Seeing a muzzled dog can be very disturbing for some people who believe that dogs are muzzled as dangerous. They expect a muzzled dog to behave aggressively and fear that they might even bite.
Dog experts know that this is not the case. Often dogs are muzzled for appropriate modification of behaviour when dogs fear visiting the vet and for various other types of dog training.
Muzzle-training dogs can be helpful for a number of reasons. As a dog owner, you need to know and have a basic understanding of muzzle training a dog. In this guide, let’s see how and why dogs require muzzles.
Why Might A Muzzle Be Appropriate For A Dog?
Using muzzles is a safe and effective method to train and protect your pup through stressful situations. Not only do muzzles help to keep your dog safe, but they also help to protect those around you.
There are many instances where a dog might need to wear a muzzle. Some such situations are:
During An Emergency
If a dog is injured or frightened, it is more likely to bite when anyone tries to approach it to help. In such instances, using a muzzle will keep you and all those around assisting your dog safe.
To Train Your Dog To Get Used To Grooming
Not all dogs enjoy grooming sessions. So if your dog has not yet gotten used to grooming, then using a muzzle will be helpful to get the job done.
During Vet Examinations
Sometimes your dog might be stressed or upset, such as during an examination visit to the vet. When your dog is stressed, and you fear it might bite, then using a muzzle can make the visit to the vet easier for you.
To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Something Toxic Or Dangerous
Muzzles are a great tool to prevent your dog from eating something they are not supposed to eat. Dogs tend to follow their nose, but sometimes, this may lead them astray. That means your dog could eat something dangerous such as garbage, a dead animal, or even droppings of other animals.
How To Train Your Dog To Accept A Muzzle?
Introducing a dog to wear a muzzle at a time when it is needed can be terrifying, and dogs tend to feel anxious the first time they see a muzzle. Dog trainers believe you should start introducing muzzles to a dog in less stressed circumstances.
You can train your dog with a step-by-step process:
- Let your dog sniff the muzzle a few times, then touch his nose with it. Repeat a few times by giving treats in between.
- Hold the muzzle with a treat in hand and gently slip it onto his nose. Please give him a treat and remove the muzzle immediately.
- Repeat the process a few times.
- Put on the muzzle and onto your dog and fasten the buckle. Give him a treat.
- Remove and repeat.
- Each time you put on the muzzle, gradually increase the time you leave it on.
- Don’t forget to reward your dog with treats for each step.
This is an effective way of introducing a muzzle to your dog when he is less stressed. In addition, making your dog feel comfortable around a muzzle will make it easier for you to put one on him when needed.
Types of Muzzles
There are two main types of muzzles, and it is important to find one that fits well on your dog. The right fit ensures effective use and safety.
The types of muzzles are:
Basket muzzles look exactly like a basket. These types of muzzles can be made of wire, rubber, plastic, and leather, and they can also be bought off the rack or customised to fit your dog exactly.
The appearance of a basket muzzle resembles that of “prison bars,” which can be disturbing and turn out to be the last choice to be made. However, it is actually the opposite. Dogs seem to be more comfortable in basket muzzles than soft muzzles. This is because, in basket muzzles, a dog’s mouth isn’t being held too closely.
Some styles of basket muzzles allow dogs to open their mouths to eat, drink, and pant. You can even slip large treats in some styles as they have slits on the side.
Soft muzzles are generally made from nylon and mesh and sometimes leather. The design of a soft muzzle can be slightly uncomfortable for your dog as it wraps around its mouth, holding it closed.
A dog’s only way of dispersing heat is by panting, and soft muzzles prevent them from doing so. In addition, a soft muzzle can be uncomfortable for your dog because it prevents your dog from eating, drinking, and barking.
Hence if you are using a soft muzzle for your dog, it must only be used for a short time, and avoid using them during hot weather.
Often there are various misconceptions about muzzled dogs. For years dogs wearing muzzles have been portrayed as aggressive and dogs that attack. It’s not always aggressive behaviour to muzzle a dog, and it can be for the reasons mentioned above.
As a dog owner, you need to know that dogs must be muzzled at least once at some point in their lives. So you should understand all about muzzles and how to use them. If you are not too sure how to train your dog, you can always enrol them for dog training classes.
Every animal is unique in its own way. We hope this guide changes how people look at muzzled dogs. If you see a muzzled dog, remember that the dog is muzzled for a reason, and let’s look at them just the way we see one without a muzzle. All dogs are amazing, muzzled or not!
For all the dog owners right here, we know you are doing the best for your dog. Happy dog training!