Muzzles – practice makes perfect!
Sometimes you can’t avoid it – there are places and circumstances where your dog has to wear a muzzle, or you want to make sure that your four-legged friend doesn’t unearth or eat anything dangerous. It is very important to get a dog used to a muzzle gradually, so that they don’t simply refuse to wear this strange thing.
Step by step
It all starts with the right preparation. Put them on a lead if they are unsettled and get them to sit. Stroke their head, and gently put both hands on either side of their snout. Talk with them calmly and praise them at length when they stay quiet. Carry out this exercise over and over again so that your dog gets used to having their head and snout touched. Only then can you move on to the next step – gently wrap their snout in a soft scarf, tie or similar. When your dog is used to this, put the end of the scarf around their neck. It is important to carry out this exercise in different parts of the house, so that your dog is not conditioned to only tolerate this in certain places.
First training with the muzzle
Your dog now has to become acquainted with the muzzle. Always show them the muzzle before a particularly enjoyable situation (walk, play, feeding, cuddling). Encourage your dog when they sniff the muzzle and repeat this familiarization process again and again. After several days, put a treat in the muzzle and praise your dog when they eat it out of the muzzle. This is how you get them to voluntarily put their snout into it. When they are used to this, fasten the neck strap. Stroke and praise them then take the muzzle off again after several seconds. Now you can gradually increase the time the muzzle is on and take it on and off several times in a row.
The goal: walking with the muzzle
You can start taking the muzzle on and off when out on a walk once your dog walks around the house for several minutes with the muzzle without trying to take it off. Let them wear the muzzle at home every day for a short period before feeding and before going for a walk. Leave home with your dog still wearing the muzzle and only take it off later. With time, you will notice that your dog becomes more and more familiar with the muzzle and eventually takes it for granted that you put it on before going for a walk.
* A muzzle has to fit properly. It must not pinch, rub, or be too loose.
* Don’t leave your dog alone with the muzzle during the familiarisation phase. If they try to slip out of it, stop them from doing so in a firm but friendly manner.
* Never forget to praise and reward your dog.
* Time and patience is essential. If you are persistent and don’t give up, you won’t have any problems with the muzzle later on.
Call into your local Maxi Zoo store today to discuss your personal situation with our Pet Experts.