Who needs this?
Which dogs would you consider might need a muzzle? An aggressive nasty snarling beast? A dog aggressive dog? A human aggressive dog? Because the law said so? Because a vet said so? A stressed dog? A scared dog?
YOUR dog could fall into ANY of the categories above at some point. And by that time, it's too late, your dog will already be in an aroused or shut down state and adding a scary, uncomfortable hindrance to communication only add to the stress and fear.
Both the dogs in the picture at the top of this page are my own. Both are generally pretty good in vets, but I'll admit they can look intimidating, and Spud (the large white doofus) is a 36kg powerhouse. If he doesn't want something doing, it could be a proper argument. Truthfully, he's a massive softy and will accept pretty much anything (ok, perhaps he's not delighted at having his temperature taken!), but I have had more than one vet appear visually intimidated by him. So I now routinely offer to muzzle him in the vets. He loves his muzzle, he associates it with awesome stuff, almost a "special treat" reserved for there. Some vets are delighted; they can relax and give him better care than if they were wary of getting a chunk taken out of them. It's win win.
We firmly believe that ALL dogs should feel comfortable wearing their muzzle, and it's easy to do. Simply put, pair the muzzle with food. Your dog has to eat, right, so feed through/with/near the muzzle!
You can't really get this wrong unless you are pushing the muzzle towards the dog - let them put it on themselves!
This video by a Trainer-Hero of mine (legend) Chirag Patel, courtesy of Domesticated Manners explains it very comprehensively:
Not just for the Hound of The Baskervilles!!
See below for several more videos from good sources that break it down even more!
We only recommend Basket type muzzles - they allow for treats to be given, for your dog to drink, pant, and give of important facial communication signals. Cloth muzzles are reserved for the groomers and vets, and nasty nips can still be given by them!
My go-to is often a Baskerville Ultra - if it doesn't fit quite right it can be softened in hot water and re shaped. But is does depend on the physiology of the dog...
Other brands are Bumas - awesome, customisable but expensive, or any other cage-type muzzle