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7 Steps to a Happy Muzzled Dog

Train Your Dog To Be Comfortable & Happy while Being Muzzled


INTRODUCTION

Muzzles have a lot of stigma and appear to be cruel for the dog and scary for other humans. For many dog’s a muzzle is a safety tool that keeps other dogs and/or humans safe while allowing the dog to learn to be in situations that make them uncomfortable. It is in fact cruel to muzzle your dog if your dog is not properly acclimated and trained to wearing a muzzle. If a dog has never seen or been muzzled and then gets put in a stressful situation and becomes confined and muzzled (i.e. groomer or a vet appointment) the stressful experience can create an escalation in poor outcomes every time they are approached similarly to being muzzled, when they require going to these appointments or when seeing a muzzle. This creates undo stress and an escalation in poor behavior.



THE GOAL IS TO TRAIN YOUR DOG TO BE COMFORTABLE BEING MUZZLED.


It is important to train your dog to the muzzle and to maintain a positive association in case you ever do need to muzzle your dog for safety reasons.


It begins with getting the dog to associate the muzzle with fun times. When you pull the muzzle out. We don’t want the muzzle to stress or frighten your dog, especially around other dogs, going to the groomer or vet visits.


The length of time it will take to properly train your dog to be comfortable wearing the muzzle is highly dependent on your dog’s past experiences and training history. Dogs who have had negative past experience with a muzzle as well as some pups that are generally fearful may be extra hesitant and extra patience in training may be required.


Begin in an area that has no distractions and that the dog feels comfortable being in.


FOLLOW THESE STEPS

1. Choosing, sizing and fitting a muzzle

2. Training your dog to approach & be neutral around the muzzle and able to eat a treat off the muzzle

3. Training your dog to place his nose into the muzzle on his own

4. Training your dog to leave his nose in the muzzle (unstrapped)

5. Training your dog to be comfortable while you handle the muzzle straps

6. Training your dog to be comfortable when you snap the muzzle on him

7. Training your dog to walk/move and be responsive to cues while wearing the muzzle



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