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It can be controversial to use a muzzle on your dog. Since they are associated with "aggressive" or "attack" dogs, they have an unfair reputation. There may, however, come a time in a dog's lifetime when an owner may need to put a muzzle on him. The reason might be for the dog's safety, the safety of a person, or both.
For instance, if your dog is seriously injured, there is a significantly increased risk of a dog bite. When dogs are in severe pain, they may bite when transported or treated. This type of situation cannot be predicted. In other words, even if you'll never use a dog muzzle, it's wise to understand when, why, and how to use one. The muzzle should also be taught and trained to be tolerated and accepted by your dog so when the time comes that your dog needs to wear a muzzle, you won't have to worry about further stress for you and your beloved pet.
The following situations are examples of when to use dog muzzles appropriately:
During an emergency
The likelihood of a dog biting is higher when it is injured or frightened. The situation is particularly critical if you need to move or treat the dog. A muzzle will protect you and any other person assisting you from your dog's uncharacteristic behavior.
Biting has been observed, or there is a risk of biting
The use of a muzzle is recommended if your dog is aggressive and/or has bitten other dogs or people in the past. If you are worried that your dog might bite someone or another dog, even though the dog has never bitten anyone before, a muzzle can provide extra peace of mind. Nevertheless, muzzles can't solve the problem, it simply helps keep everyone safe while you work with a behaviorist, veterinarian, or trainer to modify your dog's behavior. You should aim to change your dog’s behavior and mindset. Muzzles are temporary tools used to achieve that goal.
Threatening situations can result in biting
Certain situations, such as veterinary examinations, may upset or stress your dog. If your dog is likely to bite, you might consider using a muzzle temporarily. However, to achieve long-term results, behavior modification is needed.
Most dogs will tolerate or even enjoy grooming procedures like bathing or nail trimming when properly desensitized with handling exercises. If your dog is still learning how to behave around groomers, a muzzle may help especially if the dog is unfamiliar with the groomer.
Different Type of Muzzles
Soft muzzles usually consist of nylon, mesh, or leather, and wrap around your dog's mouth to keep it covered.
Basket muzzles are exactly what they sound like: a basket that is strapped around your dog's nose and mouth. You can buy them ready-made or have them made to fit your dog's specific anatomy out of leather, wire, plastic, or rubber. In most styles, dogs can pant, drink, and eat with their mouths open.
Getting your dog used to wearing a muzzle will be much harder if the first time they do is when they are injured or terrified. In the future, your dog will learn to associate the muzzle with stressful situations and won't be able to use it. However, if a muzzle is introduced slowly and appropriately to a dog under low-stress conditions, he can be trained to accept it with the help of rewards such as delicious dog treats
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