Muzzle training with your dog

As responsible dog owners it is important to ensure the safety and well-being of our furry companions. Muzzle training is a valuable skill that not only enhances safety but also fosters trust and understanding between you and your dog. Whether it's for a visit to the vet, a grooming session, or encounters with unfamiliar dogs, people or situations, muzzle training can be a beneficial tool. 

Why & When muzzles should be considered

Safety: Muzzles provide an added layer of safety in situations where your dog may feel anxious, threatened or even over excited. They prevent biting and mouthing, which can be crucial in preventing injury to other animals or humans. 

Management: Muzzles give you better control over your dog in potentially stressful situations, such as visits to the vet or encounters with strangers. They can help prevent your dog from engaging in behaviours that could escalate a tense situation. 

Prevention: Even the friendliest dogs can become scared or defensive in unfamiliar environments. Muzzles act as a preventative measure, reducing the risk of your dog reacting due to fear or discomfort. 

Compliance: In some instances, your council may require your dog to wear a muzzle.  Or you may have a working dog that is required to be muzzled or live in an area with native wildlife where your dog must be muzzled.  Muzzle training ensures you can comply with these regulations if necessary. 

Emergencies: When dogs are injured or not feeling well, their behaviour can change and their tolerance to situations lessens.  Muzzle training ensures that in an emergency your dog is used to being muzzled for the safety of itself and those people helping it.  

Different Types of Muzzles 

Once you’ve decided to muzzle train, it can get confusing figuring out what type of muzzle you should buy.  There are plenty of varieties  and here are the most common types that are used depending on breed of dog or situation it might be used.  

Basket muzzle

These muzzles allow your dog to open their mouth, pant, and drink water while still preventing biting, mouthing or scavenging. They are often made of durable materials like plastic, leather or wire and come in various sizes to accommodate different breeds. 

Custom muzzle

For dogs with unique muzzle shapes or specific needs, custom-made muzzles are tailored to specifically fit your dog’s facial structures, ensuring a perfect fit and maximum comfort for your dog. 

Soft muzzle

Also known as fabric muzzles, made from materials like nylon or mesh. These are the type of muzzle you may see your vet or groomer use for short-term wear.  They often restrict panting and are snug fitting to prevent biting, meaning they should not be used for extended periods or during exercise.  For everyday use, we do not recommend soft muzzles as an option. 

Safety & welfare for dogs and healthcare professionals

Muzzle training not only benefits your dog but also ensures the safety of healthcare professionals during examination procedures or grooming.   

Reduced risk of bites: By muzzle training your dog, you minimize the risk of bites during vet and grooming visits.  This can help create a safer and more comfortable environment for both your pet and the healthcare team looking after your dog.   

Smooth procedures: A calm and cooperative dog makes examinations, treatments and handling smoother and less stressful for everyone involved. Muzzles provide reassurance to your vet or groomer, allowing them to focus on providing the best possible care for your dog. 

Emergency situations: In emergency situations where your dog may be in pain or distress, a muzzle can prevent them from inadvertently biting or injuring vet staff trying to help them. 

Starting your dogs muzzle training

It is important that you don’t just pop the muzzle on and expect your dog to understand what it is, why they’re wearing it and accept this new ‘thing’ that is now over their snout.  Muzzle training should be a fun and rewarding time spent between you and your dog associating muzzle wearing the same as collar and harness wearing.  Trained properly, your dog is happy to wear it and it’s not uncomfortable or scary. 

There are a lot of training tips and tricks to help you start muzzle training, from buying the most appropriate type, to introducing the muzzle, to wearing it comfortably - and that’s where we can help.  Chat with us and book in a consult to start the journey muzzle training, using positive reinforcement techniques to make the experience stress free for both you and your dog. For contact details, click here