By admin Posted in Advanced, Problems /


In many countries of Europe the law requires that when pet owners walk their dogs in public their dogs must be fitted with a
muzzle. They are not “bad dogs” but ordinary dogs and are trained to wear muzzles with complete acceptance much as they would a collar and leash. This is to protect the general public from a provoked or unprovoked attack by a dog.

All dogs have the potential to bite irrespective of their temperament. Some will bite when handled by a stranger and some when
their territory has been invaded. A muzzle can also be a life saver if a dog has a serious injury and in pain and needs to be treated by a vet. Such a dog cannot be handled without biting the handlers.

To prevent two dogs, living in the same house, not to meet and fight is almost impossible. Sooner or later someone is going to
leave a door open and a fight is inevitable. The options in this case are; either re-home one or cure the problem using a muzzle.

A muzzle
can also be used to prevent a dog from destructive chewing, picking up, chewing or eating foreign objects and killing cats or chickens etc. However, for a dog, wearing a muzzle is not only unnatural but also uncomfortable. Since the dog is likely to resist this restrictive foreign instrument, the correct type has to be chosen and it has to be introduced slowly and with utmost care.

There are many different kinds of muzzles that have been tried and tested. Some are made of cloth, leather, canvas, plastic,
nylon and even wire with suitable trim. Some will allow the dog to bark, drink and take treats – others not.

Groomer’s Muzzle

This is a soft muzzle (Mikki muzzle) which is designed to restrict the movement of the dog’s jaws, making biting impossible
but allowing you to feed he dog. This kind of muzzle ensures that there can be no damage if you are caught by surprise. This is a good muzzle for smaller dogs but may not be suitable for larger more aggressive dogs.

Introducing a Muzzle

The dog must be desensitized to wearing a muzzle by introducing it very carefully and making it as pleasant an experience as

When the dog is not overexcited or thirsty, allow it to smell the muzzle, praise and treat with something nice. Next place a
treat in the muzzle and let the dog take it out. Praise and repeat. This should be done 4 or 5 times a day for several days until when the dog sees you coming with the muzzle wags his tail and comes forward for the treat. The dog now associates the muzzle with a pleasant experience

Next step is to fit the muzzle onto the face for a few seconds after the dog has taken the treat from inside. Repeat while he
remains relaxed and hold the muzzle a bit longer each time and treat every time you remove it. If he begins to fight to get it off, give a sharp voice correction and a leash correction. The corrections must be strong enough to stop efforts to remove the muzzle. The muzzle is only taken off when the dog has accepted it and settles down. When it is removed remember to praise and reward.

The dog must not be tested with other dogs or people while he is still attempting to take it off. He should first be happy to keep it on during walks and around the house. This may take longer than a week.

Test if the Muzzle is secure

Every time the muzzle is fitted you need to make very sure that it will not come off during a confrontation. Take hold of the
muzzle in both hands and by lifting the dog’s front feet just off the ground you can see if it will stay on or come off.

Remember that a Muzzle is a training tool used only while the owner gains confidence and the dog’s problem is remediated.

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