Muzzles- Responsible or Cruel?


Disclaimer: I’m not a trainer/ or Behaviorist , this blog piece is based on my own opinion!


If you hang around on social media, you’ll see massive controversial and heated opinions on Muzzles so I thought I’d share my opinion 😉

Now there are many styles of muzzle and each have a different purpose/time of use but the most popular are these blow…

Type: Canvas
Use: Short Vet Visits
Owner: Kelly Bopha
Type: Basket
Use: General
Owner: Kelly Bopha

You’ll notice a difference in these two types of muzzles , ones allot more restrictive which is why it’s only intended for short Vet visits only.

If I saw a dog being walked in this muzzle I’d definitely be inclined to voice my opinion as the dog can’t pant or drink water adequately in order to regulate their temperature.

Can you just chuck a muzzle on a dog?

Well the answer to that is yes IF your very very lucky and you have a strong trusting bond between you and your dog, but should you do it that way? My view is only in extreme circumstances, dogs being aggressive etc..

Realistically you should desensitise your dogs to muzzles and this can be achieved in a number of ways but the easiest way In my opinion is to associate the muzzle with food, when they have it on they get rewarded with treats, now this can be easier said than done in some scenarios but I do think this method is successful among many owners.

What are the Pro’s and Cons of Muzzles?

Pro’s:

  • Stops Biting
  • Stops nibbling at wounds that need to stay clean
  • Helps to manage their pica syndrome
  • Keeps other dogs and owners safe
  • They can make all the difference between you being allot a “Banned Breed” via the courts. Usually Muzzled and Leashed in public places.
  • Some can reduce barking in the way they restrict the dog (canvas type)
  • If you have a Dog Aggressive dog, a muzzle can help maintain that owner /dog relationship (Anxiety Free)

Con’s:

  • Your dog now has the stigma attached to them as it looks “aggressive”.

So you can see above that I personally can find allot more benefits in muzzles than I can find negatives.

Should you feel bad if someone says your being cruel?

Hell No! This is YOUR dog, YOU are responsible , not them! So don’t ever feel bad for doing the responsible thing and using a Muzzle!

You can guarantee, those who don’t use muzzles also won’t carry a break stick, to me if your against muzzles you should have a statutory obligation carry a break stick incase of an emergency (Dogs Fighting).

It also depends on the breed, I can tell you now If a Rotweiler bit me and didn’t want to let go, I’d have no choice to accept the bite until the Rotweiler got bored and released (Unless I had a break stick), if a chihuahua bit me, I could easily open the dogs mouth to release, the larger breeds are notorious for power and their bite factor. So although all dogs are equally capable of biting, some would just cause more long lasting/permanent damage.

All in all its up to you if you use them , but definitely don’t feel bad!

Michael K A Bennett- BCCSDip.HthNut

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