Debarking: Advice from Dr. Danny,
The first step is to find all the triggers and remove/isolate as much as possible. Then see if they can train the “quiet” cue.
Consider clicker training to reinforce long period of silence. Make sure the owners are not punishing her for the undesired behavior.
Citronella collar alone, without behavior modification, is not that likely to work well.
I do not recommend debarking; however, during the last AVMA in Seattle the issue was discussed and some recommend it if the alternative is euthanasia.
Keeping the dog occupied in positive behaviors is also helpful.
Make sure the owner establish daily routine and provide enrichment. During the times when she is most likely to bark they should provide her with feeding and chew toys that she is not getting at other times.
They should not feed her during the day to increase her motivation to use the feeding toys.
They should also provide good exercise and training before or during the times when she is likely to bark. If you do suspect anxiety rather than excitement or normal, yet excessive, behavior you can try Clomipramine (Clomicalm) or Fluoxetine (Prozac).
Although I would not say I am eager to advise debarking, if you are truly doing everything, then I would say that debarking is better than re-homing, eviction, or euthanasia.
Please go to our Pet Blog to review the issue on debarking your pet and Dr. Danny’s suggestions.