Canine devocalization

The American Animal Hospital Association’s position regarding canine devocalization.

The American Animal Hospital Association is opposed to the practice known as debarking, canine devocalization, or vocal cordectomy. Devocalization for inappropriate and excessive vocalization is often ineffective in achieving the desired results, can present risks to the animal, and can deprive canines of the ability to perform a normal behavior. Professional corrective techniques including environmental manipulation, behavioral modification, medical therapy, or a combination of these techniques should be explored.

Exceptions to this statement would be in the rare case of airway obstruction or laryngeal paralysis, which cannot be addressed through other surgical procedures. When deemed medically necessary, devocalization should only be performed by qualified, licensed veterinarians.


Last revised by the American Animal Hospital Association Board of Directors June 2021.