In case your dog isn’t a bite risk, why would you ever have to muzzle train your dog?
Because muzzles rock. Truly.
They’ve a poor connotation related to aggressive dogs, but the reality is, they will be incredibly useful tools for any dog. Yes, even essentially the most friendly of dogs can profit from wearing a muzzle.
It’s time to embrace muzzles and understand how and why they will be used as a helpful tool for dogs.
Why You Should Muzzle Train Your Dog
Muzzles aren’t only for aggressive dogs! They will serve plenty of useful purposes that keep your dog and others secure in a wide range of situations.
Below, I outline several common circumstances where a dog might have to wear a muzzle.
Most dogs are pretty stressed once they visit their vet and may act out in uncharacteristic ways, including biting.
In case your dog has numerous anxiety during veterinary visits, a muzzle is a very important tool that can make the visit safer for the veterinarian.
To Protect Your Dog and Others
If you happen to own a reactive dog, a muzzle will assist you find a way to get outdoors and navigate public areas safely.
When you’re working on the reactivity with training, teaching your dog to wear a muzzle will mean you can test your dog around triggers without worry.
The primary and only time I took Sitka to a groomer, he bit the sleeve of the person cutting his nails (thank god she was wearing an enormous sweatshirt) they usually promptly muzzled him after that. It was awful because he was still fairly recent to me and hadn’t been muzzle trained.
I worked on nail clipping sensitivity so I could cut his nails myself after that. Some dogs will just never enjoy having their nails trimmed and may have to be muzzled for the job.
In Europe, and I imagine elsewhere, dogs are allowed to ride on public transport, provided they wear a muzzle.
Within the US, I feel it’s less common that dogs are allowed on public transit. I’m undecided in regards to the muzzle rules, but I might absolutely muzzle my dog on public transit.
The overwhelming and confined spaces are precisely the environment where a dog may react out of fear because they can’t escape easily.
In Case of Emergency
Let’s say your dog becomes injured during a hike and it is advisable to take a take a look at the injury. Your normally happy-go-lucky pup is probably not so keen on you handling their injury and bite.
Dogs in severe pain or who’re stressed can react in uncharacteristic ways, having a muzzle handy will prevent any bites from happening in an already stressful situation.
Remember, for those who are injured, you then can not help your dog.
To Prevent “Hoovering”
I used to have a dog that may “Hoover” the sidewalk. Before I learned about prong collars, she would just attempt to eat up anything she found on the road.
I didn’t know how you can stop her from doing this, so our veterinarian advisable that we muzzle train her to stop the behavior.
Some dogs will eat anything they will find, and street snacks may not at all times be secure for dogs to devour.
This is very vital for those who are traveling in a rustic where people miss poisonous meat for dogs (unfortunately, this can be a fairly common occurrence in numerous countries with large street dog populations).
Deter People from Approaching Your Dog
Whether your dog is friendly or reactive, but you might be uninterested in random people and dogs approaching your dog without permission, a muzzle is a terrific visual deterrent.
Due to the connotation muzzles have with aggressive dogs, people might be more prone to keep away from your dog.
As an Alternative to a Cone
In case your pet has ever needed to wear the Cone of Shame, you then’re well aware of how uncomfortable they will be.
Some dogs may prefer to wear a muzzle as an alternative of the cone, depending on the injury or wound. In the event that they are already conditioned to wearing a muzzle, then it could make the healing process less stressful for them.
Selecting the Right Muzzle for Your Dog
As muzzles increase in popularity, there are some pretty cool ones available that help make them seem less scary.
There are several small businesses that can make custom muzzles to make sure proper fit. Custom muzzles are an excellent idea in case your dog requires wearing their muzzle frequently or in the event that they are a short-nosed breed, like a Pug, Frenchie, or Boston Terrier
There are three fundamental several types of muzzles available:
- Basket muzzles
- Soft muzzles
Basket muzzles are essentially the most common kind of muzzle. They will be made out of plenty of materials, including plastic, metal, leather or biothane and create a kind of cage across the dog’s muzzle to stop biting. Adjustable straps attach behind the dog’s ears to secure the muzzle in place.
Consider that some basket muzzles are usually not fully bite proof. If you happen to require a muzzle that’s fully bite proof, I highly recommend a custom muzzle.
In case your dog requires a muzzle for veterinary visits, short trips on public transit, or emergencies, soft muzzles are perfect for short-term use.
They’re generally made out of a nylon or mesh material and are very light weight. Since they’re more packable, they are perfect for traveling or mountain climbing.
Dogs cannot pant effectively while wearing soft muzzles, so it’s crucial that they not wear a majority of these muzzles for long periods of time or in extremely popular weather.
If you happen to end up requiring a muzzle in an emergency situation, then there are a few options to create a makeshift muzzle.
When would such a situation arise?
If you happen to are mountain climbing and your dog becomes injured, they is probably not agreeable to you touching the injury. Automotive accidents could cause dogs to react and act out in uncharacteristic ways as well.
You should utilize your dog’s leash or a shoelace to create a brief muzzle by looping the tool twice around your dog’s muzzle, twisting it once below the chin, and securing it behind your dog’s ears.
This video demonstrates how you can do that using a leash.
Easy methods to Properly Fit a Muzzle
On the subject of finding an appropriate muzzle on your dog, you’ll need to be sure that the fit is correct. A properly-fitting muzzle must be snug, but not tight.
If the muzzle is just too loose, your dog can paw it off. A muzzle that is just too tight can restrict your dog’s ability to properly breathe, drink water, and pant.
You need to find a way to suit one finger between your dog’s head and the straps
While wearing a muzzle, it’s imperative that your dog still find a way to pant, breathe properly, and drink water. In the event that they are usually not in a position to do that, then the muzzle doesn’t fit accurately.
Find the Best Muzzle for Your Dog
Now that there are such a lot of muzzle options available available on the market, it may well be somewhat overwhelming to know what to choose. Listed here are my top picks for the perfect muzzles.
Best All-Around: Baskerville Ultra Muzzle
Baskerville Muzzles are probably essentially the most well-known muzzles available on the market. They’re very reasonably priced and permit panting, drinking, and proper respiration, and include adjustable straps to make sure proper fit.
Baskerville Muzzles are durable and ideal for every day dog walks, secure socialization, veterinary visits, and grooming visits.
That is the muzzle I even have for my dog. Since we use it rarely, I don’t feel the necessity to have a safer muzzle for him. In case your dog is a serious bite risk, these are usually not the best option for them.
Best for Short Term Use: Coastal Pet Products Adjustable Mesh Muzzle
As mentioned above, mesh muzzles are perfect for short term use. This one from Coastal Pet Products includes a completely adjustable nylon strap and is made out of mesh to permit for airflow and breathability.
I keep certainly one of these in my first aid kit in case of backcountry emergencies.
This muzzle is best used for travel on public transit, mountain climbing or backpacking.
Best Custom Muzzle: Khaos Kollars
If you could have a dog that may be a serious bite risk, have a brief nose, or they must wear a muzzle very frequently, I highly recommend a custom muzzle. Khaos Kollars is a Canadian company that makes fun, colourful, custom biothane and leather muzzles for dogs.
Khaos Kollars allow loads of room for panting, even on hot days, are adjustable in two spots, fully bite-proof, and are available with a lifetime warranty.
The owner is liable for following the sizing guide accurately. If the sizing is wrong, Khaos Kollars will adjust accordingly, but shipping costs will fall on the dog owner.
Custom muzzles will be pricey (Khaos Kollars start at $50) and may take a while between order and delivery (sometimes as much as two months), but they’re 100% price it to maintain your dog and others secure.
Training Your Dog to Wear a Muzzle
Muzzle training can take a while, but with a couple of short sessions every day over a couple of weeks, your dog should not have any problem getting used to wearing a muzzle.
The steps below are what I did to condition my dog to wearing a muzzle.
- Place the muzzle on the bottom. Mark and reward for any interaction with it. Do that several times.
- Hold the muzzle in your hand and do the identical. Repeat several times.
- Hold the muzzle in a single hand and a treat in the opposite, on the surface of the nose of the muzzle. When your dog sticks their snout into the muzzle, mark, and reward through the muzzle. Repeat several times.
- Once your dog does this without you needing to carry a treat on the nose of the muzzle, you’ll be able to name the command. I simply call it “muzzle.” Say the word, mark, and reward. Repeat several times.
- The subsequent step is to clip the straps around your dog’s head. I began by simply holding them together, then marking and rewarding, releasing my dog from the muzzle. Eventually, buckle the straps, and immediately mark and reward. Progressively increase the period of time before marking. Attempt to catch your dog before they struggle to paw off the muzzle.
- Once your dog can fully wear the muzzle, start doing fun things with them while they wear it, like play, tricks, or obedience drills. This fashion, they’ll begin to associate the muzzle with regular, on a regular basis things.
It’s vital to coach your dog to wear a muzzle, even in the event that they don’t wear one frequently. You don’t need to need them to wear a muzzle in a given situation only to must fight with them to get it on.
I practiced with Sitka until he felt comfortable wearing it and understood the command. Now, we refresh once a month or so.