Why muzzle-train?

Muzzle training is often associated with bad feelings – “the dog must be aggressive”, people might think. 

However, muzzles help keep dogs safe! Yes, they prevent dogs from biting and doing serious damage, but they also prevent dogs from picking up dangerous items off the ground on walks, and from eating poop (coprophagia is a common problem!). We often use them for nervous or unpredictable dogs in the veterinary and grooming settings if a dog is not conditioned to handling but needs care immediately. Muzzles are not always a permanent measure. 

Salinger (featured top-right) learned to wear his muzzle when he was 5 months old because he was an expert-level poop eater and I wasn’t always quick enough to catch him. I wanted him to have his freedom on walks so that he could explore and sniff, but I couldn’t handle the parasites and staph infections he was getting from eating other dogs’ poop. 

Once we worked on training alternate behaviours and I worked with our Nutrition and Canine Care Consultant on adjusting his diet and adding probiotics, he no longer had a taste for other dog’s poop and the muzzle stayed at home while we explored the world outside. 

When he was over a year, I had an opportunity to introduce him to my young nephew and was not feeling 100% about how the interaction would go. He wore his muzzle during the visit and we all felt much safer. 

We even muzzle-train the puppies in our Primary School program so that they think muzzles are just another food-dispensing toy! 

Being proactive is everything. 

So you can see, muzzle training can be a fantastic thing! The last thing that I want to do is slap a muzzle on a dog who has never met one before, and hope they take to it. 

It’s SO important that we condition them properly so that they never feel stressed about wearing it.