These items are necessary and even mandatory in some areas so here is our guide on how to use a dog muzzle and how to train your dog to get used to one. The reason why they are used is pretty obvious, it keeps the dog from barking as much and it will also not allow them to bite anything or anyone. But there is also the worry that this is something painful to them and if not used properly it can become so.
Many dog owners are curious if the dogs can breathe properly through one or if they really help but there are many situations when using one is appropriate. If your dog is in a lot of pain that means that they will be more aggressive than usual. If the dog has had aggressive episodes in the past and even when going to a grooming session these will be a good idea since the dog probably won’t be familiar with the groomer. Aside from these three are some situations when legislation requires your dog to wear a muzzle.
When Not to Use One
Muzzles aren’t designed for behavioral problems like barking or chewing on different things since they are intended to be used for short periods of time only. Find out the reason why your dog is barking and never use it for punishment since it will only make the dog fear this item.
Training Your Dog
Use rewards and take your time while getting the dog used to the muzzle. If the dog becomes worried at the sight of the muzzle place it on the floor and allow them time to inspect it. When they do so offer them treats but let them do so on their own. Put some treats into the muzzle as well and use vocal commands like “muzzle on” when they go to get the treats.
Don’t try to close the muzzle immediately since they will get scared, do the procedure above several times, preferably over the course of a few days. When you close the straps see how your dog is feeling, keep it locked for only a few seconds and increase the duration as your dog gets more comfortable while using treats as a way of enforcing the new habit.
Picking the Right One
The basket one is quite useful since it might allow your dog to drink and they are either made of wires or plastic, the first being better for large dogs and the latter for smaller ones. Soft muzzles are made from fabrics like nylon, mesh or leather and they can be dangerous if strapped to tight since the dog won’t be able to pant anymore (dogs don’t sweat like us) so they won’t be able to disperse heat.
Make sure it fits and give your dog time to adjust to this new measure. Some try to make their own muzzle for emergency situations with things like ropes or a roll of gauze or even a leash but these options are far from ideal and we advise against them as you can’t trust these improvisations and they can also be very harmful for your pet.