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Basket muzzles - do dogs get used to them?

(6 Posts)
Solo2 Sat 10-Sep-11 18:08:44

As you'll see from my other thread about Rollo, he's going to have to learn to be OK in a muzzle, so he won't scavenge/graze the entire time he's out on a walk and get more subsequent diarrhoea.

So the solution is a basket muzzle. Has anyone here found that their dog acclimatised to wearing one quite quickly? Do some dogs never get used to them and are distracted abd distressed the whole time they wear one?

This really, really needs to work, to give Rollo the quality of life he deserves, to make off-lead walks possible again and to mean that I can relax on walks and chat to the DCs instead of monitoring the ground obsessively, the entire time we're out and yanking Rollo away from everything he tries to eat.

I don't suppose it's at all possible to get a dog used to a muzzle within a couple of days only? Will it take weeks of slow reward-based systematic desensitisation or is there ever any possibility of 'jumping in at the deep end' and just putting the muzzle on prior to a great off-lead run?

MirandaLuck Sat 10-Sep-11 18:36:43

Yes! They do get used to muzzles but it does take time. As you are suggesting - it must be a pleasant (ish) thing to deal with for the dog so do give a treat when placing the muzzle on Rollo and do it very gently - not tugging at ears/fastening. If/when he is scooting his face along the ground -try distraction and treat when being good. Start with short sessions and built up slowly. Always end on a positive session. Good luck!

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Scuttlebutter Sat 10-Sep-11 21:24:11

Just to reassure you, we have greyhounds who are all very accustomed to wearing muzzles. Two of the three regularly wear them while out on walks, and are absolutely fine - no bother at all. The key is to make sure you have a muzzle that fits properly and is lightweight.

I'm sorry I can't advise on acclimatising since ours were already used to them from their racing days when they came to us.

tabulahrasa Sun 11-Sep-11 04:26:37

I'd imagine that the walk itself would serve as a reward, not immediately but because he'll have positive associations with it, that should make it easier?

In the same way that you pick up a lead and they run for the door.

Solo2 Fri 16-Sep-11 14:38:29

Rollo tried out a muzzle with his trainer yesterday and was fine, smile despite occasionally pawing at it. I tried it with him again today and again, he was fine and the trainer and I both agree that the pleasure he's getting from off lead walks outweighs his irritation with having to wear a muzzle.

However, the size she lent me is too small, so I can't take him out for long as he can't open his mouth as wide as he needs to to pant enough. So I've ordered in another one - size 9.

Anyway, he's been brilliant to adapt so easily and it makes walking massively, massively easier for me, as I'm not having to yank him away from every single thing the whole of the time.

Looks like this could transform family life with a 'vacuum cleaner' golden retriever!

The only thing is that as we pass people, they naturally assume he's wearing a muzzle because he's aggressive and there's a marked change in their body language, sadly. Where possible, I let other dog owners know he's never going to bite their dog or them and is only wearing a muzzle to stop him eating everything and then getting tummy upsets.

Roll on more rural walks and fewer boring pavement walks!

alp Fri 16-Sep-11 15:11:51

Great news Solo2! Such a great post from you with so much positivity! grin

There is a lab we see often on our walks who wears a basket muzzle to stop him eating everything he finds and he always looks like he's having a great time.

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