A muzzle (from the word "Muzzle") is a device that is put on or attached to the muzzle or mouth of an animal in order to wean it from sucking the udder, preventing bites, digging the ground or with other practical and functional purposes. Also, such devices are known as butt holders (from the word “Snout”), osevniki (from the word “Yawn”) and nububnik (from the word “Lips”).
Why does a dog need a muzzle
The use of the traditional canine muzzle, as an important functional accessory, is very relevant in many cases:
- In order to minimize the risk of an accidental attack of a trained or walking dog on owners or unauthorized people and animals;
- So that a dog that has broken off a torn or damaged leash could not attack a person or other animal, injuring or frightening them;
- To protect the veterinarian against dog bites in the course of treatment or any preventive measures, hygiene procedures or inspections;
- A muzzled animal is well aware of and accepts the limitations of all its permissible possibilities, therefore it behaves with dignity under unfamiliar or stressful conditions;
- A dog accustomed to the muzzle cannot spoil the home furnishings or furniture, as well as the personal belongings of its owner;
- In the presence of a well-chosen muzzle, aggressive dogs are more prone to training, and in some cases tolerate the process of socialization much easier;
- A visit to the dog crowded places, as well as the transportation of a pet in any public transport, requires the use of a muzzle.
The process of final verification of the protective qualities of a dog in the presence of a muzzle allows the helper to be relieved from the use of hidden or external protection, and the owner in this case is able to see any shortcomings in the protective work of the animal.
It is interesting! The use of a muzzle when visiting a veterinary clinic is a sign of respect for the pet owner for his very difficult and sometimes dangerous doctor’s work for animals.
Of course, with the observance of the rules of training, a raised pet stops responding to other animals and other people, but this is not a sufficient reason for the dog to be able to completely dispense with the wearing of a muzzle.
Types of muzzles
The materials from which the muzzles are made can be represented by metal, leather, plastic, and even synthetics.. Depending on the "modification", all muzzles for dogs are represented by deaf and mesh models. In the first variant, complete safety and protection against bites are guaranteed, but such models prevent the dog from breathing fully and the animal’s natural cooling process, therefore, when worn, the risk of developing a dangerous heat stroke in a pet increases.
Particularly popular are mesh leather muzzles, which are characterized by maximum physiology, wearing comfort and affordable cost. However, mesh models are not a guarantee of a complete and absolutely effective blockage of the animal’s mouth, therefore the risk of bites for the animals remains.
In addition, models of the mesh type of leather are not too durable, they can tear under strong tension, and also crack and rust in the places where metal rivets are installed.
Mesh metal muzzles are the most reliable and safe in terms of protecting people and other animals from dog bites, but can cause injury to the pet itself. It is also important to pay attention to the presence of a special protective coating that protects the product from rust and preserves its aesthetic appearance for as long as possible.
It should be noted that in the winter, metal nets often cause frostbite of the animal’s face or general hypothermia of the dog. The heaviest metal “baskets” are more suitable for large and strong dogs, including shepherd dogs, bulldogs, medium and large terriers, boxers and giant schnauzers, medium and large moloss.
It is interesting! Leather muzzles with a deaf construction are allowed to be used on the dog only for a short time, and in addition, such accessories are completely unsuitable for wearing by some breeds, including the bulldog and the boxer, the Staffordshire terrier and pugs.
In recent years, plastic molded muzzles that have the appearance of a cast mesh with leather straps in the side are in great demand. The main disadvantage in this case is represented by the inserts injuring the animal’s face, therefore, when choosing such a model, you should pay attention to the presence of soft elements between the plastic pads and the dog’s face. Any purchased models should not cause painful or unpleasant sensations in the animal during the process of wearing, and must also be able to easily withstand several washing / drying cycles.
How to choose the size of the muzzle
To make a pet feel absolutely comfortable when wearing such an important device as a muzzle, you need to correctly choose the size of the accessory and correctly measure the main parameters of a dog’s muzzle:
- The total length of the muzzle, measured from the very tip of the nose and down to the line of dog eyes, and the finishing point of such measurements in this case is located exactly in the middle between the eyes;
- Girth of the muzzle, represented by a circle in the widest place. The widest area is considered to be the transition from the forehead to the dog’s muzzle, about one and a half centimeters below the eye in a closed mouth;
- The total length of the dog’s muzzle to the occipital region, measured by the transition from the forehead to the muzzle and immediately to the occiput;
- Neck circumference, measured as a circumference in the ear region;
- The total width of the dog’s face, measured in centimeters in the widest part of it;
- The height of the muzzle, measured in conditions of a fully closed mouth and in the highest zone of the muzzle.
If the muzzle is not purchased for medical purposes (for reliable fixation of the pet’s mouth during veterinary procedures), then the model purchased should not be too dense.
It is interesting! The youngest dogs are measured quite often, and the new muzzle is acquired in accordance with the growth rate of the pet and the physiological change in the main parameters of its head.
In any case, the animal should not rest against the frontal part of the protective device with its nose and even more so be injured about the accessory. The best option, according to experienced veterinarians and dog owners, is to choose a muzzle in the presence of the animal itself.
Muzzles for dogs of small breeds
The muzzle is currently a mandatory element of ammunition for a dog, regardless of the size of such a pet. For small breeds, it is also legally established that a reliable muzzle should be worn when going out of a specially designated territory.
An affordable and practical dog accessory is not only a means to protect the surrounding animals and people, but also an element that helps wean the pet to collect leftover food or inedible items on the ground.
Important! It must be remembered that the presence of a protective “mask” in the form of a mesh, basket or nodal structure should not prevent a pet from fully breathing with its nose or opening its mouth, and the exception to these rules is represented by deaf canine muzzle models.
For such breeds that are widespread in our country and popular with dog breeders like Chihuahua, Toy Terrier, Poodle and Pug, it is necessary to acquire models of muzzles with a special design. As a rule, variants of such ammunition for dogs of small breeds are represented by sufficiently strong and durable nylon. The presence of a soft or hard frame in models based on high-strength plastics allows the muzzle to wrap a small pet face. A somewhat less common variant of a dog muzzle for a small pet is cat conical accessories that prevent the animal from fully opening its mouth.
How to muzzle a dog
Modern muzzle refers to the humane and fairly effective means that allow you to control the reaction of the dog in the process of its training and training.
Due to a very wide range of forms and a rich dimensional grid, pet owners have a great opportunity to choose an almost perfect muzzle for any dog, regardless of breed characteristics.
It will also be interesting:
- It is required to check whether the solid frame base of the muzzle is too tight for the pet;
- It is imperative to see that all the straps are not too tightly fastened or tightened on the face and head of the animal.
If you find deep traces of a netted or any other muzzle model in the nose or muzzle of a dog, you should immediately loosen the fastener or purchase another, more convenient and suitable dog accessory.
How to teach a dog to muzzle
It is interesting! As soon as the dog realizes that the sound of this special signal is constantly accompanied by a dainty dacha, you can start using such a device to sound the moments when the animals perform the required actions.
To accustom the dog to the clicker, you should tie your pet on a traditional leash, and fix another part of the accessory to any stationary object. Then you need to take the clicker, and squeeze the treat in the palm of your hand. After the animal stops its attempts to get a treat from the hand, it is required to click the clicker once and open the palm with the treat.
Then you need to hold another piece of treat in your hand and continue doing some business for some time, especially ignoring the fact that the pet attracts attention. As a rule, the process of ignoring takes five minutes, after which you can click the clicker and offer the animal a treat. Many dog owners replace click with a clicker with some word that is pronounced in the process of education with pronounced intonation.
At the stage of dating a four-legged friend with a muzzle, it is necessary to hold the accessory in one hand, and treat with the clicker in the other. At this point, the dog must sit or stand strictly in front of its owner. Then you should stretch the muzzle towards your pet, and allow the animal to just smell it.
As soon as the dog sniffs the proposed accessory, it is required to click a clicker and offer it a piece of treat. If the dog refuses to sniff the muzzle, then the accessory is rubbed with a treat, after which it is brought back to the dog’s nose. The repetition of such actions is carried out until the moment when the dog begins to confidently bring his nose to the muzzle.
It is very important to teach your pet not only to bring the nose to the muzzle, but also to actively insert it into the accessory.. As soon as the four-legged pet learns to touch the muzzle, the accessory unfolds so that the dog’s nose is partially immersed in the inner part of the product. The consolidation of the acquired skill is always accompanied by a click of the clicker and a treat of treat. The number of repetitions and full mastery of the skill, as a rule, does not take much time, but the total period of training for the addiction to the muzzle can vary depending on the age of the dog and its tendency to train.
When performing the following training activities, the owner should emit a click by the clicker in the process of retaining the strap of the muzzle behind the ears of the pet, and a little later – when fastening the accessory. After the belts of the protective device are fastened, a clicker click is emitted immediately, the straps are uncoupled and the dog is allowed to remove its face from the design in order to get a piece of treat.
It is interesting! If desired, it is possible to teach the dog to take a treat, using only the side holes of the muzzle.
According to dog breeders and veterinarians, frequent games and regular walks help the dog to get used to the muzzle more quickly, allowing the animal to be distracted from such an accessory. Among other things, it is necessary to take into account such an important fact that adult dogs of any breed are much more difficult to react to training for a muzzle, therefore, it is reasonable to carry out such basic educational activities from a fairly early puppy age.