A muzzle is a safety 'tool' that covers a dog's mouth to stop them from being able to bite at things. There are numerous styles and shapes, and they can often come in plastic, leather and wire materials. But this post is not about what muzzles are. It's about why we at Agentic Paws think every guardian should consider muzzle training their dog!
When conditioned well, muzzles can be helpful in keeping dogs, people, and other animals safe for a number of reasons. At the end of the day, dog's are animals, and they are animals with a good set of gnashers on them! So here are just a few reasons for considering muzzle training your dog....
They're nervous, fearful or a good hunter: Some dogs can be nervous of other dogs, people, or animals. Or maybe they have a high prey drive and could be a concern to wildlife. A muzzle can ensure all are kept safe while working through R+ based behaviour modification plans.
In case of accidents or vet visits: Even the most placid of dogs can redirect when experiencing significant pain and stress. Plus, muzzles can be stressful in themselves. Muzzle conditioning ahead of these potential circumstances can set everybody up for success.
To prevent scavenging: Some dogs can eat rocks, other non-food items, or even eat leftovers while out on walks, causing gastro complaints. Muzzle training can help keep our dog's healthy, safe, while also avoiding costly vet visits.
To help with training and others’ expectations: Muzzle's can act as a cue to others to give your dog space.
Whatever the situation is with your dog, you never know when you may need a muzzle. Rather than being reactive when such a time occurs (say, for example, your dog is hit by a car and in severe pain, not allowing you to carry them), be proactive. Conditioning your dog to a muzzle can avoid adding to a potentially already stressful situation.
But how do we go about training our dog to wear a muzzle? Well luckily, we've created a free 5 Stage guide that will support you with this. Using choice-based techniques grounded in positive reinforcement, this guide should have you and your dog on your muzzle training journey in no time. Plus, it's in a downloadable PDF form making it easy for printing.
Check it out here:
So whatever your reason for muzzle training, good luck and good job! Responsible Guardians rock! Oh and feel free to share your muzzle journey with us here, or tag is on Instagram at @agenticpaws
Dani & Bungle xx