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What is a Dog Muzzle?

Dogs may be muzzled to prevent them from biting.
A dog muzzle might be used to stop a dog from barking.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 July 2014
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A dog muzzle is a device which is designed to prevent a dog from opening its mouth. Dog muzzles are used in training, to retrain aggressive dogs, and to prevent barking. When used properly, a dog muzzle is a very useful tool which can be used to teach your dog more socially acceptable behavior. Many dog supply stores sell dog muzzles along with other tools for training, and a veterinarian or dog trainer can teach you how to use a dog muzzle responsibly.

There are a number of different styles of dog muzzle, ranging from simple nylon straps which slip around a dog's nose to basket muzzles, which are made from wire or leather. Many muzzles are padded for the comfort of the dog, and some are designed to allow a dog to eat or drink while wearing the muzzle. In all cases, the design of a muzzle should not restrict a dog's ability to breathe freely.

There are a number of reasons to use a dog muzzle. Dogs can bite or bark when they are injured, stressed, or nervous, and a muzzle can curb these behaviors. Muzzles can be useful for trips to the vet, visits to a new dog park, or social situations in which your dog may meet new people or new dogs. Muzzles can also be used to curb barking, and some people use them to stop dogs from licking at surgical sites or eating food off the ground.

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It is important to fit a dog muzzle properly. Ideally, you want a muzzle which fits snugly, securely restraining the dog's jaw without interfering with its ability to breathe. Many dog muzzles come with measurement guides, and staff at a pet store may be able to help you fit a muzzle. Obviously, if you are fitting a muzzle for a dog with behavioral problems, you may want a professional trainer or vet to help you, to avoid injuries to people and stress to the dog.

A muzzle can also be a useful thing to keep in a car kit for dealing with stray animals. Some animal welfare professionals like to keep leashes, food, water, and small cages in their cars so that if they encounter strays, they can collect them and take them to safe locations. Since stray dogs can be unpredictable, you can use a muzzle to prevent injuries to yourself; if you want to keep a muzzle in your stray kit, you would be well advised to get a highly adjustable, padded muzzle which is easy to use and comfortable for a range of dog sizes.

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Discuss this Article

lishstrick
Post 3

Do dogs just get crazier as they age? We have two dogs that have been together for 9 years and suddenly one is trying to kill the other. It's been a real nightmare and now we have a muzzle on the larger dog; she is the attacker. The vet can't find anything wrong with her so I guess it is just aging? It's really hard and very traumatizing to go through. A dog fight is violent and disturbing.

Rozebow
Post 2

I am thinking about getting muzzles for my dogs..they got along great for years but now cant be trusted together,because they will fight..I have two long long leashes in the house they are on when together in the house..because I cant go through that again

anon21874
Post 1

My male yellow lab 4 years old is chewing up downed pheasants this year. He didn't do this when he was 2 or 3 years old. I don't know why or how he developed this habit. I was thinking of getting him a wire harness muzzle so that he can continue to hunt, protect his tender nose and stop him from tearing up down pheasant. Bruce

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