The AVMA strongly discourages the devocalization (non-therapeutic ventriculocordectomy) of dogs because of the surgery's negative impacts on animal welfare. Canine devocalization does not address the primary motivators for the unwanted behavior. Barking is a natural behavior and an important canine communication method. Devocalization deprives the dog from normal engagement in this natural behavior. Because canine devocalization can decrease, but not eliminate, the intensity, pitch, and volume of a dog's bark, the procedure is frequently ineffective in preventing inappropriate or excessive barking. In addition, significant risks and complications, including pain, are associated with the surgery. The AVMA strongly encourages identification and appropriate resolution of the underlying issue(s) causing the unwanted vocalization and the employment of humane behavior modification. The AVMA considers medically therapeutic laryngeal surgery, performed by qualified, licensed veterinarians, to be appropriate veterinary care.
Welfare implications of canine devocalization