Muzzle training is clearly essential for a dog prone to aggressive behaviour towards dogs or people but it also something which may be useful for any dog. There are a number of situations which might put even the most relaxed of dogs under stress such as veterinarian visits or trauma where wearing a muzzle may be essential to stop possible biting. A muzzle can also be used to prevent a dog from eating things it shouldn’t while outside walking.
Muzzle training a dog is essential for the dog to accept the muzzle as something good (or at least acceptable) rather than a punishment
What kind of Dog Muzzle do I need?
You can select from cloth or mesh muzzles to basket muzzles made of leather or plastic. Muzzles are available to fit both long and short nosed dogs. If your dog will be wearing the muzzle for any length of time, for example during walks, a basket muzzle is the best choice as it allows the dog to pant and drink without problems. Ensure that the muzzle fits your dog well, not too tight that it hurts your dog but not too loose so it can be pulled off easily.
How to start muzzle training your dog
For your dog to feel comfortable wearing a muzzle, muzzle training should be done slowly and with patience.
Dog muzzle training part 1
First put a piece of food the dog likes in the muzzle and let the dog put its nose in and eat it. Don’t attempt to do the muzzle up yet. Practice giving your dog treats from the muzzle in the way for a few days until the dog views the muzzle as a food dispenser.
Dog muzzle training part 2
When the dog places its nose into the muzzle to get the treat the following time pull the muzzle straps up behind its head just for a few seconds then release. Once you dog is happy with this move on to the next stage.
Dog muzzle training part 3
The muzzle straps can be done up the next time the dog puts its nose in it to get the treat. Leave the muzzle on for a few seconds before you undo it again. Gradually increase the time that the muzzle is left on the dog, you can if needed feed some additional treats in through the muzzle.
Be patient with your muzzle training
If the dog gets stressed or acts uncomfortable at any time just go back a step and wait until the next muzzle training time until proceeding more. A muzzle needs to be viewed as a positive thing by your dog and not as a punishment.
A muzzle not only keeps other dogs and people safe, but if your dog can’t be aggressive it can also aid you, the owner to relax more.