Behaviour Training Methods Using Muzzles
Every dog owner has their own opinions on muzzles in most cases the main reason people develop a negative opinion is because they associate a muzzled dog with aggressive behaviour and a dangerous dog.
This however isn’t always the case…
There are various different types of muzzles, two of the main ones are:
Basket muzzles which are bulkier, but have advantages over most other muzzles. It’s easy to feed dogs through the slots of a basket muzzle, and basket muzzles allow dogs to pant (sweat) and drink usually are made from plastic or metal.
Mesh-type muzzles which are ideal for quick use, such as at the vet, and are easier to transport due to their lightweight design. For all muzzles, make sure you have the right size and the proper fit to help your dog avoid discomfort.
The use of a dog muzzle should always start with positive training.
There are steps that should be implemented for the use of a muzzle it’s not a simple as just putting it on, this can cause distress and anxiety and often make behaviour worse instead of better.
• Muzzles can be used to help with desensitisation processes such as the vets, groomers as some dogs snap when having nails clipped, being brushed, or being vaccinated.
• Muzzling an aggressive dog can be a good management solution in a particular situation, but a muzzle should not be used as a substitute for behaviour modification you should always seek help to change the behaviour.
It is NOT appropriate to use a muzzle to prevent a dog from barking, or to reduce destructive behaviour (e.g. chewing). These along with other stress-related behaviours need the underlying motivations to be addressed.
There are many positives to muzzle training and something that should be trainer from a young age where possible as you never know when you might need to use one. In some cases it can just be for peace of mind when working on certain problems.