How to put muzzle on your dog

Posted by Nitin Bhat on

How to put muzzle on your dog

             It can be difficult to get your dog used to a muzzle, especially if they have never had one on before. There are a lot of dog breeds that will need a muzzle too for safety reasons. It might be upsetting to see your dog in a muzzle, with the general misconception that "a muzzle is designed for only big and aggressive dogs." There are so many benefits to having your dog trained with a muzzle. Although there are times where a muzzle is necessary and times where it is a bad choice, understanding the personality and needs of your pup will help you make the right choice. You can contact a professional dog trainer for more advice on your dog's needs. 

 Here are some situations where a muzzle is necessary:


 Dogs will tend to bite in stressful situations, which is kind of how they get to express themselves. This stressful situation can be a tiring trip to the vet, or if your dog gets nervous around other dogs and small children. Using a muzzle on your dog will help bring down his anxiety to a manageable level. A muzzle will make him feel more relaxed and, more importantly, prevent any form of accident from happening. 

 When there is a history of biting or a risk of biting,

 If your dog has bitten a person or another dog in the past, a muzzle should be used outside for safety. You cannot always control everything that goes on around your dog, so it is best that you take safety measures for the sake of your dog and you as well. Even if your dog has no history of bites, if the risk of a dog bite exists, for example, if he gets apprehensive towards other dogs or moving objects, a muzzle on your dog can prevent any accident from occurring. 

 During grooming sessions. 

 Dogs get familiar with grooming from puppyhood, but if you are trying to get a dog who is not familiar with grooming, a muzzle will be helpful.

 Muzzle Designs


 There are four main types of dog muzzles: the Basket muzzle, the occlusion muzzle, the short snort muzzle, and the homemade muzzle. Whichever type of muzzle you choose, you should make sure it is the right fit and is comfortable for your dog. 

 Basket Muzzle

 The basket muzzle forms a basket weave pattern that is strapped over your dog's nose and mouth while still allowing them to breathe and pant freely. Mostly used as a muzzle to prevent biting, the basket muzzle allows airflow, which keeps your dog cool. To give a more comfortable fit, the basket muzzle comes with an adjustable strap that wraps around the dog’s neck. Basket muzzles are made from different materials, including wire, silicone, and plastic. 

 Occlusion Muzzle

 This type of muzzle is usually less comfortable than the basket muzzle. The occlusion muzzle is usually made from a material like mesh, nylon, or sleeve. This type of muzzle is like a straight jacket that wraps around your dog’s mouth. It also comes with an adjustable strap that wraps around the dog’s neck for a better fit. 

 Snort short Muzzle

 If your dog has a short nose, neither the basket nor occlusion muzzle will be an ideal fit. Short-nosed dogs like pugs, bulldogs, French bulldogs, and English bulldogs should use a short snort muzzle. 

 Homemade Muzzle

 In an emergency, if you do not have a muzzle available at home, you can make one yourself. You can watch clips on how to DIY a muzzle for your dog. You can use your dog's leash or a roll of gauze to wrap your dog’s snort and mouth. This homemade muzzle should only be used temporarily till you find the right muzzle for your pup. 

 How to fit a muzzle on your dog

           It is really important to get the right muzzle for your dog so that they are not uncomfortable. So the muzzle sizes are usually listed in numbers, and most will require a certain size for a particular breed, so you should check the packaging for a guide. 

 To get the exact size, you can measure your dog’s nose (this is just below their eyes) and the length of their nose from the tip to just below their eyes. Note that the muzzle must sit comfortably on your dog, and that they should be able to breathe and pant freely. Your dog’s nose should not touch the end of the muzzle. There should be 1 cm between your dog’s nose and the muzzle. 

 Some other tips on muzzle fitting include:

  • Ensure that your dog can breathe freely and that their mouth is not restricted. 
  • Make sure that your dog can’t shake the muzzle off.
  • The muzzle straps should not be too tight or too loose. 


Steps to introduce a muzzle to your dog

         With careful and patient training, you should be able to get your pup acquainted with his muzzle in no time. Just like any other type of training, treats should be used as a form of reward learning. This way, your pup will learn to not be afraid of a muzzle. 

 You can use these few steps to introduce a muzzle to your dog, and if your dog gets nervous at any point, you can stop the training for that day. 

 Step 1: Begin the training by hiding the muzzle behind your back and showing it to your dog. When your dog sees it, you should hand him a treat and then hide it behind your back again. You should repeat this exercise, and your pup will soon get excited when seeing a muzzle. 

 Step 2: After days of repeating the first step, you should advance to introducing your pup's snort to the muzzle. Throw some treats in the muzzle and let him eat them to make happy memories. You should take away the muzzle before your dog finishes the treat. Try to encourage your dog to stay much longer in the muzzle and reward him for doing that. At this stage, it is important that you don’t force the muzzle on your dog.

 Step 3: Before you put a muzzle on your dog, you should get him used to the sound. Show your pup the muzzle, open the adjustable strap and give him a treat. Close it and give him a treat. This way, he will associate the sound of the fastener with a treat. 

 Step 4: Your dog should feel at ease sticking his snort in his muzzle. When he puts his snort in the muzzle, give him a treat. Fasten the muzzle and open it immediately. After this action, reward him/her with a treat. Repeat this action while leaving the muzzle a little longer each time. 

 It is important to note that a muzzle is a temporary safety measure, and a muzzled dog should not be left unattended. Training may take time, so you have to be patient with your dog and do it at the right time.