The word muzzle has become a little taboo.
A lot of people who call me about aggression often ask... are you going to muzzle my dog?
It’s a very loaded question. People have misconceptions about dogs who wear muzzles... but why?
There are loads of reasons that dogs wear muzzles:
Aggression, yes aggressive dogs do need to be taught to accept wearing a muzzle for everyone’s safety. Other dogs, people, and their owners. It is a sound safety measure.
Scavengers, many dogs need to wear a muzzle as they scavenge food and this can be really dangerous to many dogs, ingesting non food items, or dangerous items.
Emergencies - dogs who are in pain or discomfort, even the most calm and friendly of dogs, can be aggressive.
Breed specific legislation - those listed on the dangerous dogs act but are exempt must wear a muzzle in public no matter their temperament or history.
High prey drive - some dogs have to wear a muzzle as they have a high prey drive and may chase and catch small animals.
So yes, I teach a dog to accept a muzzle. If it was up to me I would teach every dog to accept a muzzle so they are always about to wear one if needed. Rather than waiting for an emergency to happen and the dog is straight away associating the muzzle with terrible experiences.
It takes a long time to get dogs used to the muzzle, so although I will always answer yes! When asked if dogs are going to be trained to accept a muzzle, this takes a long time and a commitment to training!
So next time you see a dog out and about wearing a muzzle, think a couple of things to yourself:
Wow they have committed to their dogs training!
I wonder how I can help their dog?
What responsible dog owners!