A quick trip to Google or your local pet store will give you tonnes of information regarding how to choose and fit a muzzle, so aside from reiterating the importance of keeping the experience positive and initially in short bursts, we’re not covering that information here.
What we are offering are a few additional pointers from the CityPets team’s ‘on the ground’ experience with muzzled dogs, which hopefully you’ll find useful and empowering should you and your best mate ever find yourself embarking on a muzzling learning curve.
Firstly, and most importantly, be mindful of the emotional baggage, if any, you may bring to the table when introducing a muzzle to your dog. Often people consider muzzling as a mark of shame, failure, punishment or even cruelty and If this is even a little bit of you, it’s time to process these feelings before introducing your dog to this new experience.
We all know dogs are acutely responsive to human emotions so I needn’t remind you that it’s nigh on impossible to create a good experience for your dog while you’re being upset by the process. It’s only once you see muzzling as an empowering tool, can you create a positive experience for your dog
Muzzles are not a-one-size-fits-all deal, and no two dogs faces are the same, so it’s perfectly OK to modify and tweak a muzzle. Here are a couple of tips to help: A strip of sheepskin with the wool against your dog’s skin sewn around the muzzle works wonders as a padding and softening lubricant. Likewise, securing the muzzle with a leather thong from the bridge of the nose to the head strap is an effective way of keeping the muzzle in place and further preventing chafing. Muzzles are similar to horse tack and treating them thus, ie tweaking, trimming, cleaning, oiling, adjusting and fixing, means a comfier fit and better experience for all. Not much wrong with that, right?
Let's get busy destigmatizing muzzles and owning your dog’s experience! Get creative, wrap some coloured ribbon around them, turn them into canine face art, make em pretty, make em funny make em sexy, just claim ownership of your dog’s image and for goodness sake don’t allow anyone else to write your dog’s narrative, that’s your job!
When a muzzled dog walks towards you, it’s generally not considered good manners to recoil in fear, cross the street or pick your little dog and clutch it tightly to your chest! A muzzled dog is quite possibly the safest dog you will meet, and indicates the owner is responsible and is taking precautions to keep everyone safe around their dog.
Lastly, we felt it was important to say, as people who work all day, every day with every type of dog and dog humans, when we see a muzzled dog, we also see a human who loves their dog enough to face head on the challenges a muzzled dog presents and take responsibility for them, which is ultimately what being a good dog hooooman is all about, right?