A dog muzzle is similar to a mask for your pup. If it’s fitted properly, your dog will be able to pant, eat, and drink with it on. There are a few reasons why dogs would need to wear a muzzle while others may never need a muzzle.

In case your dog gets nervous or might have the inkling to snap at someone, a muzzle is a good thing to have, even though it looks unsettling or cruel. It’s not as bad as it seems, though, so let’s talk about everything you need to know about muzzles.

dog muzzle

Which dog breeds typically wear muzzles?

Muzzles can be a controversial topic. This is because they are often associated with aggressive dogs. However, not all aggressive dogs can be actually aggressive. With proper training and socialization, any dog can be a lovebug.

Even though it may seem that certain dog breeds wear muzzles, any dog may need one. Most of the time, you’ll see a large or giant dog breed wearing them. Their bite is much worse than a teacup-sized pooch. But why would a dog need to wear a muzzle in the first place?

Reasons to use a muzzle

The short answer is that using a muzzle may be for the dog’s safety, the safety of its owner, another human, or both.

For example, a muzzle may be used during an emergency. If a dog is injured or too afraid, it may be more likely to bite. So, using a muzzle will protect the people who are trying to help and treat the dog. If your dog has a history of biting people, it may wear a muzzle in certain situations. For instance, when going on walks and getting nervous when other people or dogs walk by, they may want to snap at them. 

In addition, a muzzle may be used during grooming sessions. Not all dogs mind baths, but some get afraid of the loud noises or being away from home or their owners. So to protect the groomers (or even the veterinarian), a muzzle may be used. 

When should you not use a dog muzzle?

In a nutshell, muzzles are used to prevent dog bites. That’s all, so there are no other reasons for you to put a muzzle on your dog.

For instance, if you’re trying to get your dog to stop chewing or barking, a muzzle is not a solution. They are only meant to be worn for a short period of time and cannot fix behavioral issues. Only proper training will prevent barking, especially since there are many reasons a dog may be barking.

With that said, a muzzle should never be used as a punishment. It is unfair to the dog, and, as stated before, it’s only a temporary solution since muzzles should only be worn for a short period of time. Plus, you don’t want your dog to associate the muzzle with a negative reaction. Then, when you need to use the muzzle for their safety, they’ll get more afraid and reject the muzzle.

What are the different types of muzzles?

There are two types of muzzles. One is called a basket muzzle, which looks like a basket over your dog’s snout. They can be made from different materials such as leather, wire, rubber, or plastic. It looks inhumane, and it sounds intimidating, but a basket muzzle is actually the better one to use on your pooch. This is because your dog is free to pant, eat, and drink. Plus, it is the more comfortable muzzle of the two types.

The other type is a soft muzzle that’s usually made from nylon or mesh. It sounds like it would be more comfortable, but the way these muzzle works is that it holds your dog’s mouth closed. This means, while wearing the soft muzzle, your dog can’t pant, eat, or drink. This muzzle should only be used for very short amounts of time. If worn too long, it can be dangerous to your dog.

dog muzzle

What are good muzzles to buy?

If you think a basket muzzle might be the right choice for your dog, then you can try Baskerville. It comes in six different sizes. CollarDirect is also another good option for medium-sized dogs.

Alternatively, if you think a soft muzzle is the right one to try with your dog, CollarDirect has one of those, as well. It comes in small, medium, and large sizes and is adjustable. PetSafe is another good choice for a soft muzzle that comes in a few sizes, such as small, medium, large, and extra-large.

How to get your dog used to a muzzle

If a muzzle looks intimidating to you, then you can be sure it’ll look intimidating to your dog at first. But, like anything else, you’ll have to allow your dog to get used to the muzzle and train them to wear it. Plus, you’ll want to show them it’s something positive. Allowing your dog to get used to the muzzle will take several days.

First, let your dog sniff the muzzle. Every time they do so, praise them and give them a small training treat. Repeat this several times. Then, get your dog to touch noses with the muzzle. Again, praise them, give them a treat, and repeat this step a few times.

Next, hold a treat in your hand through the muzzle, so your dog needs to put their snout in the muzzle to retrieve the treat. Repeat this process until your dog puts the muzzle on with no problem. Then, you’ll be able to put on the muzzle without them protesting. Then, give them a treat and remove the muzzle immediately.

Finally, gradually increase the amount of time you leave the muzzle on. For example, slowly count to five, give a treat, and take it off. Then trying counting to seven the next time, and so on. Eventually, your dog will get used to it. 

dog muzzle

Listen to what these people have to say about muzzles

If you’re still not convinced that you want to use a muzzle with your dog, then check out the two stories below that explain why muzzles are a good thing.

Is a muzzle right for your dog?

Whether your dog is a sweetie or tends to get shy and nervous at times, having a muzzle on hand is always a good idea. If there’s an emergency, allowing your dog to wear a muzzle will give you peace of mind that they are safe and comfortable.

Similar reading: more dog resources

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