Muzzle Training a Dog

Most dog lovers are conditioned to believe that muzzles are cruel or are only necessary for mean or aggressive dogs.  This harmful way of thinking neglects the fact that a muzzle is just another tool in the dog owner’s arsenal that can be extremely beneficial.  Teaching your dog to accept a muzzle can even mean the difference between life and death, in some instances.  Muzzles such as the Quick fit Muzzle or the Baskerville Muzzle are both great options for training your dog this necessary skill.

Emergencies and Animal Rescue workers

One of the most overlooked reasons to train a dog to wear a muzzle is in the instance of a natural disaster or emergency.  Animal rescue workers who search homes and rubble after earthquakes, fires, or floods often place dogs in holding areas in close proximity with other animals.  For the safety of both the workers and animals, muzzles are used to reduce the risk of fights or bites.  Unfortunately, dogs that refuse the muzzle may be left behind.  Additionally, if an animal escapes his home and is found as a stray by animal control or another rescue organization, muzzles are occasionally used for containment and transport.  Fighting a muzzle will only slow down the process of saving a lost dog.

A second reason to teach your dog to accept a muzzle is for times when painful veterinary care is required.  Dogs that are sick or in pain do not behave in ways they normally would.  A dog with a broken leg, for instance, may try to bite or snap at anyone who comes near.  Muzzling a dog that is in pain can expedite any necessary treatment.  In other instances, a dog that is sick may not feel like himself, so muzzling before heading into a veterinarian’s office, where other dogs and animals are sure to be present, can make a veterinary visit safer for everyone.

Introducing new pet into the home

Such as a cat or rabbit, a muzzle can prevent the need to keep the two animals leashed or completely separated until they are used to one another.  A muzzle will prevent the dog from exploring the new animal with his or her mouth.  In this way, a muzzle is a great socialisation tool to help animals have new experiences, without worry of potential harm to themselves or others.

Finally, muzzling is necessary for dogs that are being rehabilitated or trained to overcome fear or aggression towards people or other dogs.  Muzzles should never be used as a full-time means for control, but they are wonderful training aids for the socialisation process, until the dog can be trusted.  However, for a dog with a bite history, a muzzle may be necessary for every outing.

Overall, muzzles should no longer be looked at with contempt or fear.  If out for a walk and a person has a muzzled dog, do not feel it is necessary to cross the street and avoid the duo at all costs.  It may even be appropriate to ask the owner if you can interact with the dog, as this may be a key component in the training process!