Train a Dog to Like a Muzzle

More and more people are training their dogs to wear a muzzle so that they have one in hand in case it is needed at the Veterinarian's office and for introducing their dog safely to another pet, guest, or child.  I am happy to see that muzzles are being more accepted as a tool to help make your dog's life easier.  When a dog is happy to see a muzzle and put it on the benefits are obvious.

We use muzzles a lot with aggression cases and have used just about every different type of muzzle there is.  Many people have a hard time finding the right muzzle for their dog and training situation so I decided to post this quick article to help people out.

Certain muzzles will clamp your dog's mouth shut which prevents them from being able to drink, eat, pant, and otherwise be comfortable.

Metal basket muzzles are heavier and more likely to cause injury when the dog bumps into you.  These also are more likely to damage furniture.

We mostly use plastic basket muzzles. These are light weight, comfortable, and allow the dog to drink, pant, and take treats.  The fact that the muzzles are plastic also allows us to modify them for training (we make a larger treat hole in the front).  There are now new muzzles that are already modified for this purpose. This blog post has a video which explains how we get a dog to not only wear a plastic basket muzzle but also to enjoy wearing one.  Also, for your convenience I mapped out some little steps you can take to do what you see in the video.  It is important not to skip steps until your dog has no problem with the step you are currently working on.  Lastly, I posted a link where you can buy the same muzzles that we now use.  This is the best price and quickest shipping I have found.   If anyone has any questions feel free to post in the comments.

For the new muzzles in the link I have found that size 4 works for most average sized pit bull type dogs and we use size 5 for most German Shepherds.  Size 6 for exceptionally large German Shepherds.  The old style muzzle that is in the video you can find here although I strongly recommend the newer variety since it is stronger and has better ability to adjust the fit.


 

1. Present while training
2. Give treats on outside of muzzle
3. Give treats inside shallow
4. Give treats inside deep
5. Give treats inside through front opening
6. Give treats through opening after slip through loose neck strap
7. Give treats through opening after slip through snug neck strap
8. Do quick obedience drills with muzzle on
9. Do longer obedience drills with muzzle on

 

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