Our Abbie wears a Muzzle. We prefer to call it her “Bling,” y’know, like jewelry. Why? It’s a positive spin on something that carries a negative connotation. So why does my dog wear a muzzle?
I was once like many of the people we see when we’re out with Abbie. They stare, sometimes they look scared, and they are often confused. Why is this dog in a dress (or other cute top) wearing a muzzle?
Its natural to be curious. We don’t see dogs with muzzles often and in the media and on the big screen, the only time we see a muzzled dog is a dog you should be scared of. But that isn’t the case most of the time.
Dogs Wear Muzzles for Many Reasons
It is becoming more common for dogs to wear muzzles in everyday life.
Some dogs eat EVERYTHING in sight.
Some dogs are nervous around strangers.
Some dogs are nervous around other dogs.
Some dogs do not like other dogs.
Some dogs like adults but fear kids.
Some dogs love kids but fear adults.
Some dogs love big dogs. Some dogs love small dogs.
Some dogs are so prey driven that they want to eat squirrels and bunnies on walks.
Some dogs get mouthy with play.
Some dogs will growl, but its not respected.
NONE of these things make a bad dog. None of these things make an ‘aggressive’ dog. All of these are great reasons to wear muzzle. Muzzles are for safety. They prevent a dog from using their teeth in a way that could cause fear or harm to another animal or person.
Why Abbie Wears a Muzzle
Abbie is nervous around strangers. She LOVES people with a passion. Give her a treat, take her for a walk or scratch her booty and you will be FRIENDS. FOR. LIFE. But come up to her, as a stranger and try to pet her? She doesn’t trust new people. Unfortunately, many people think it is their right to touch every adorable dog they see – without permission (don’t be this person). Abbie wears a muzzle so that if there is ever a situation in which someone doesn’t respect her space (and ALL of the warning signs she gives), we don’t have to worry about injury.
Abbie is scared of other dogs. She will RUN given the chance. But she doesn’t always have the chance. Recently at a local farmers market, a vendor had their dogs off leash in their booth. We didn’t see the dogs through the crowd of people, but her dogs saw us. One of them followed us several booths over to sniff Abbie’s behind. It scared her to death and her instant reaction was to growl and snap (this dog was three times her size). Had she not been wearing a muzzle, the other dog or bystanders could have been injured.
Why is a Muzzled Dog Not Kept at Home?
Socialization is neurologically crucial to mental, physical, and emotional health of all pets. A socialized dog is a well-adjusted dog. A socialized dog has less anxiety, less stress and can lead a happier existence.
A muzzled dog should not be kept at home, indoors away from life. A muzzle allows a dog to safely experience the world. A muzzle allows a dog to be trained to not eat everything in sight. To not be nervous around strangers. To not be nervous around kids. To not be nervous around dogs. A muzzled dog can be well-adjusted, free of anxiety, free of stress and happy.
Want to learn more about muzzles and dogs? Check out The Muzzle Up Project which includes resources for sizing a muzzle for your dog and how to train your dog to be comfortable wearing a muzzle. Looking for a trainer to help you with your pup? Abbie has been trained by the positive reinforcement only training team at Power to the Pawz.
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