Basket Muzzles for Small Dogs

Basket muzzles are valuable for your small dog if he doesn't like handling or needs to be muzzled on walks. Since basket muzzles are open, your dog can easily pant and get water, important if he is wearing it during exercise.

Measuring Correct Size

It's often difficult to select a correct size for your small dog since dogs can easily weasel their way out of muzzles regardless. Small dogs find it especially easy to shake off an incorrectly-sized basket muzzle, which have a large basket but only one smal strap.

Measure from your dog's eye to the tip of his nose for the correct length and around the nose about an inch from the eye for the circumference. Add about a quarter inch to the circumference for smaller dogs.

Types of Basket Muzzles

Most basket muzzles are similar in design with a large basket that sits on the dog's nose covering the entire mouth and ending in a strap that extends from the bottom of the muzzle to behind the ears, where it fastens. The basket often sits loosely around the nose, making it easy for your dog to shake it off.

These muzzles can be made of soft plastic, leather and wire. Soft plastic is a good choice if you simply need a muzzle for simple training exercises or walking outdoors. However, it is relatively easy to break through if your dog is aggressive. Though small dogs don't seem like a threat, they still have sharp teeth and a strong jaw.

Wire is preferred when dealing with any type of serious aggression, even in a small dog. Leather is also a good choice for aggressive dogs, but it's more expensive and may not be necessary for your smaller breeds.

You also often have a choice of clasp between a snap, buckle and velcro. Of these, the buckle is the most sturdy and difficult to break if you have concerns of your dog escaping.

Muzzle Additions

If your dog has learned to escape his muzzle, adding an extra strap can be valuable. Any shoemaker or leather store can add a strip that attaches to the top of the muzzle, over your dog's nose.

This strap stretches up the muzzle, between your dog's eyes and ears and meets up with the existing strap. Though a dog can also escape this contraption, it makes it more difficult.

If size is a problem, add additional holes in the strap to make the muzzle tighter. You should only be able to fit one finger between the strap and your dog's head, less if he can escape that.

Value of Basket Muzzles

Many owners view smaller dogs as less threatening than larger dogs, but they can cause damage during aggressive episodes. Small dogs should be muzzle trained at a young age, in case of emergency, even if they aren't showing any signs of aggression.

Basket muzzles are more comfortable for smaller dogs because they can easily breathe, making them less dangerous. In addition, you can feed treats through the muzzle, counter conditioning your dog while protecting yourself from danger.