by Sojos | February 14, 2013
Even the most devoted dog people can find excessive barking bothersome. It can keep you up at night, annoy the neighbors and just generally set you on edge. Dogs that bark too much face a lot of potential problems – some owners elect to have their dogs devocalized or “debarked,” while others actually choose to euthanize their pet. But those extreme options can be avoided – and you can still find solutions for a quieter, calmer, dog-friendly household.
Devocalizing dogs is not an uncommon procedure, and many people turn to it when they are at their wits’ end. It’s a highly invasive, major procedure that carries with it all the typical risks of surgery as well as problematic after-effects. Dogs can be at increased risk of diseases, breathing difficulties, chronic coughing and gagging, show higher levels of stress and more.
Some owners, rather than devocalizing, opt for shock collars as a training method to discourage barking. These collars are intended to work by causing the dog discomfort or pain, which will ostensibly stop him from barking. There are varying opinions on whether shock collars are truly effective, and it’s worth noting that they might also cause aggression and increase stress. But one thing is certain: Your dog will experience pain and it it’s impossible for him to tell you just how much it hurts.
It’s important to remember is that excessive barking is frequently a symptom of another issue, and not the problem itself. If you notice that your dog is vocalizing a lot, it’s a good idea to talk to your holistic vet about the issue. They will be able to help you determine whether there is an underlying physiological problem, and they might also have advice about environmental factors that could be triggering your dog.
Boredom can be a cause behind excessive barking, so keeping your dog active might help to avoid or diminish a problem. This is particularly the case for working or herding dogs, like collies, corgis, spaniels or shepherds, or other high-energy breeds like pointers, huskies, retrievers and so on. Without a “job,” frequent walks or enough interaction with owners, some dogs will resort to barking.
If your dog is tethered or confined for too long and barking because of it, seek other solutions for keeping him comfortable and expending energy. For urban dog owners, doggie day care is a good option to get your dog out of the house and give him the interaction he craves, even when you’re at work. Obedience training is also a wise investment to counteract barking; discuss your problem with a trainer and work together to find a positive solution.