Dog Muzzle And What You Need To Know Before Getting One

Dog bites are a serious health problem. That’s why most dog owners prefer to muzzle their dogs. However, there’s always a misconception about the use of “muzzle.” It can be a challenging decision for the owner and your dog to wear this guarding tool because of the social stigma as it has been linked to aggressive or scary dogs. But it’s not true! Here is everything you need to know about dog muzzles, their purpose, use, and benefits.

Benefits of Dog Muzzle

Muzzles can be helpful for people as well as for other animals to keep them safe. There can be various reasons why a dog owner feels the need for a dog muzzle, such as:

  • When a dog is taken to training, a muzzle is needed in many cases. It can act as a great safety net just in case things don’t go according to planned training sessions. In addition, it provides safety to others like those working on a behavior modification program.
  • Another use of a muzzle is to prevent the ingestion of dangerous objects when the dog is on a street walk. Furthermore, it helps to prevent the canine from harming wildlife or even for security purposes where you are unsure of his/her reaction.

Does each dog need them?

Although, not each dog needs, countries like Australia, Canada, the UK, Denmark, Ukraine, and fewer US states have restrictions related to muzzle regulations for certain dog breeds. They have mandated dog muzzles for the following breeds in public areas:

  • German Shepherd Dog (and associated breeds)
  • Rottweiler
  • Bull Terrier
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Mastiffs such as the Bull Mastiff, Cane Corso, and Dogue De Bordeaux
  • Any of the above crosses

It doesn’t mean that these breeds of dogs are particularly dangerous or vicious but dog muzzles are a significant safety measure. Your dog could be cuddly at home, however, they might act strangely outside due to new surroundings. So, it’s better to train your dog to wear a muzzle, either you’re taking them to the vet, on a walk, or bringing them to grooming sessions.

Muzzle impact on a dog’s health or behavior

Muzzles don’t hurt a dog’s health or behavior; instead, it adds protection. If your pup is about to grab garbage or eat something toxic, muzzles are a protective shield. A significant concern was breathing but this acts as an effective dog mouth guard. Thus, it won’t affect their breathing or make them pant.

How to choose the best dog muzzle?

Owners should better know some key points when selecting a muzzle for their dog, such as:

  • Keep in mind that the mouth guard tool you are choosing for your dog should not restrict a dog’s breathing or panting ability.
  • It would help if you were assured that you’d chosen the best dog muzzle, not interrupting your pet’s comfort of drinking when he’s/she’s wearing the muzzle.
  • Check the size to see if it fits your dog.

Why do dogs fear and dislike muzzles?

Putting the one on as a punishment also negatively impacts your dogs. They start fearing when you associate it with an adverse event like muzzling the dog to teach a lesson. So next time you want to muzzle the pup in a legitimate situation, it will start panicking and be more scared and nervous.

If the owner puts it on, dogs may dislike a muzzle to control the normal ongoing behaviors such as barking or chewing. Also, if the trainer gets frustrated during the training sessions, which will not be a positive experience for the dog, he might start disliking the muzzle training.

Putting one on may sound unsettling for the dog. Here are some simple steps to help you get your dog used to wearing it:

Build a positive association

Give your dog a treat after letting it sniff it. Stop the treat by keeping it away. The dog will positively associate with the muzzle by getting a treat.                                                

Providing with the first touch

Slowly introduce your dog to the muzzle by putting the treat inside. Don’t try to close the muzzle yet. The dog will take the treat out of it.

Place it without strapping it for only one second

While the dog retrieves the treat, strap the muzzle for a few seconds and quickly release it. It will make them feel comfortable having it on without immediate anxiety.

Strap on the muzzle and gradually increase the time it’s fastened

Strapping the muzzle gives a great treat. On removing the muzzle, stop providing the treat. This action will leave a good association in the dog’s mind. Slowly increase the time they spend in the fastened muzzle.

Tips to make dogs used to their muzzle

  • Just make the dog feel that you are super jealous of what they are wearing on the face. Make them think exemplary and unique like it’s something to be proud of.
  • Make your dog used to wear the muzzle every time you head outside the house.
  • Do not force your dog. Instead, place the muzzle on the ground and the treat and let him approach it on his own.
  • Always approach the trainer positively and avoid harmful sounds like” eh” or “no.”

Teaching your fur friend to get used to the muzzle can be as challenging as learning how to trim canines’ nails with a dog nail grinder. It is not something every trainer or groomer is excited about.

Dog muzzles are not natural. The trainer may simply get injured if the dog gets aggressive. So instead, the pups’ caregiver takes time and effort to make them feel comfortable wearing the muzzle without being scared and stressed.

Wrap Up

Muzzles can be vital for any dog owner, especially if you think your dog is a little crazier. However, it can be uncomfortable for many dogs. So, try to buy a well-adjusted dog mouth cover that will help reduce your dog’s worries, and if not, connect with a professional trainer. You can purchase muzzles for different dogs of all breeds with varying sizes.

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Mike Stiven
 

I'm a pet owner, blogger, and writer from the Massachusetts. I've worked at the Alpha Dog Training Center, a dog boarding and training facility, and also shared the knowledge garnered over the years with a good number of pet sites. As a firm believer that great care has to be given to pets, beside sharing my whole experience in this blog I also work as volunteer at pet stores during the weekend.

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