Dog Muzzles: When, Why, and How to Correctly Use Them


Dogs can wear a muzzle for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, there is a stain on muzzles and there are often unpleasant reactions from people in the area. This is of course not necessary at all! When a muzzle is the right size, a dog does not suffer from this. As a boss you take responsibility for the safety of the dog and sometimes also the environment!

Why a muzzle?

When your dog can unexpectedly lunge at other people or dogs, it is advisable to wear a muzzle. In addition, there are dogs that want to eat everything on the road, so they sometimes eat poisonous things. That does not make you happy as a dog owner! Did you know that in some countries it is even mandatory to wear a muzzle in public. A muzzle can therefore be worn for various reasons.

It is very useful if your dog knows how to wear a muzzle. This way you avoid problems when it is ‘suddenly’ necessary. Make learning a muzzle a party for your dog and you will enjoy it for the entire dog’s life.

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Muzzle? snout? What is the difference?

First of all, it is very important to know the difference between a muzzle and a muzzle. A dog cannot open its mouth with a muzzle. As a result, panting is not possible. For this reason, a snout is only used for short moments, such as at the vet’s.

With a well-fitting muzzle, a dog can pant, as well as accept rewards and drink water. It is therefore important to look carefully at the size. The mouth must be able to open sufficiently while wearing the muzzle.

Baskerville Ultra muzzle
Well-fitting muzzle where the dog can accept rewards and has enough space to pant.
Beeztees safety muzzle muzzle
This dog wears a muzzle. Panting, drinking and taking food is not possible. Only suitable for short moments.
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How do you put on a muzzle?

Learning a muzzle is done in small steps. Go through the steps slowly and also give the dog time to get used to the muzzle. Try to go one step further with each workout. It is better to practice for five minutes every day instead of once for half an hour.

During the training of the muzzle we use ‘shaping’. This is a training method in which you reward positively and let your dog think for itself.

  • 1. Place or hold the muzzle on the floor and gently introduce the dog to the ‘object’. When the dog interacts with the muzzle, such as looking at it or sniffing it. Can you immediately reward this with a candy. When your dog is used to the object, the muzzle, proceed to the next step.
  • 2. The easiest way is to sit on a chair yourself and hold the muzzle between your knees. Pay attention to the nose height of the dog. Hold the muzzle at nose level to make it easy for your dog. When the dog puts its nose a few centimeters or maybe even millimeters into the muzzle, you immediately reward this with a food. Does your dog have trouble sticking his nose in the muzzle? Then offer a cookie in the muzzle.
  • 3. You are now going to expand step 2 by rewarding every time your dog sticks its nose a little further into the muzzle. Until the nose is completely in and your dog is still relaxed. Note, you do not fasten the belt yet. When the dog puts its nose in completely, you will postpone the reward moment. This way your dog gets used to the fact that the muzzle is and remains around its nose.
  • 4. You will now carefully hold the straps/belt, but do not fasten it yet. When your dog is startled, you can let go immediately. Reward your dog when you hold the leash/straps.
  • 5. You are now going to fasten the belt and let it sit for a few seconds. Continue to reward good behavior through the muzzle. You will now extend the wearing of the muzzle for short moments. For example, first 10 seconds, then 15 seconds, then 25 seconds, then 40 seconds, and then 1 minute. Small steps!
  • 6. Attach a command to wearing the muzzle, for example ‘party animal’. Your dog now knows exactly what the intention is when asking this command.

Good luck with the workout!

Do you have a plastic muzzle that just doesn’t fit right? Put it in hot water for a while. After that you can adjust the shape a little bit. This makes it a perfect fit for your dog.

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