Muzzles Might Not Be That Bad

Think that these are only for inveterate biters? Not true; they also make an excellent and humane training device.

My Silkys have never particularly liked having their nails clipped. Okay, let’s get real. They have usually hated it. While it is definitely possible to do a couple of nails, then take a break, then a couple more, then a break, I do have a few dogs that either by native temperament or my earlier incompetence simply hate getting their nails done and fight the clippers from the start.

With these dogs (and yes my Buzzy is one of them), the choice is either never do the nails and allow the dog to be crippled by huge appendages hanging off the tips of their feet or – and take a big breath now please – a muzzle.

The first time I decided that I had to use one on Buzzy was interesting. I thought it would send him ballistic. It didn’t. I used a soft nylon one (see above for a photo what this looks like) that had no restraint other than it didn't allow the Buzzy to open his mouth fully.

These can be easily purchased here at Amazon.

Buzzy here (formally called "our resident Marine") eventually learned that his nails were going to get done, no matter what, and has calmed down considerably.

How to Use a Muzzle

When I first put it on him, he tried vigorously for a few seconds to take it off then looked at me puzzled. When I brought out the nail clippers from behind my back his eyes lit up in a true “aha!” moment. Then he realized that he physically could not put his teeth on me, and relaxed. I could almost hear him thinking: Well, there’s nothing I can do about it; I guess I better hope she does a good job.

And I've found this to be true with these training devices since then. Correctly fitted, they humanely and simply let a dog know that certain options have been eliminated. Of course, like any tool, they can be misused.

It’s very helpful to be smooth and relatively slow in my movements. This calms the dogs further and lets them know that I’m not mad at them. I don’t talk at them excessively either as I've found that this tends to make them think I’m worried.

This is a humane method of eliminating the possibility of aggressive behavior.  There’s nothing wrong with this – as long as the tool is used correctly.

So -- muzzles may not be that bad. Just ask Buzzy.

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