The dog’s muzzle is as important an ammunition as a leash or collar / harness. After all, you will not be able to take your pet in transport or appear in a public place without this accessory. In addition, in recent years, unfortunately, cases of dog poisoning have become more frequent. Of course, I believe that the standard that every dog owner should strive for is the perfect, automatic skill of non-selection – when the dog ignores the food lying on the ground. But given that not all dogs can boast of such self-control, sometimes the only way to keep a pet’s life and health is to walk the dog in a muzzle.
How to choose a muzzle for a dog?
Muzzles for dogs come in several forms: from deaf and closed to nets. The choice of model depends on the goals.
For walks or trips it is better to take a model looser, in which the dog can open his mouth and stick his tongue out – in hot weather this is extremely important.
If you need to fix the mouth for a short time – for example, during a visit to the veterinarian – a muzzle made of fabric will do. Such muzzles hug the face very tightly, preventing the dog from opening its mouth.
So that the dog does not suffer, picking up poisonous food from the ground, a net muzzle, also called a basket muzzle, is ideal.
What are the muzzles for dogs?
Muzzles of this design exist in several versions – metal, leather, plastic.
Metal muzzles are quite heavy, in the cold they can freeze to the dog, causing frostbite on the skin on the face.
Leather muzzles often smell strongly, moreover, the skin tans over time from the dog’s breathing and rain, it becomes stiff, rubbing the nose and nose of the dog.
I prefer to use plastic muzzles – they are light, comfortable, fairly strong.
Plastic muzzles for dogs: how to choose and improve?
The most famous plastic baskets are the muzzle of Baskerville and the muzzle of Trixie. Baskerville is beautiful, thought out in the smallest details – it can be bent so that it follows the contours of the dog’s face; parts adjacent to the muzzle are duplicated with soft neoprene; there are additional fastenings for fastening a muzzle to a collar; holes in the muzzle allow you to lay in it goodies for working with a dog, etc. But … it is extremely difficult to find in Belarus, in addition, the holes in this muzzle are so large that especially skillful dogs manage to pick up pieces of food through this muzzle.
Trixie’s muzzle has a comfortable shape, small holes, light weight. The only “but” – you may have to sew or glue a fabric gasket on such a plastic muzzle at the level of the nose so that the plastic does not rub the nose of the dog.
Also, so that the dog could not remove the muzzle, it is necessary to skip the additional braid from the “net” at the bridge of the nose and fix it on the tape that is included with the muzzle. Then the muzzle will not have 2 tapes and 1 mount, but 3 tapes and 1 mount. Original ribbons will pass behind the ears, and ours, homemade – along the bridge of the nose to the back of the head of the dog.
How to choose a muzzle for a dog by size?
It is better to try the muzzle directly on the dog, coming with her to the pet store – so you can make sure that the accessory does not bite into the face and does not rub your nose. To select the correct size of the muzzle, we need to know two numbers: the length of the nose bridge and the circumference of the muzzle. The length of the correct muzzle should not exceed the length of the nose of the dog. If the muzzle extends beyond the nose, it will fall into the dog’s field of vision, creating problems for vision.
In order to measure the length of the nose bridge, we go down 1 cm from eye level and measure the length of the nose bridge to the tip of the nose.
Now you need to correctly measure the circumference of the muzzle. With a centimeter we measure the circumference of the muzzle with the mouth closed, stepping back from eye level by the same 1 cm. And add to the resulting figure from 3 to 7 cm in order to be sure that the dog will be able to breathe with its mouth open in the muzzle.
The muzzle must be bought, given the actual size of the dog. Buying “for growth” is not an option, therefore, as the puppy grows, muzzles will have to be changed.
When to train a dog for a muzzle?
It’s never too early and never too late to teach a dog a muzzle. Work on the correct training for the muzzle can begin from the first days of the appearance of the puppy in the house. But an adult dog can be easily accustomed to a muzzle, if you do everything right.
How to train a dog to a muzzle?
We cannot immediately put a muzzle on a dog and take her outside. The pet must first be accustomed to the muzzle. “Operation X” is best divided into stages.
1. First of all, show the dog a muzzle, let him sniff and carefully examine a new object.
2. Then we put in a muzzle a piece of food, the dog itself puts a muzzle there and eats a piece. Do not try to fasten the muzzle! If the dog wants, she should be able to get her face, otherwise she may be scared and flatly refuse to try again. So repeat 10-15 times.
3. Ideally, it is necessary to saw off the net in the upper part – where the dog’s nose is. This can be done using an ordinary kitchen knife, and then treat the cut with emery so that the dog does not scratch his nose. Then we can hold a piece of food behind the muzzle, the dog thrusts a muzzle into it, and through the hole at the level of the nose we throw a piece of goodies into the muzzle. If the dog holds its face in the muzzle, from time to time we throw pieces of goodies there. I like to accustom the dog to the “Muzzle” or “Muzzle” team, by which she herself puts her face in the muzzle.
4. After this, you can proceed to the next stage: give a command, the dog puts the muzzle in the muzzle, we fasten the fastener, give some pieces of goodies and unfasten the muzzle (in just a few seconds).
At the same time, we do not fasten it very tightly so that you can quickly put the braid behind your ears and remove it just as quickly.
5. If you do 3 training sessions per day, you can teach your dog a muzzle in 2 to 3 days without any problems. The dog herself will gladly shove its face into it. Gradually, the time spent in the muzzle increases.
6. To form a positive attitude towards the muzzle, you can wear it (for a short time) before walking or feeding.
7. Then we put on a muzzle to go out. As soon as the dog tries to remove it, you can distract it, express a slight discontent (“ah-ah-ah”) or (just a little!) Pull the pet up with a leash. As soon as the dog walks with all four paws on the ground, not trying to remove the muzzle, we actively praise it and throw pieces of our favorite treat into the muzzle as an encouragement.
Common mistakes while training a dog for a muzzle
- Too fast transition to the next stage (before the previous one is fully developed).
- Removing the muzzle the moment the dog tries to free himself from it.
- Putting on a muzzle right before an unpleasant procedure (in this case, the dog will expect a dirty trick from the muzzle).
- Unsuitable or inconvenient model.