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I'm considering conditioning my pup in wearing a muzzle...

for a variety of reasons... She's a bit of a live wire and is quick to mouth at times... In addition, I can see her being a bit of a handful when she gets older with vet visits etc....

Also, when the time comes for muzzle work in protection training...I don't want too much avoidance and discomfort with a muzzle...

So how best to approach the subject. I believe the introduction of one the earlier the better is the way forward. She's 3.5 months old at present...

I'm thinking about putting one on here prior to playing, walking etc.... to give her mind something else to think about...

Although, my previous experience with muzzles on dogs, involves them using the floor or me to rub the muzzle against....

Any tips and advice on muzzle choice? Also on the best method to get Xena used to the idea?

Best Regards,
Gary
 

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I started getting my pup use to a muzzle by letting him see me put a treat inside the muzzle (placed tape over holes in muzzle) and then letting him slip his own nose/mouth inside the muzzle to retrieve the treat. I slowly increased the time and steps taken, rewarding him frequently, and now he will heel nicely with the muzzle on. Granted I have not done muzzle work/protection with this pup yet, but I used the same method for my ol' PSD and he never had any issues with the muzzle for protection or any other time. I placed it on him before entering the waiting room at the vets because of rude pet owners who refused to control THEIR dogs. The vet always asked me take it off, once we were inside the examination room.
 

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Buy a halti or gentle leader. Or make something similar. It doesn't have to be functional, since you aren't actually going to use it as intended. It's just like putting a collar on a pup for the first time. They scratch at it, rub, and finally get used to it and start to ignore it. Put the halti on your pup, then go play fetch or tug. Or feed her dinner. If you put it on snuggly enough, she won't be able to get it off, so if she bothers it, it's not a big deal. Just try to distract her. Leave it on for a few hours (supervised) and then take it off. And continue to do this, on and off. Each time you put it on her, make it a positive experience. Soon she won't pay any more attention to it than she would a collar. After that, introducing the muzzle is not a big deal. Not much different then putting an agitation collar on a dog who is used to wearing a choke chain.
 

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My pup needed a muzzle at 12 weeks she was fixing strangers left right and centre. We got a Behaviourist in, my dog now 2yrs will literally run and jump head first into the muzzle she loves it!

Why, basically everytime we fitted the muzzle, starting a few minutes at a time we played games in which the reward was Cheese or Sausage, even used to visit the vet when the surgery was quiet and do the same in all the consultation rooms, with no vet present, again conditioning her to positive experiences.My wife is a Dog Walker and I've used the muzzle on dog aggressive dogs to run in the woods with 5 other dogs while muzzled, worked a treat, obviously I was very near, I'm a big fan.

Strangely when socializing her, (in the muzzle) no one would come near us because it's quite intimidating visually.

Mark
 

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I use the muzzles to encourage people to keep their distance. My pup is 9 wks old and I'm still allowing people to pet her when we go certain places (vet, pet store). I was working with a GSD in a black weighted vest and wire muzzle. People always asked if the nervy nerve-bag was a police dog. :roll eyes:

Anyway, I'd tell you to get a plastic or wire basket muzzle. Drop in a tiny hamburger hot dog and let your pup eat it out of the muzzle. Repeat! When the dog shoves its nose in the muzzle without a treat, then pull the straps around the neck (don't fasten) and take the muzzle off right away. Then gradually work on duration over several months.

I have not tried Kadi's way but it sounds just great - less time consuming than what I have done.

I used to muzzle with "surgical tape". It's a fabric bandaging tape. The dog can't claw it off and it doesn't stick to the dog's fur. Gotta wrap around the snout twice and then around the base of the head once too. Actually it's a great way to muzzle (IMO) and suited to those trainers/owners who want to let the dog rub it's nose around on stuff until it accepts the muzzle.
 
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