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Dog Muzzle: When & How To Use It?

Dog Muzzle: When & How To Use It?
Dog Muzzle

A muzzle is a device similar to a mask which we place over the dog’s snout to prevent biting. Depending on its purpose, a muzzle can be plastic, wired, or made from flexible materials. Dog wearing a muzzle is often portrayed as aggressive. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Most owners will have to muzzle their dogs at one point in their life.

Why Muzzle Is Good For Your Dog And When We Use It?

  • Prevents reactive bites when playing or traveling in a car with a dog he doesn’t know.
  • Stops chewing and biting skin to soothe allergy or wound (only for a limited period)
  • Prevents injuries when introducing a new pet (another dog, cat, rabbit, etc.)
  • Keeping the dog and everyone else safe during vet visits, boarding, or being handled by a stranger.

The muzzle is particularly helpful when you want to socialize a nervous, afraid dog with a bite history. With a muzzle, a nervous pooch can be in the company of calm, properly socialized dogs. A nervous dog may growl and express his fear and anxiety, but he can’t bite.

By muzzling a dog with a history of bad behavior, you are ensuring him to play with other dogs. Gradually, the dog will become more comfortable, relaxed, and confident as he realizes that other dogs are not a threat.

How To Train Your Dog To Wear A Muzzle?

Now, don’t expect the dog to accept wearing a muzzle like it’s something natural. We need to teach and train our dogs that muzzle equals treats and good things. To achieve this goal you will need a lot of high-value, tasty treats, patience, and persistence.

Step-By-Step Guide:

1. The first step is to introduce your furry friend to the muzzle and make it a positive experience. Therefore, show the muzzle to your furry friend and immediately reward him with a treat. This step creates a positive association with the muzzle.

2. The second step is to give a treat to your dog through the muzzle. Place a treat through the muzzle and offer it to your dog.

3. Place something tasty on the edge of the muzzle to encourage your dog to keep his nose in the muzzle. For example, spread peanut butter on the edge of the muzzle and let your pooch lick it off. 

4. Once your dog is comfortable placing his nose in the muzzle you can then begin to do up the neck strap. You can remove the optional head strap to make this step easier.

5. The next step is to take your furry friend for a walk with the muzzle on. Choose a quiet place without distractions such as your backyard. If the dog tries to remove the muzzle by rubbing it against the ground, distract him with a treat. Also, never criticize your pooch for trying to remove the muzzle as this will only create a negative association with wearing it.

6. Once the dog is comfortable with the muzzle on, it’s time for the regular walking pattern. Take your dog for a usual walk to your regular walking places. However, bring some treats to distract him in case he wants to remove the muzzle. Your furry friend will eventually associate muzzle will long, enjoyable walks.

Muzzle Types

There are many types of dog muzzles. These muzzles are built for specific purposes. For example, you will use wrap or mesh muzzles for situations like visiting the vet or grooming. 

On the other hand, if you want to introduce a nervous, anxious dog to other dogs you will use a wired or hardened plastic Baskerville muzzle to prevent biting. A muzzle from flexible material will be perfect if, for example, you want to prevent your pooch from licking a hot spot or a wound.

Therefore, carefully choose the muzzle that suits the dog’s needs. 

Commonly Asked Questions

Is it cruel to muzzle your dog?

It’s ok to use a muzzle in certain situations for short periods. However, the muzzle is not a replacement for training nor should you use it to stop chewing, barking, or indiscriminate eating.

Do muzzles make dogs more aggressive?

An aggressive dog will be aggressive with or without the muzzle. While a dog with a muzzle can’t bite you, he can still cause an injury.

Can I muzzle my dog while I am away from home?

No, don’t ever do this. Some types of muzzles such as fabric muzzle will prevent your dog from panting. This can be extremely dangerous since panting is a dog’s way to regulate temperature. On the other hand, basket muzzles will stress your dog and cause anxiety. 

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