Correct Muzzle Use In Dogs
None of us like to muzzle dogs, let alone our pet. However, depending on its size, this may be required by law in many countries. If the use of a muzzle is unpleasant for us, it is even worse for our pet, so we must learn when using it is necessary and what type of muzzle your dog needs.
When to put a muzzle on dogs
The law does not mandate muzzles on dogs of all breeds, so if you don’t know if you should put muzzles on your dog, keep reading this article.
One of the main uses of the muzzle in dogs is to prevent bites, so if a dog has a behavior that is considered aggressive, the laws require it to wear a muzzle whenever you are out, whether walking or sunbathing at your doorstep.
These are some breeds recognized as dangerous or aggressive:
- Argentine Dogo
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Staffordshire South Terrier
- Brazilian queue
- Tosa Inu
- Akita Inu
- pit bull terrier
Other behaviors for using the muzzle in dogs
The muzzle is an instrument that can also be used to modify your dog’s behavior. For example, it can be very useful if your pet is in the habit of ingesting food from the trash or from the street when you take it for a walk. It can also be helpful when he has sores and wants to lick them, risking an infection. Although you can use a cone in these cases, in some situations it doesn’t work as the animal has the ability to pull it out.
When you take your dog to the vet, he changes. He may be the sweetest and most affectionate dog on the planet, but he’s aggressive with his doctor. In these cases, the veterinarian may choose to put a muzzle on it to prevent bites.
Types of muzzles in dogs
There are different types of muzzles on the market. Depending on your pet’s breed and facial features, one or the other should be used. For dogs with a flatter head, for example, it is not recommended to wear a tightly closed muzzle, as he will have difficulty breathing in air.
The muzzles that exist are:
- Tube style muzzle. They can be nylon, fabric or leather. They do not completely cover the animal’s mouth, but prevent it from opening, so it will be more difficult for the animal to breathe. Care must be taken not to use it on excessively hot days or when the animal is exercising.
- Box style muzzle. These completely cover the animal’s mouth and can be made of plastic, leather or nylon. You should make sure that it is not too tight so that it doesn’t harm the animal, but also don’t make it too loose so it can’t pull it off.
How to get your dog used
It is certain that wearing a muzzle is not going to be a pleasant experience for your dog, so here is some advice on dos and don’ts.
- Accustom the animal. If you don’t get your pet used to using the muzzle, he may react aggressively whenever he sees you approaching with the muzzle in hand. You can try putting it in the house for several minutes every day to get him used to it. Give him an award later so he can take in the muzzle as a positive thing.
- The tube-style noseband should not be worn for a long time. In some locations they are even prohibited for prolonged use, as it has been shown to be harmful to the animal. If you only have this option and can’t buy another one yet, you won’t be able to put it on your pet for more than a few minutes a day. Our recommendation is: get rid of it and buy a box style.
- The muzzle should not be used on dogs that have not been treated for their aggressiveness. The muzzle in dogs should be seen as the last alternative. There are exercises that can be done to prevent your dog from being aggressive or fearful. Try them on before the muzzle.
- Don’t put your muzzle on when you go out. Unfortunately some people think it is a good alternative for dogs not to mess around at home when they are alone. This is cruel and we ask that you please don’t.
- Do not use it to prevent your puppy from barking. This can be treated with therapy if the dog overdoes it.
The muzzle is not pleasant, although in some cases it is necessary. It should be the last alternative after other actions. We recommend consulting a veterinarian to find out whether or not your dog should use it.
Images courtesy of Maja Dumat, Bev Sykes and Richard Smith.