This week, we are honored to share Grayson's Muzzle Minute Story with you all!
Grayson is a handsome pitty mix who is currently living his best life in Brooklyn, New York with his human Meagan.
Grayson's story shows us how our muzzle training skills can be transferred from one situation to another how important proper management can be to ensure our pet's comfortability in new situations.
Why did you choose to muzzle train your dog? What situations do you use the muzzle in?
We had originally muzzle trained for the vet only; but now we use it in any situation where he is interacting with a new person or new dog. While he has never given me a reason to think that it is necessary, it gives me a peace of mind in case boundaries aren’t respected and most importantly, why not? We worked hard to ensure he is comfortable with his muzzle; there’s no reason for him to not wear one other than other’s discomfort of seeing him wear one.
What kind of muzzle do you use?
We started muzzle training with a Baskerville (size 5) because it was the only muzzle I was really aware that existed. After connecting with some amazing dog parents on IG, I learned it’s not bite-proof and typically doesn’t have enough pant room. We ended up upgrading to a @muzzlemovement muzzle (size Nelli) when training took longer than expected and wanted to see if adding more pant room made a difference (it did). We also recently got a Leerburg polymer coated wire muzzle (size 24C) to give him some more space in his cheeks - this is our new go to and I carry this whenever we go on outdoor adventures.
What advice would you give to owners who are nervous about muzzle training or about what other people might think about them if they were to muzzle train their did?
2 things to remember: all dogs are capable of biting (whether they are in pain, fearful, etc); and muzzled dogs are not bad dogs. Muzzle training your dog just means you’re setting you and your dog up for success no matter what. It’s definitely tough - our own families don’t understand it either, but it gives me a peace of mind that no matter what, a bite will not happen. At the end of the day, the most important thing is you and your dog and keeping yourselves safe and happy. In my opinion, all dogs should be muzzle trained.
How did you muzzle train them?
Did they have any favorite treats that you used to help them get used to it?
Super slow - we started with allowing him to just interact with the muzzle, to putting his face in, to adding duration, then taking a step back and having him get used to putting his head through the neck straps, letting the neck straps lay on his neck and having us roughly handle it, to putting his head through the straps and then his face into the muzzle. Putting their muzzle in a bowl of dog food is great to have them used to having it around their snout. Greek yogurt, peanut butter, whip cream, and canned cheese are great for. For giving treats with the muzzle on, I love using dehydrated smelt or small strips of dehydrated chicken breast. It fits into the holes of the muzzle super easily (muzzle movement muzzle has a treat hole, but most muzzles don't).
Because of the hard work Grayson's owner has put into his muzzle conditioning and training, he is able to seamlessly transfer his muzzle skills into different situations to ensure that everyone feels safe and comfortable!
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us as well as the Muzzle Supporting community!