The three main situations in which a four-legged friend has to muzzle are such examples: to avoid an attack on passers-by while walking, to see a veterinarian and to prevent a dog from grabbing everything from the ground. At least two of them are directly related to the health of the pet. After all, an aggressive dog who is not accustomed to wearing a muzzle, the doctor examines where it is less attentive, distracted so that the patient does not bite him.
Protected by such a wardrobe item, the dog does not risk poisoning by accidentally eating a piece of isoniazid-soaked sausage in the street, and people walking around are more relaxed when they see that an animal is wearing a similar accessory. The article will talk about how to teach a dog to a muzzle when it is necessary to begin training and what mistakes in the process of education it is better not to make.
The right choice of muzzle
- Leather product. It is distinguished by its convenience and safety, however, in the hot season, an overly closed accessory can impede the process of breathing the animal, as well as prevent cooling.
- Mesh metal muzzle. It is strong and durable, the main disadvantage is bruises received by the owner during games with the pet. Also, it is extremely not recommended to wear in the winter.
- Plastic product. Great for teaching a puppy to a muzzle. Cons – quickly breaks, with long-term and intensive use can rub the dog’s face.
- Accessory nylon. A great option for dogs of small breeds. Soft, comfortable, durable enough and not very expensive.
The owner should understand that a correctly chosen muzzle in no way rubs his skin, does not make breathing more difficult, does not squeeze blood vessels. Also, it should fit snugly and not hang out. If it is comfortable for an animal to be muzzled, it will be much easier to learn how to wear it.
Meet the muzzle – when and where to start
Many breeders ask zoopsychologists questions about how old a pet should be introduced to a muzzle? Experienced experts are convinced that the ideal time should be considered the period between 5-6 months. This choice is due to the fact that the animal is already beginning to realize what exactly the owner wants from him. However, intensive training should begin a little later, from 7 months, when the psyche of the dog will get stronger in full and the wearing of the accessory will not cause him much stress.
In the case of schooling stray dogs or puppies taken from a shelter to this product, the education should be postponed for a couple of months. A similar measure is explained by canine analysts in that the current level of discipline in such individuals is very low. The owner must be patient and try not only to endear himself to the animal in order to become an authority for him, but also to develop in it a conditioned reflex in relation to this accessory, as something positive.
As for the direct acquaintance with the purchased muzzle, then it should be carried out carefully, without haste. Zoopsychologists advise to follow the following steps:
- Give the animal to sniff the product so that it understands that the muzzle does not pose any threat to it.
- If the dog begins to gnaw on the accessory, then you should select it, at the same time make a strict face, threaten with a finger and say “Foo!” Loudly.
- Put some delicacy inside the product and wait until the dog is tempted by it. In this case, do not try to immediately fasten the muzzle, it can scare the pet.
The first acquaintance rarely ends with the dog starting to walk in the product, not trying to pull it off with its paws. But do not be afraid of failures. Another couple of attempts, and the animal will begin to feel comfortable in a muzzle.
In the question of how to teach a puppy to wear an accessory, the following information will help. Small fidgets are distinguished by irrepressible curiosity, which can be sent in this case in a constructive direction. Canine experts advise to conduct training on the street, since it is this place that is connected in their life with games and fun pastime.
The muzzle is preliminarily shown to the puppy, the owner enables him to sniff, but not to nibble or bite. Then, gently talking and stroking the little pet, the product fastens. After that, you need to immediately involve the pet in the game. Fascinated by the exploration of the world and the actions of the owner, the puppy sometimes does not notice at all that the owner has put something on him.
The stages of habituation stretch for 1-2 weeks, during this period the animal will bind to the accessory, and will perceive its presence on itself in a natural way. For the first time, do not try to wear a muzzle for a long time, just a couple of minutes is enough. Do not forget to stimulate the dog with treats and praise before and after putting on the product.
Canine experts agree that to teach a young pet to treat calmly a muzzle is much easier than a mature dog. In a puppy, this process takes about 14 days, but a formed dog may not be able to be trained for 2-3 weeks, or even a month. But do not despair, the following tips will help to figure out how to teach an adult dog to a muzzle in the shortest possible time:
- A barking pet must sniff and examine the accessory. If he quickly lost all interest in him, then attract his attention with a piece of favorite food, placed next to the muzzle.
- Take another piece of treat and stick it inside the product. An interested animal will inevitably try to get it with a muzzle, but at this time it is impossible to fasten a muzzle. Give the dog an opportunity to eat sweetness and calmly free himself.
- Repeat the procedure until the pet understands that if he stays longer in the muzzle, he will be given a treat for it. When the dog stays in the product for more than 10 seconds, start fastening and immediately unbuttoning it. It is important to get rid of the alarm of the four-legged friend about the click of the clasp. Having passed this stage, simply increase the interval of finding the device on the animal. But do not forget to stimulate his dog "delicacies."
- After a week of intense training, you can safely begin the first walk. If they take place in a relaxed atmosphere, then reward the pet with treats. The first walking in the new "wardrobe" is best done in an unfamiliar place so that the dog does not focus on wearing a product. Removal of the accessory should be done so that the pet does not fix attention on it. Independent attempts at removing animals to devices should be ignored, and when the intensity of attempts is also punished by the owner.
Dog handlers share excellent advice on how to avoid having a pet unpleasant associations with a muzzle if he has to go to the veterinarian. It’s very simple, wear the product in advance, and not before traveling to the veterinary clinic itself. So the dog will not form an idea of the accessory, as a harbinger of painful impressions.
Mistakes in schooling
The most common mistakes of inexperienced dog breeders in muzzle schooling are as follows:
- Buying a too small or large accessory that causes discomfort in a dog;
- The muzzle is worn before the procedures that cause stress to the dog;
- Removing the product at the moment when the pet is trying to do it yourself;
- Transition to the next stage of training without sufficient working off the previous one.
Finally, I want to say that retraining a pet to wear a muzzle is much more difficult than immediately developing the right attitude to it. The owner must be patient and goodies, otherwise the learning process will be fraught with misunderstanding and stubbornness on the part of the dog. Be consistent, and in 2-3 weeks the dog will begin to perceive the muzzle as a natural addition to the walk.