Is Your Dog Muzzle Trained?

Dog wearing a muzzle

Muzzle training is for everyone!

Has your dog ever been scared at the vet or scared of someone new in your house? Is he defensive when meeting another dog or reactive when walking down the street? Is he eating everything on your walks and you are afraid he’ll hurt himself by eating something?

Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to have an aggression issue to train your dog to like a muzzle! Muzzle training is very only useful, and can also be fun. Your dog will learn that tolerating the new thing on his face will pay off big time and you won’t have to worry about him hurting someone or eating things that could harm him.

Muzzles have many uses.

When dogs are hurt they can bite even you, their loving owner. The vet that wants to take a look and has no intention on hurting your pup, but he could easily be bitten because your dog is anticipating pain. A muzzle can give you peace of mind if your dog has a serious injury and you have to transport him to the vet. Be proactive and train your dog to wear a muzzle, you never know when you might need him to wear one.

Did your dog grow up without any children around and you just got the news a grandchild is coming? Muzzle training can bring peace of mind that your dog can’t hurt your precious grandchild.

One of my dogs ate a huge fish hook when he was still a pup, I wish at that time I’d known about how easy it is to train a dog to like a muzzle because he was known to eat all kinds of stuff. After a $2000 surgery, the vet showed me all the things he had gotten out of his stomach and intestines. My mind was blown! I had no idea of all the things he had eaten and that were still lingering in his stomach.

If your dog is barking and lunging at people that come to your house you definitely want to train him to like a muzzle, and also make an appointment with one of our trainers for help. This can very stressful for both you and your dog.

Muzzles are for good owners, not for bad dogs.

It is most important that your dog can pant, eat treats and drink water when wearing a muzzle. My favorite kinds of muzzles are Baskerville since they are readily available and very affordable. If you are looking at more comfort for your dog or you have a dog that is hard to fit with a Baskerville muzzle, check out Bumas!

How do you start?

My dog Split with a Baskerville muzzle


You can start muzzle training even before having a muzzle. Use an empty yogurt cup or depending on the size of your dog maybe a sour cream or cottage cheese cup. Put a treat in the bottom and let your pup eat it. Repeat many times! He’s doing good with that? Awesome! The next step is to reward for putting his muzzle in the cup. Since he just ate a bunch of delicious treats you can now wait for him to put his muzzle in the empty container, mark that and reward. Repeat this many times.

Now you’ll need a muzzle. Cup the muzzle in your hand and let him eat some treats out of it. When he is doing great with that, start feeding the treats. I often use spray cheese (or something similar) through the holes in the muzzle.

Don’t move towards your dog’s face but let your dog come towards the muzzle and stick his nose in it. Reward and tell him what a smart dog he is. After a few sessions of this, start moving the muzzle towards you and around so he has to keep his nose in it to get a reward.

After practicing that and you’ll be able to start closing the strap behind his ears. Now you can wait with your reward until you have closed the strap.

Keep sessions short so your dog looks forward to muzzle training.

After a few of these sessions you should be able to have your dog walk around with the muzzle on at home and reward with lots of yummies for doing so. Don’t forget to keep sessions so short that your dog never wants to take the muzzle off before you do so.

After a couple more sessions you can start taking your dog for a walk in his new head gear.

Make sure to use the muzzle not just for scary events. Use it most of the time for fun stuff so your dog really loves when you put it on.

Golden Retriever with a Baskerville muzzle

We can help bring out the best in your dog!

Freak On A Leash dog trainers are experts in using positive reinforcement techniques. Let us help bring calm into your chaos.