Jump to content
BC Boards
Izzysdad

Y'all ready for this one?

Recommended Posts

A woman and her son stopped by my house on a walk to see the dogs, her son age 3 LOVES dogs so he was excited to see a puppy (Gracie). We get to talking about the neighborhood, etc, et al. She says, oh yea we had a border collie a few years back, couldn't keep him under control, always was trying to herd the kids, had no manners and one day he got out and got hit by a car. Toby started barking at something which didn't scare the little boy one bit, brave kid :rolleyes:

 

Said woman goes on to tell me that the breeder they got this BC from couldn't stand their barking any longer and had all their voice boxes removed so she didn't have to listen to them anymore!!!!!!!!!

 

I almost fell over. Maybe I'm naive, but I've never heard of such a thing, and what kind of idiot buys a dog from a breeder that would do that to a dog?!?!?

 

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hadn't either until earlier this year. Apparently cutting dogs' vocal cords to keep them from barking is a semi-common practice (including many of the dogs shown at Westminster).

 

Personally, I find that abhorrent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard of that practice and think it's heinous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I'm probably going to get slammed for this, but de-barking, as it is commonly called, is very common in the conformation set especially. I have known a number of de-barked Collies, and although I would not de-bark my own dog, I can see situations in which it might be the lesser of two evils. For instance-

 

I knew one woman that had a Cocker Spaniel that had severe separation anxiety issues. The woman lived in an apartment building and the dog barked incessantly and loudly when she was out. I tried to get her to do a number of things to correct the problem, from desensitization, to giving the dog a lot of things to do, to stuffed kongs, to doggie day-care, to medication, to placing the dog with someone who could (or would) address the problem in a sensible way. She either didn't want to do the work or couldn't get it together to do it right. Eventually her landlord told her she had to get rid of the dog or move out.

 

As a last resort I suggested de-barking. She was horrified and said, "I could never do that to my dog! I love him too much." So she took her much-loved dog to the vet and had him destroyed.

 

The de-barked dogs I have known seemed unfazed by being barkless. The procedure is fairly straightforward, recovery time is quick and the dog can still "bark," but it sounds like it has laryngitis. The dog is not constantly being corrected for barking, and so it can "bark" all it wants and the neighbors never hear it. In a choice with an owner that would rather euthanize than do the work necessary to rehabilitate an intransigent barker, I will sometimes recommend the procedure.

 

One thing about de-barking is that it is not always permanent. For some reason that I don't quite understand the dog sometimes regains the ability to bark aloud. I think it has to do with the way the vocal cords are severed. That is, they are not completely severed.

 

Obviously, there are many ways to deal with a dedicated barker. As I said, I see de-barking as a last resort. I would rather see a dog re-homed than debarked. But when the owner is unable or unwilling to do the work necessary to solve the problem and unwilling to re-home, I'll take de-barking over a dead dog every time. I see de-barking the same way that I see de-clawing cats. There are so many ways to deal with the problem that either de-barking or de-clawing should never be necessary. But people are selfish, lazy and many of them probably shouldn't even have pets - but they do. So de-clawing and de-barking happen.

 

So, flame away guys!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Apparently cutting dogs' vocal cords to keep them from barking is a semi-common practice ...

There's a sheltie that comes to our dog park who barks incessantly, but sounds like it has lost its voice. I have always presumed it had been de-barked. Not something I would ever consider doing, but yes, there are vets who are willing to do this to dogs. I seem to recall reading somewhere that California has banned the practice?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately it happens with people who keep larger numbers of dogs for breeding in densely populated areas. There is a Collie breeder in MA who has all his dogs done. There aren't many vets left willing to do the procedure, so I bet I know exactly which vet did the surgery for the Border Collie breeder.

 

ETA, there can be very serious complications to debarking surgery, including death from swelling in the larynx.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As a last resort I suggested de-barking. She was horrified and said, "I could never do that to my dog! I love him too much." So she took her much-loved dog to the vet and had him destroyed.

 

If you debark a dog with real seperation anxiety, you haven't treated/addressed/relieved the basic problem but rather just addressed the symptom. IOW, you now have a dog who is severely anxious and can't tell you about it. I can't judge this particular situation but, in some cases, euthanasia might be more humane.

 

The more unexcusable part of this story, IMHO, is that the owner didn't consider real treatments (e.g., medications, etc.).

 

Kim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you debark a dog with real seperation anxiety, you haven't treated/addressed/relieved the basic problem but rather just addressed the symptom. IOW, you now have a dog who is severely anxious and can't tell you about it. I can't judge this particular situation but, in some cases, euthanasia might be more humane.

 

The more unexcusable part of this story, IMHO, is that the owner didn't consider real treatments (e.g., medications, etc.).

 

Kim

 

Yes, it was stressful and stupid all the way around. One of the reasons I thought de-barking might help in this situation (since the owner was unwilling/unable to follow a more reasonable/ effective route) was that the dog was constantly being yelled at for barking. Barking was obviously his response to stress. The more people yelled at him the more he barked. She yelled at him - even though I explained to her that it was only making the problem worse - the neighbors yelled at him while she was gone to work, and the poor dog was a mess. I really tried hard to get her to give the dog up or move with it. But like many others I have dealt with she kept insisting she "loved him too much" to part with him. So she loved him to death.

 

The real kicker with this woman was that two months after she had the dog killed, she moved anyway. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr Noodle our PM chin is debarked. We also think that Frodo my moms split face was debarked he only makes an odd whining sort of sound never a true bark. I dont think it's something I'd ever do but, I have dogs you can shush.

 

Traumatic debarking is why you see dogs from puppy mills that they can no long hold their tounges in their mouth. They ram a pipe down their throat to damage the vocal chords but, it also severs the nerves of the tounge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think my pit bull was debarked. I've never heard her actually bark. She doesn't really have a protective bone in her body, but she will make a coughing sound and growl a bit at things, if Mick is doing it. Her "bark" sounds like a low cough. I've never heard a real bark come out of her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traumatic debarking is why you see dogs from puppy mills that they can no long hold their tounges in their mouth. They ram a pipe down their throat to damage the vocal chords but, it also severs the nerves of the tounge.

I have heard of that way of de-barking, but I though it was a thing of the past. Are there really people who do that sort of thing today?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Traumatic debarking is why you see dogs from puppy mills that they can no long hold their tounges in their mouth. They ram a pipe down their throat to damage the vocal chords but, it also severs the nerves of the tounge.

That is positively nauseating! However, I'll bet there are many people other than just puppy mills that would do that to "cure" a barking dog, and not blink an eye. And that's the shame of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My oldest Papillon was debarked, and his voice grew back. His previous home did it and when I got him he could hardly bark at all, but as years went on his bark got louder and louder and now he barks as loud as any of my other dogs but its kind of hoarse. I don't think he had any long term effects on his psyche...hes a happy bouncy boy.

 

Like Geonni, I don't think it should be banned, but I do think it should be only a last resort for a dog who will lose his life or his home if he doesn't stop barking. Meaning, all other behavioral and management avenues should be explored first. If everyone did that only a tiny number of dogs would actually be a candidate.

 

And for heaven's sake it should be done surgically! Ramming a pipe down a throat? That made me ill to read. Never heard of such a thing...disgusting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading this - I am going to my dogs to apologize for how unhumane we humans can be. We made them depend on us and then we fail them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was little we had a sheltie as a family pet. My mom had him "de-barked" because one of our neighboors kept calling and leaving threatening messages telling her she was going to call the police if she didn't shut the dog up. Funny thing is he really didn't bark constantly just every few minutes. She was a single mom of three kids and didn't know what to do so she went and had it done. He regained his ability to bark over time just not as loudly as he used to. We eventually moved so it wasn't an issue anymore. But looking back on it she thought it was awful and would never do it again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After reading this - I am going to my dogs to apologize for how unhumane we humans can be. We made them depend on us and then we fail them.

 

We not only "fail them", but we mutilate them (tail docking, ear cropping, debarking, etc.).

 

nancy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest echoica

My aunt de-barked her Sheltie. She also de-clawed her cats. You know what I call this? LAZY. If you can't deal with (or put the effort into modifying) barking or scratching behaviour...then a different companion would be in order! I am completely against these cruel and selfish practices -- including docking and cropping as well. It makes me sick.

 

"Animals are more than ever a test of our character, of mankind's capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship. We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they don't; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us." — Matthew Scully

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reality is that debarking doesn't even really "fix" the problem in the sense that people think it will. If you live in a neighborhood and the problem is your dog barking inside, then maybe it will make the bark quiet enough so your neighbors don't hear it. But if you live in an apartment complex and your dog is constantly barking, your neighbors will still hear it even if the dog is debarked. I've seen enough debarked dogs to know you can hear them through a wall, and most apartment complexes don't have thick enough walls to make a difference. I think it's probably the most pointless, lazy, selfish surgery you can put your dog through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My aunt de-barked her Sheltie. She also de-clawed her cats. You know what I call this? LAZY. If you can't deal with (or put the effort into modifying) barking or scratching behaviour...then a different companion would be in order! I am completely against these cruel and selfish practices -- including docking and cropping as well. It makes me sick.

 

"Animals are more than ever a test of our character, of mankind's capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship. We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they don't; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us." — Matthew Scully

 

Amen, and amen!

 

Again, my opinion is that de-barking is cruel and inhumane and in the same category as forced genitalia mutilation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only dog I've seen that had been debarked was a beagle I fostered for an all breed rescue group after he was surrendered from a medical testing lab that surrenders to rescue rather than euth'g. The testing was bad enough but to remove his voice as well - poor little guy. However, he didnt' hold a grudge against people and easily found a forever home. I just don't think I could bring myself to debark a dog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...