Selecting and Applying a Dog Muzzle

Using a dog muzzle can be a helpful and safe way to bring your dog to the vet or new social area, for training or to prevent biting. A muzzle should never be used as a punishment, to deal with aggression problems, or prevent a dog from breathing, especially in hot weather.
  1. Choose the right muzzle for your needs. A wire muzzle allows enough room for panting, barking and drinking water while others are snug and keep the mouth closed.
  2. Select the correct muzzle for your dog's size. A muzzle that is too small can affect your dog's breathing and most likely upset or hurt him. If it is too big your dog may be able to remove it. There should be about 1/2 inch between the nose and end of the muzzle. This can be controlled with the straps between the ears.
  3. Allow your dog to smell and see the muzzle. Put a treat inside the muzzle and praise your dog for retrieving it. Repeat this activity while gradually keeping the muzzle on your dog's face for longer periods of time.
  4. Once the dog is comfortable with the muzzle, fasten the straps comfortably and fairly quickly. There should be room for 2 fingers to fit snugly underneath the neck strap.
  5. Try taking the dog for a walk so he is used to stress-free activities while wearing the muzzle. This will prepare him for when it's necessary to use the muzzle.