Putting a muzzle on your dog is likely an unpleasant experience, not only for your dog but for you as well. It can make you think about how dogs can breathe, drink, or pant while wearing a muzzle.
Therefore, muzzles can seem cruel and painful for dogs, but this device provides protection when the situation calls for it.
Some owners feel that letting their dogs wear these is the best option. In some cases, muzzles can be helpful, and in some, they are required. If your dog needs one, reading this can help you better understand the need and how to muzzle train a dog.
How to Train a Dog to Wear a Muzzle
1. Allow your dog to smell the muzzle and reward with a treat. Do this several times.
2. Use the muzzle to touch your dog’s nose. Do this again and again until you notice your dog looking positively interested in it.
3. In one hand, hold the muzzle and a treat with the other. To get the treat, your dog needs to put its nose inside the muzzle. Do this several times until it seems not a big deal anymore.
4. Then, gently put the muzzle into his nose and give a treat. Immediately take off the muzzle. Do this repeatedly several times.
5. Place the muzzle and fasten. Immediately take it off. Repeat several times.
6. Put the muzzle, fasten, and slowly count until five. Give a treat and take off the muzzle.
7. Every time you put the muzzle on, slowly increase the period it is worn by your dog. Make sure to hold the collar and give a treat.
You can take your dog for a short walk with the muzzle on. You need to remember to give rewards consistently. Never take off the muzzle until your dog is finished with its walk. If your dog attempts to remove the muzzle, keep walking, and give rewards more frequently.
If your dog gets too uncomfortable, distract it with treats, remove the muzzle, and end your walk. In your next walk, lessen the time your dog has the muzzle on.
These steps would be easier to follow and complete if your dog has not associated a muzzle with something scary. The steps have been tested on different kinds of dogs, even the fostered ones. If your dog does not like treats, you can give other rewards such as oral praising.
How to Properly Fit a Muzzle
The key to training a dog to wear a muzzle is proper fitting. If too loose, your dog can remove it easily. On the other hand, if too tight, it can cause discomfort to your dog.
For the straps, you should be able to fit your finger between the strap and your dog’s head. You can seek help from pet store assistants or take measurements when you order online.
When to Use a Muzzle for Your Dog
These are some of the situations wherein muzzle training is needed. For example, in emergencies, dogs that are injured or anxious are likely to bite. If there is a need to transfer or give treatment to your dog, a muzzle will protect you and other people from your dog’s uncommon yet understandable manners.
If there is a danger of biting because of your dog’s history, muzzles and training collars are needed. Muzzles provide safety, especially if you have an aggressive dog, or it has bitten a person or dog in the past.
Even if your dog has not bitten anyone but the danger of doing so is there, muzzles can make you less anxious. Keep in mind that muzzles do not treat behavioral problems. Therefore, getting the help of a dog trainer or veterinarian to modify your dog’s behavior is the best way to ensure the safety of everyone.
Why Use a Muzzle for Your Dog
The purpose is to alter your dog’s thinking and behavior. Although muzzles are not the solution, it will temporarily help in achieving the goals for your dog. Some threatening situations can be biting risks for your dog.
These situations can cause stress or make your dog upset. One good example is going to the veterinarian. If you worry that your dog might bite, using muzzles temporarily can help. This can also be a sign of a behavioral problem that you need to modify as a long-term solution.
In grooming sessions, when dogs are properly trained, they tolerate or enjoy grooming sessions such as bathing and hair and nail trimming.
Nevertheless, if your dog is still being trained to get used to grooming procedures, you can consider putting a muzzle on your dog. This is to protect the groomer since your dog is not familiar with them yet.
Also, some states or provinces have BSL or breed-specific legislation. BSL requires certain dog breeds considered “dangerous” to put a muzzle on when they are out from the private property.
Finally, muzzles can provide help to your dog’s behavioral issues. However, training is needed to solve them. Hopefully, with this article, you gained a better understanding of how muzzles work and how you can train your dog to wear them.