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Train You Dog To Wear a Muzzle

albuquerque muzzleWearing a muzzle is a great training tool, good for social situations with other animals, and good to help prevent any potential accidents from aggressive behavior. But you don’t just want to throw a muzzle on your dog, you need to train them on how to wear it so the muzzle becomes something they welcome instead of something they fear.

Start with Puppies

The easiest time to teach your dog to wear a muzzle is when they are a puppy. Puppies can be taught to wear muzzles and have the training integrated into play and touch training so they associate the muzzle with affection and good times.

Fitting a muzzle

A bad fitting muzzle is an ineffective muzzle. During early stages of muzzle training, you don’t need it to fit properly. You only need it to fit enough to fit on their face until they learn to put their face into it willingly. Once your dog training is done, then it is time to get a muzzle that fits your dogs place properly.

A good rule is that a muzzle fits snugly but isn’t tight. Your dog should be able to open their mouth but not all the way. When fitting your muzzle it is a good idea to get the help from your trainer or vet.

Muzzle Training

The first part of muzzle training is to get your dog to place her face in the muzzle.

  1. Hold the muzzle with the opening facing your dog and keep the straps folded back and out of the way.
  2. Show her the muzzle and use a click sound then give her a treat. Your dog just needs to look at the muzzle, hear the click to get the reward.
  3. Once your dog is comfortable with looking at the muzzle, start moving it closer to their face. Get them to look at the muzzle, make the click and give them a treat. Generally 5 to 20 times at each stage is good for reinforcing behavior.
  4. Once the muzzle is close to their face, ask them to look at the muzzle, make the click and say muzzle or face and put a treat inside the muzzle so your dog has to go into the muzzle to get the treat.
  5. One comfortable getting it inside the muzzle, offer the treat from the outside of the muzzle so your dog has to put her face into the muzzle before being able to get the treat.
  6. Once your dog starts pushing her face into the muzzle, start buckling it. Give her a treat for putting her face in the muzzle and then again after buckling.
  7. Then start only giving the treat after buckling the muzzle.
  8. Once your dog is comfortable putting their face in the muzzle and having it buckled, practice doing it at different heights and angles. Some dogs are good at one height but not another, and you want to make sure your dog accepts the muzzle in any position.

Remember that muzzles are not scary. It will be no time before your dog is excited to put on her muzzle.


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8200 Menaul Blvd NE #R Albuquerque, NM 87110 Phone: (505) 292-3030

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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.