Each Muzzle Monday post provides an opportunity to celebrate owners and their pets who use muzzles, share their "why we muzzle" stories as well as work to breakdown the stigma that "a muzzled dog is a bad dog".
This week, we are honored to share Arlo's Muzzle Monday Story!
Arlo is an almost 3 year old Husky Sharpei mix from Australia.
Arlo's story is one of resilience, patience, perseverance and of coarse unconditional love.
Why does Arlo wear a muzzle?
"I originally decided to start muzzle training Arlo due to being attacked and no longer liking larger dogs, intact males, or large fluffy dogs".
Arlo's owner used the muzzle in training situations as well as when out on walks in the event that they came across a dog that Arlo was not comfortable being approached by. Although they have worked very hard on Arlo's reactivity, his owner says that "although Arlo has become a lot better, we’ll continue to put his muzzle on whenever we go out".
We absolutely LOVE the fact that Arlo's owner is continuing to advocate for his needs and putting everyone's safety (including Arlo's) first while allowing for him to explore the world around him! Just because a dog may be reactive, it does NOT mean that they need to stay inside or that they are not allowed to enjoy the adventures life has to offer... That is the beauty of muzzles as well as training!
How long did it take for Arlo to be positively conditioned to his muzzle?
"Arlo took around 3 weeks to become conditioned to his muzzle, we used lots of treats!
What was Arlo's FAVORITE high value treat that you used when positively conditioning him to his muzzle?
"Yoghurt! The pouch yoghurt is very handy to stick the tube through the outside to the inside hole for them to stick their nose in and get to it".
Why do you think that muzzle training is important?
"I think that muzzle training is always great to do for your dog! Whether it’s for being reactive, selective, hates the vet and or become severely hurt and unintentionally feel the need to react out of pain and hurt you or the vet, likes to eat poo or you just simply don’t want people to come up and touch them... These are all all a great reasons and uses for a muzzle!"
What is some advice that you would give owners who are worried about being judged for using a muzzle with their dogs?
"I’m not going to lie and say using a muzzle is easy because it can get stressful, Arlo was very quick to pick it up but some dogs may take longer!"
"People will judge you I’m not going to lie, but mostly those people are just uneducated and unwilling to learn anything about dog training. You’ll also get people who are curious and will ask why this is always a good chance to educate someone on a muzzle, even if it’s just a quick little chat regarding it".
"When I started Arlo with his muzzle I found the judgement a lot more harshly but I’m so glad that there’s lots of pages and accounts that are educating themselves and others making it easier for our reactive / selective dogs to feel safer".
Can dogs who wear a muzzle still have fun?
I don't know... I think I will let Arlo answer this one!
Thank you so much to Arlo and his owner for sharing their Muzzle Monday story! Without you sharing your story, we wouldn't be able to do any of this!