How To Train A Dog To Wear A Muzzle?
[Complete Guide]

By kropek2021. • Updated July 1, 2021

Training your dog to wear a muzzle does not happen overnight. If you only do it under stressful conditions, you and your dog are in for a hard time. 

Instead, you should train your dog to wear a muzzle as early as possible. I’d go as far as saying make wearing a muzzle mandatory part of their training. 

Muzzle training should not be done as a treatment for the harm caused but as a precautionary measure to avoid such liability. This way, you can stay proactive about the situation instead of merely reacting to a mishap.

If you’re here today, I’m sure that you’re a responsible pet-parent. You remind me of my friend, who was not only obsessed with her dog but ensured the safety and well-being of her dog and the people around her as well.

Did I tell you that she followed the exact steps I told her on how to train her dog to wear a muzzle? If you’re wondering what it was, keep reading. I’m sharing all of it with you too!

Muzzle Train Your Dog

Do you know your dog resonates and relates with your vibe? If you think of muzzle as something negative, then, no matter how hard you try, your dog will also feel about it the same way. 

Assume it’s a play toy. How excited does it make you? Show the same excitement and positivity right from the day you plan to buy your dog a muzzle.

It’ll rub off on your dog, and they’ll also think of it as a play toy. You need to remember that it’s not a punishment but a proactive measure you’re taking to ensure everyone stays safe.
See how thinking differently about muzzles makes all of it so much easier? Good.

With that said, let’s see how to train your dog to wear a muzzle.

First: Get a Muzzle

Get your dog a muzzle they want. But does that even happen? Absolutely, it does! 

Take your dog to the nearby pet shop where pets are allowed and show them around. Let them explore what they like and don’t like. If they choose something or give you a sign, pick it up! But wait, that’s not all.

Give them two choices of either color or design for each toy. Let them choose the one they like the most. Now, show a muzzle to them, and they will pick one thinking it’s a part of their fun activity. Trust me, it works!

Remember these two things when choosing a muzzle – 

  • The muzzle should be the right fit and comfortable for your dog. Utilize a size chart or ask for help from the store owner.
  • Ask for a basket muzzle. Your dog will be able to pant, drink or eat, with the muzzle on. It makes your and their life that much easier. 

Second: Introduce Muzzle to your Dog

No rocket science here. Introduce the muzzle to your dog the same way you introduced their favorite toys to them. Simple enough, right? 

Yes, every dog is different, and only you as a pet-parent can host a game that works the best for your dog. Don’t worry much if they are your first dog, or you’ve only had them for a little while.

Try what you know, be natural and less anxious. Or else, you can get your friends to help you with it.
If your dog has gotten bored of their old games and you’re running out of ideas for the best introduction of muzzle to him, don’t worry. I got you! Follow these exact steps – 

Treat Your Dog Through The Muzzle:

  • Treat your dog with their favorite snacks but make them wear the muzzle. Alternatively, you can place the treat inside a muzzle. Let them eat it only when they wear a muzzle. (This is where the basket muzzle comes in super-handy!)
  • Take out the muzzle before they are done eating the treat. This way, you can ensure that they don’t start thinking, “muzzles = treats.”
  • Repeat this and encourage your dog to stay inside the muzzle a bit longer than before, every time.
  • Offer some extra treats whenever they stay longer and slowly fasten the belt. If they notice, offer even more that they forget what’s happening over their head. (haha!)
  • This way, they get their treats, and you get them trained with the muzzle on.

Tip: If your dog misbehaves in any of these steps, stop there and resume from the previous step some time later.

No Muzzle, No Friend Rule:

  • Even after your best possible attempts with treats, if your dog hesitates to wear a muzzle, stop befriending them. Let your disappointment be clear to them.
  • When they try to play with you, show them a muzzle with a treat and if they deny, don’t respond, talk or look at them.
  • Dogs are emotional animals, so test their feelings for you with a muzzle. Sooner or later, when they wear the muzzle for you, treat and pamper them a bit more than usual.

Talk And Play With Muzzle:

  • If your dog wears the muzzle only for you, it’s evident that they are not comfortable wearing it. Tell them that it’s not gonna hurt them, and they’ll be safe.
  • Place and hold their muzzle near your nose, play, and kiss them through the muzzle. When you think they are enjoying the process, take that muzzle and place it on their nose and ask them to kiss you the same way.
  • Do it every time so that they know they’ll be loved the same way even if they are muzzled and love to wear the muzzle for you to love them.

Things To Keep In Mind When Muzzle Training Your Dog

  • Allow your dog to move, run or play inside the house with the muzzle on. This helps them feel comfortable.
  • Don’t ever remove the muzzle when your dog is agitated or stressed. They may behave the same way for you to remove it. Let them calm down and then remove it.
  • Make sure you don’t force your dog for faster progression. This will ruin all the advancements made so far. Exercise patience.
  • Maintain regular intervals while training your dog to wear a muzzle with food treats. Offering too much at a single go will affect their health.
  • Make trial visits to vets and grooming places before the actual appointment dates, so they get used to that place with a muzzle on.
  • Your dog may bite or attack other people or animals only when they feel fear or anxiety. If your dog has any known source of anxiety or fear towards certain people or animals, maintain a reasonable distance with them during walks or use low-traffic areas.

Conclusion

Muzzle training your dog is an important activity to keep your dog safe and out of trouble. It is not hard to train your dog to wear a muzzle if you follow the steps I’ve laid out for you.

Work with your dog. Understand their threshold point. And gradually, adjust the wearing time. This will help them think of the process as usual and even enjoyable.

Regular training by both emotional and technical means will help your dog normalize the practice of wearing a muzzle.