert a metal object into a dog’s throat and bang it to sever the vocal cords. With the sometimes hundreds of dogs, they don’t want to be bothered with all the noise.

Now it seems it is done and referred to as a ‘cosmetic procedure’ by some vets. Although only a small number of vets actually do the procedure and a small number of dog owners have it done, dog and animal advocates tend to be very up in arms about it at all.

Comments from a couple of vets that actually perform the procedure say that it is done only as a last resort and the dog’s personality is not affected. To them the low raspy bark is still a bark.

The surgery modifies the voice box by “punching” or nicking/clipping the vocal cord. With advance injections, there is little bleeding, and most dogs are eating and drinking within a few hours of the surgery.

The procedure, regardless of what vets say, is still considered highly controversial with one side saying that it’s a useful ‘tool’ to save dog’s lives while others say that it is inhumane and should be outlawed.

Personally I don’t agree with it and think that with proper training a dog should not ever need this but I would love to get some feedback on this. What do you think?

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