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Maltese puppy barking

by Angela

I have a three month old minature maltese. We own a flat, and are not really allowed to have dogs, so I try never to leave her alone at home, but sometimes I have no choice. On these occasions when I have left her alone I have had complaints from neighbours, and a letter threatening to give me a court order to get rid of her.

She is my baby and I won't even consider this. Someone has however told me about having their vocal cords removed, but this sounds awfully cruel to me. Is it? What do you think?


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

Hi,I would never have my baby's vocal cords removed.That sounds very cruel.Barking is their way of talking with other dogs.Imagine if we had no voice to talk to our friends with??I wouldn't have gotten a dog if I lived somewhere I coudn't legally keep her.My suggestion is you move to another flat where you can keep your baby.

I don't recommend cutting the vocal chords or "de barking" a maltese. The air passage way is already narrow, and this could cause problems for your Maltese later in life if it ever faced an operation. The puppy is only three months old and could adjust very easily to another envoirnment. Why don't you find a home for it and get a maltese later on when you live in a place you are legally allowed to keep it. You are facing nothing but problems if you are threatened with court orders. Talk to your breeder. I am sure they will help locate a suitable family for that puppy. You will have no choice in choosing the home for the baby if the court orders the dog removed from the premises.

Let me start by saying that i have two maltese and i love them dearly, and i would have to strongly suggest that you DO NOT have this operation done! I think you should get to the root of the problem with your dog, it's obvious to me that she misses you and that barking is her way of expressing herself.Please Please Please come up with another solution!

Dear Angela: First of all, congratulations on your new baby! Although I am also a new Maltese owner and am not one to give lots of great advice, I am responding because I am also an apartment dweller, but in Manhattan. I assume that you live in London (or somewhere in Great Britain) as you call your home a "flat". In any case, you should consult with an attorney (soliciter) regarding your situation. There are laws in New York that protect a pet owner if they have had an animal for any length of time and have not hidden their ownership, despite what the lease might say. Also, it would take more than just one complaining neighbor to cause an eviction. I am sure such laws exist where you live as well. Do not in any event have your dog's vocal cords removed. This is cruel and unnecessary surgery. You would be depriving your pet of his or her one means of oral communication and risking complications of a surgical procedure. The next time some one makes such a suggestion, recommend that they undergo the same procedure. Finally, there is plenty of methods available to stop frantic barking. Consult a good book on training and/ore hire a professional trainer. Remember, your baby is still very young and will be responsive to instruction. In the meantime, try to keep your dog confined to an area of your home where he or she is less likely to be heard by the neighbors while you are away (any room that does not adjoin your next door neighbor's or is not near the front door). Best of luck to you. I am sure your problem will be resolved.

Angela, I can understand that these little dogs are very irresistable but knowing that you aren't allowed to have a dog in your flat, you should have resisted the temptation. Most dogs bark because that is there way of letting an owner know they hear things that aren't normal and they are trying to protect them. They bark if they are scared, happy, excited and when they are lonely. I think it is unconscionable that someone would mutilate their pets vocal cords just for the sake of personal convenience. As I see it, you only have two reasonable options, either find another place to live that allows pets or find a new home for your trusting puppy. The animals health and welfare should always be the first consideration. I think you have already answered your own question in the last line of your message "sounds awfully cruel to me" ,and I hope you go with your own intuition and not do something this radical to your baby.

I think that is HORRIBLE and CRUEL and think you should consider alternative methods. There are devices that are designed to stop a dog from barking. You would leave the device in the room with the dog and when it barks the device will emit a sound designed to stop the dog from barking. If you truly love the dog and can't live without her maybe you should consider moving to a place that allows pets. If you need a temporary place or even permanent place for her to stay I would be happy to volunteer. I have a 1 year old maltese named Misha who is my life and would be happy to help you out in any way I could. Good luck and PLEASE don't remove this angels voice!!!

Dear All, Thank you for your response to my letter. I thought you would be happy to hear that I have made alternative arrangements. I drop "Lady" off at my cousin's house every morning, and collect her every evening. There she is allowed to bark, and she gets to play with her "cousins".

We have also put our flat up for sale, and are looking for something where dogs are allowed. Maybe one of these days we can get her a little friend to play with!! Lady has brought something warm and wonderful into our lives, and I will never ever hurt her!!

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