Muzzle training your dog can be a problem if you do not follow the right procedure. Here are 3 simple steps to follow to put the muzzle without trauma.
Why wear the muzzle
The muzzle is one of the most “unpleasant” accessories for the dog. Having an object that contains such a delicate part as the mouth and the nose can really be a big annoyance for the dog. However, the muzzle is an indispensable tool for inserting the dog into society. There are laws that oblige the dog to wear it under certain circumstances and every dog should be able to put it if necessary. The muzzle can also be a way to prevent unpleasant incidents of aggression, even if in addition to prevention, you should also intervene with a behavioral therapy to eliminate the problem completely.
Which muzzle to choose
In pet shops, there are many types of muzzles and in my opinion, some are better than others. Although seemingly worse, plastic models are much more functional than fabric models. The reason is simple: the plastic muzzles, like the one wearing Joe in the picture, are less annoying for the dog because they do not rest directly on the dog’s face. The dog breathes well, he can open the mouth and he does not feel tighten. On the contrary, fabric ones may seem more comfortable but in reality, they are more annoying for the dog because to work properly they must rest on the face, both above and below, and contain it preventing the dog to open the mouth.
3 steps to wear the muzzle
The correct procedure to wear the muzzle looks a lot like the one you should follow to make your dog wear the harness.
- First of all, it is necessary to make sure that the dog knows the instrument, letting him be free to explore it. In this process, it is useful to link positive sensations to the muzzle, using food prizes or games to make the dog positively mark the instrument. He must think “when there is a muzzle, there is fun.”
- The second step involves a guided exploration of the object. It may be useful to use soft cheese, yogurt or other semi-liquid foods to make it “appetizing”, without forcing the dog to put its nose inside: it will do so when it is ready. The food prize can be a good incentive but it’s not all. In addition, to practice without the muzzle, you can use the yogurt jars: sticking the muzzle in half-empty jars to lick them is a very useful exercise to then get to do the same with the muzzle.
- When the dog will calmly put his face inside the muzzle autonomously, then you can move to tie the muzzle to the neck. This is a delicate step because the dog will feel for the first time this object attached to the muzzle. To make it less annoying, you can engage the dog some activity he loves as soon as he has worn the muzzle. In this way, his attention will be towards the activity we propose rather than on the muzzle.
REMEMBER: it is very important to proceed by step and never force the dog. Moreover, in the beginning, it is better to wear a muzzle for a short time, far from each other and interspersed with moments of play and fun.
Thanks to our friend Stephani Moritz and her beautiful Joe for the photos of this article. Follow them on Instagram!