Muzzling a dog is an unnatural condition to them. Some dogs will put up quite a battle when the muzzle comes into view. But there are times when a muzzle is a very necessary tool.
Dogs in pain, whether your own dog or an unknown injured one you’ve stopped to help, will lash out at anyone. In their panic, they are not aware if you’re friend or foe and will defend themselves by biting. A few dogs need to be muzzled even for simple procedures at the vet’s office, although I wish it were otherwise.
In an emergency situation the Mikki muzzle, rather than the basket muzzle, works well. It’s lightweight and comfortable. Make sure it’s the correct size for your dog. The Mikki muzzle allows the dog to eat and drink. It has an adjustable strap, an easy snap lock and a collar attachment is available so the dog can’t pull it off. When I’ve tried a basket muzzle, my dogs have simply used their paws to remove it.
Conditioning your dog to accept the muzzle is important. All you need is a muzzle and some treats.
1. First place the muzzle on the floor and put a few treats in it. Let your dog sniff around and finally eat the treats.
2. Next step, hold the muzzle so that your dog has to put his/her nose through it to reach the treat in your hand. Hold the muzzle’s underside pulling slightly on the strap so that the dog becomes accustomed to the pressure s/he will feel when the muzzle is worn.
3. it’s time to connect the straps of the muzzle at the back of the neck. If you don’t have a second person to do this, use caution if you are placing your face close to the dog. If you have a good relationship with your own dog, this shouldn’t be a problem. Give more treats. If you must do this with a strange dog, be extremely careful.
Repeat steps 1 and 2 as often as necessary before going to step 3. You don’t want to frighten your dog and upset the training.
Once your dog is conditioned to accept the muzzle, s/he should present little difficulty even in an emergency.
Note: If you stop for injured dogs, it’s a good idea to keep an extra leash and muzzle in your car. Always remember to use caution when approaching a strange/injured dog. If you’re unsure, stand by and call emergency services for help.