Do you think it is inhumane to “de-bark” a dog if it means it’s the only way you can keep it?
Question by Skye: Do you think it is inhumane to “de-bark” a dog if it means it’s the only way you can keep it?
I have 2 WONDERFUL Shetland Sheepdogs. Anyone that is familiar with the breed knows that a lot (not all) of them can be very “yappy”! I want to clarify one thing. My dogs do NOT bark because they are bored, unhappy, or have behavior issues. That is the furthest thing from the truth. I am home almost all the time with them and I take them for at least 3 walks (one is an hour) a day as well as 2 15 min. training sessions plus any classes we take in the evening for agility or obedience. We live in a heavily wooded area and they bark at the squirrels, rabbits, and deers that they see while they are in the backyard. We have a lovely fenced in yard and I will let them out there to romp and in a few minutes they spot something and will bark (they have ear piercings barks too) and bark and bark. I have firmly reprimanded them and tried squirting them with a watter bottle which they don’t like but this doesn’t work. I’ve tried collars that emit a high frequency noise and they ignore that as well. I won’t try shocking collars. They also bark the whole time on the walks OUT OF EXCITEMENT AND HAPPINESS! I can’t scold them for that! My neighbors have complained even though they I only have the dogs in the yard for short periods during the day because they are indoor dogs. My neighbors are just jerks really. However, animal control has been over twice now. Why did I pick such a breed that barks so much? I love the breed and they are great at agility which I’m very active in (they also bark the entire time they run the course LOL which any agility person can tell you is very common w/ herding breeds). De-barking them will still allow them to bark but it will just be muffled and won’t bother the neighbors. It will allow them to play outside more when I’m doing housework instead of being cooped up inside. I’m afraid I’ll be told that I have to get rid of them if the barking doesn’t cease. I live on 2 acres and my neighbors aren’t that close but my dogs barking is just incredibly loud so it’s not that I live in this little subdivision. I’d also like to get another dog so de-barking is beginning to look like it may be the WISE thing to do! I thought it was inhumane at first but the more I have talked to other Sheltie owners that have had their dogs de-barked, I realized that it isn’t really bad at all. They can STILL bark! It’s just not as loud. However, I am still concerned about how risky this procedure is. All ELECTIVE SURGERY is risky. I even knew someone that lost a dog during a routine spay and this was an excellent vet. So, if you spay or neuter your pet you really can’t yell at me for de-barking my dogs. I’d like to hear people’s personal experiences with the procedure (GOOD AND BAD) but please don’t chew me out! I will be able to tell if you took the time to REALLY read all I wrote if you immediately start calling me names. And yes, I would HATE it if someone surgically altered my voice but wouldn’t you HATE it too if someone took your ability away to reproduce as well? Thanks.
Of course my dogs are spayed and neutered.
I wrote my neighbors the nicest letter ever and I went over and personally explained my situation. I told them that I’d let them back in if they start to bark but sometimes it takes me a couple of minutes to get to the back door (we live in a huge house) or I don’t hear them right away if I’m vacuuming or doing something noisy. I also told them that I’d only let them out during the day when it’s light out. It’s just my one neighbors who we’ve always had problems with. They used to shoot squirrels and rabbits just for fun and my dad went over there and told them where they could stick that gun (LOL) because he loves animals. Since then, they haven’t liked us.
Answer by xxsamxx
i have to tell my dog off when she barks as we live in a groundfloor flat and her bark can be heard around the corner.
she used to bark all the time but like yourself some-one is always in in my house so we tell her off when she barks and it has calmed her down, she only occasionally barks now.
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