How to teach your dog to LOVE wearing a muzzle
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Some of you were confused as to why I decided to show you how to teach your dog to enjoy a muzzle. After all, positive trainers shouldn’t need such a restrictive “tool”, right? The fact is that there are a variety of scenarios where a muzzle can be used to keep people and other animals safer without causing significant stress to the dog wearing a muzzle. I should also mention that every credible positive trainer that I am aware of endorses muzzle use when necessary and properly introduced.
There is a negative stigma associated with muzzle training, and for good reason in some cases. There is absolutely a way to misuse a muzzle. For example it would not be a good idea to let dog with a bite history and no training approach, say, another dog, simply because the dog with the bite history was wearing a muzzle. This could easily cause the dog to reach a level of “amygdala hijack”, where the dog loses control and becomes and becomes difficult to manage. A muzzle would only add to that distressing situation making future training unnecessarily harder.
In the case of working with a dog with a bite history, having a muzzle on that dog may be advisable in certain situations. Then, as I’m sure some of you can relate with, there are dogs that are generally good unless they are surprised by another dog, say, on a walk in a public setting (where it is harder to control the environment), and having your dog comfortable wearing a muzzle is a good idea simply as a failsafe. The main priority is maintaining a proper working distance when one is working with a dog that might be likely to bite another dog or person of course. But things don’t always go as planned, particularly in more public settings.
Furthermore, any one of our dogs could be injured and require medical attention and need to be muzzled, as most dogs are not themselves when in pain. Therefore it’s advisable to make sure that your dog has at least been through the process of learning to wear a muzzle before this happens. The type of muzzle also matters. I always use a particular basket muzzle that allows the dog to pant and drink water at will as well as receive treats during training if necessary.
At the end of the day, it is our responsibility to keep our dogs safe and to make sure that we do everything we can to keep training an enjoyable, productive process. I hope this clears things up for those of you who were a bit confused!
Thanks for reading.
This is the muzzle I used in this video: http://www.amazon.com/Baskerville-2-Inch-Rubber-Muzzle-Size-5/dp/B0051H45GC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457293197&sr=8-1&keywords=baskerville+muzzle
Videos I reference in this episode:
How to Housetrain your dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vOXW…
The Art of Communicating with your Dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNhAT…
Teach your dog to STOP STEALING FOOD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YytB…
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