Tricks to get your dog to wear a muzzle without a fuss

Training, last updated 15th, Oct 2019, Maanasi Radhakrishnan

If there's a tiny hint of a possibility that your dog might bite, is aggressive, reactive or snarky, then consider investing in a muzzle. Well, that's the easy bit, investing in one, getting your dog to put it on, though, hmm, not so easy. We've lined up a few tricks that might come in handy.

1. Treats

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Nothing 'smells' bait as does a treat. So place your doggy's favourite treat in the muzzle and see if he's more willing to put on the muzzle. You could also try some pureed dog food or anything that your dog gobbles away in seconds. If it works, then it's a win-win. If it doesn't, don't just sit there, try another treat! When all else fails, read the rest of our article.

2. No talk, no touch, no eye contact

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Does your dog create a fuss every time, it's time to don the muzzle? Try this technique which goes by the name No talk, No touch, No eye contact rule. It requires you to pay no attention to your dog until he's calm, collected and in a submissive state. Quickly put on that muzzle and boom we're good to go. Make sure you praise him once he's put it on. The last thing we want him thinking is that he did all that for nothing!

3. Consistent communication

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No, your dog ain't Sherlock. So the first time you try to put a muzzle on him, he is going to freak out. Make sure you can convince your dog in whatever master-doggy-language you've got going that he is safe and that the muzzle isn't going to harm him. You have to be able to build communication for that so that would pave the way for some understanding. So the next time you strap on the muzzle, if you see lesser resentment than you did before, then you have successfully mastered the master-doggy-language!

4. Body blocks

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Now this technique works by taking away some doggy freedom. No, there's no need to call the Animal Rescue Group on us! Just for a while, did I forget to mention that? Body blocks can be used to restrict where your dog could go. So the minute he walks into a particular space where his movements are limited, you could strap on the muzzle. You shouldn't face too much of a struggle we reckon.

We leave you with the don't of this whole process. Don't leave your dog with the muzzle strapped on by himself. Chances are, he could try to paw it off and end up hurting himself. Don't trust the muzzle entirely. Chances are a fit of rage could shred one to pieces. Backup plan: Always use a leash. Don't use a tube-style muzzle that restricts your dog's breathing too much. The last thing you want is an out of breath doggy. That's about it from us. Hope your muzzle days are hassle free, or maybe, just less painful!

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