Can a dog still nip through a muzzle?

(68 Posts)
Doggydoggydoggy Wed 23-Jan-19 14:23:08

Plastic basket style?

OP’s posts: |
Doggydoggydoggy Wed 23-Jan-19 14:25:22

Like this?

OP’s posts: |
llangennith Wed 23-Jan-19 14:27:53

Not that I know of but they can learn how to get the muzzle off. It's an aid to protect people and other dogs from being nipped but not foolproof.

llangennith Wed 23-Jan-19 14:29:09

Ah I've just seen that that muzzle has a strap going over the top of the head, between the dog's eyes. Not sure about that sort.

babysharkah Wed 23-Jan-19 14:30:31

I've just had to buy a muzzle to get insulin injections into my diabetic dog. He can't nip through it but he can get it off if I'm not quick enough.

Thesnobbymiddleclassone Wed 23-Jan-19 14:32:51

If it is is on properly and not broken anywhere, then I don't see how it can.

spot102 Wed 23-Jan-19 14:33:34

Well, those are supposed to be designed so that you can feed treats through them, so I guess, yes, if you stick your fingers through the plastic. But otherwise, if it fits properly and doesn't fall off, no they can't.
That's what you have to use if your bitey dog get an ASBO, so they must be good (not much sarcasm)!!


spot102 Wed 23-Jan-19 14:38:16

And yes, its not outside the realms of possibility that the dog is clever enough to get it off!! Particularly if its loose.

Wolfiefan Wed 23-Jan-19 14:39:16

You’ve posted before that your dog has bitten others. Keep it away from other dogs and get behavioural help.

spot102 Wed 23-Jan-19 14:52:38

Thank you for your advice wolfie, dog died of natural causes last year. And despite not being very stranger friendly was the best family dog I had. Could trust her implicitly with my kids. Try having a difficult dog before you judge.

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 23-Jan-19 14:55:07

It’s fitted properly.
Am actually starting to get incredibly depressed at my dog and her behaviour now, although it’s all my fault.

Apologies for such a long post to come...

She’s walking on lead past other dogs now with little to no reaction.

She’s much more sociable with smaller dogs (I hadn’t let her meet bigger ones and definately no ‘bouncies’ as she is worse with them)

But I met a greyhound the other day, he was so calm and lovely and placid.
I wasn’t going to let them meet due to his size but the owner thought they should.
Her whole approach was so confrontational, direct stare, upright stiff tail and posture and she silently snarled at him.
Gentle soul he was he just calmly walked away from her.
Then a little while later she approached him again, more relaxed this time but still tense then out of nowhere he yelped! And refused to have any more contact with her.
I did hear an audible clack so I assumed she had air snapped maybe and frightened him?

Then today, two small dogs.
I wasn’t concerned really, I thought she’d be fine.
They all bounced about, all apparently fine.
She decided to follow one, not in a particularly confrontational way I didn’t think.
The other dog looked uncomfortable so I was about to recall her when all of a sudden the little dog yelped.
I can only assume she either managed to nip him through the muzzle or muzzle punched him.
Absolutely no provocation whatsoever.

I just feel so deflated. And nervous incase these dogs are yelping because she’s managing to nip them.

The worst thing is she is not like this with the dog walker.
She has no problems whatsoever with her.
She is perfectly sociable, sofa/toy sharing, playing, eating in other other dogs presence.

I am confident that my dog is this way because of me.
Because I am such an anxious pathetic individual.
I have GP diagnosed anxiety and I am noise sensitive and tense pretty much all the time although I try really really hard to be cool and calm I think the dog picks up that I’m not.

I have tried so hard aswell.
I have read so much literature on dog body language, watched so many YouTube videos.
Tried CARE for a huge amount of time, then switched to balanced training because CARE seemed to be making her worse, not better.

I just feel really depressed and fed up actually.

Tried to talk to DH about it but he doesn’t understand, I hinted that maybe we should try and rehome dog as she would be happier with a calmer, more confident owner.
But he’s all ‘oh don’t worry, just keep her on lead all the time’ and ‘how do you know it’s even your fault you can’t control the actions of others’

Well first of all I feel incredibly cruel keeping an active working breed that LIVES to run free on leash permanently and secondly, if she’s only horrid with me how can it not be due to me?!

Course, the way she is going I will indeed have to keep her on lead permanently.

OP’s posts: |
Doggydoggydoggy Wed 23-Jan-19 14:56:09

wolfie she nipped and I muzzled her.
To STOP her nipping...

OP’s posts: |
Doggydoggydoggy Wed 23-Jan-19 14:56:56

And I have gotten behavioural help.
More than once.

OP’s posts: |
spot102 Wed 23-Jan-19 15:37:25

probably, they didn't get bitten, maybe just yelped because s/he lunged?
Might be wise to check the dogs if it happens again, just to be on the safe side?

My previous dog was also non-dog and stranger friendly, but noticeably better with my OH, I think a lot of it was that the dog was nervous and I don't come across as a particularly confident/arrogant person, whereas OH does, and I think the dog felt more confident with OH. I did adjust my own body language (head up, purposeful walk, etc), it might be an idea to critique your own, dogs are sensitive to it, but you can fake it! She did get better with time, but was never perfect. You also need to ignore all those that make disparaging remarks (as long as you are at least trying), and not let them make you feel bad.

When Spot1 was young I took her to puppy classes, she was clearly reactive, and one of the others tried to get her thrown out. BUT this is exactly the type of dog that needs to go!! To this day I am appalled at the other owner's attitude, but this sort of attitude (and there is a fair bit of it about) does tend to damage your confidence and one thing you need to appear to your dog is confident, especially if it is nervous. Obviously I can't say for your dog, as I've never met him/her but a lot of the time it is to do with nervousness. Also if he feels you are nervous he may go into guarding mode, thinking you need protecting, another reason to at least appear confident.

If dog needs to run and can't be let off lead, maybe you could cycle with him? There are a number of bike attachments available, I was recommended a 'springer', I wouldn't just hold the lead in your hand, its a recipe for diaster

Hope this is reasonably coherent and helps! I do have sympathy, its not much fun.

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 23-Jan-19 15:47:01

I would hope so, the idea of her being able to hurt another dog makes me feel a bit sick.
The whole point of the muzzle was to ensure she couldn’t hurt anyone while I continued to try and work on her issues.
It gave me peace and security knowing I could let her run free and she couldn’t do any damage.

My DH is the same, quite a ‘macho’ man, very confident and some would say arrogant.
I am trying really hard to fake confidence.

I’m not sure if it is nervousness really.
Everything I’ve read about dog body language puts her signals in the ‘dominant/confident aggression’ and she is absolutely fine and sociable with my dog walker.
Unless she’s only nervous around me of course.
Guarding I think is a likely possibility.

Well, I can’t cycle blush but I could maybe run with her..

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Wed 23-Jan-19 15:47:48

Honestly I would be bloody cross if your dog bit mine. You can call it a nip if you like but that doesn’t make it ok.
Some dogs like meeting other dogs mine does.
Some don’t mind being around other dogs.
Yours clearly doesn’t belong to either of these categories.
Research safe spaces and hire a secure field.
Stay away from other dogs or keep yours on a lead around them.
This isn’t fair on your dog or others. The law says dogs must be under control in public. Yours isn’t.

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 23-Jan-19 16:04:04

wolfie I was absolutely bloody mortified and really, really upset.
Of course it isn’t okay.

When it happened I spoke to other dog owners about it and did yet more reading and research.
The general consensus was that it was appropriate correction dog behaviour.

When it happened a few more times I muzzled her.

Believe it or not I have consulted more than one trainer/behaviourist, spoke to many dog owners and done a shit ton of research from the very first time she started exhibiting bad behaviour.

I was told time and time again, ‘your dog is just setting boundaries’ ‘no need to keep on leash it muzzled’ ‘normal dog interaction’ ‘she’s just correcting bad behaviour’.

That is why it took me so long to take her aggression seriously.

When it started escalating I was told to follow CARE and she got gradually worse.

With all due respect, you have a wolfhound.
A working bred border collie is not going to terribly happy with no time off leash.

That said, if she isn’t going to improve that is of course what I will be doing because yes, her behaviour is not okay hmm

OP’s posts: |
spot102 Wed 23-Jan-19 16:23:09

Yes, running is good too, get a canicross belt and harness and springy lead ,it makes all the difference.

I tried it, was great, but knackered my knees!! I'm no runner, but could cycle miles.

I do feel your pain, I used to actively avoid other dog owners, some were downright unpleasant, some are actually quite understanding, but still difficult to approach if your dog is being unfriendly. And at the end of the day it is a big worry. Personally I didn't realise how stressful it was until the dog died and it was like a huge weight lifted of my shoulders, much as I loved her!

I've limited experience with collies, but understand they are very intelligent and need lots of interaction and a working bred one will potentially be very active.... And they can be nippy, too (its how they control sheep, and yes I know they are not supposed to) Good luck!

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 23-Jan-19 16:33:44

I will look into that thank you.

Yes, she is all of those things although her nippiness is not herding related.
It’s an escalation up from air snaps.
It has been such a slow and unpleasant progression in spite of training.

I really regret not taking action in the early days when it was few and far between and just a little growl to be honest.

OP’s posts: |
whateveryousay Wed 23-Jan-19 16:35:05

I sympathise OP.
I can’t see how they could nip through the muzzle. My GSD can’t, but he would muzzle punch given the chance, which could cause the other dog to yelp.
I keep mine always on a long line, and we go where we never expect to see others, but obviously it can happen, hence the long line.
Mine can get quite worn out after an hours walk on a long line. You can still play ‘fetch’ for eg, just more reps rather than distance throws.
(Clearly he can’t fetch with the muzzle on, so I use long line and deserted area, or muzzle and short lead if more populated).

BiteyShark Wed 23-Jan-19 16:35:32

Have the behaviourists come on a walk with you to observe your body language and that of the dogs?

If she's feeding off your anxiety could you arrange a 1-1 walk with you and your dog walker to pick up tips and get your confidence up whilst you walk together?

Detoxpup Wed 23-Jan-19 16:49:03

Balanced training is you problem here and it is making matters much much much worse.

First thing get a decent qualified behaviourist and expect many visits to help initially manage and control this behaviour - then and only then you can you start to change the dogs emotional response and alter the behaviour.

It will take time but you will see steady imporvements

CARE will never make a dog worse if done correctly - a dog may not progress due to pushing things to fast but it will not make a dog worse.

Also you will get a lot of anecdotal advice and evidence on this kind of forum often from people who have had a bit of a google and read few books and have a dog with no reactive issues.

Take the correct qualified advice and stick with the protocol.

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 23-Jan-19 17:02:01

I think the problem is I can’t control my own emotion.
As I’ve said, this is only with me.
She’s behaves fine with others.

While I agree that balanced training may indeed be making matters worse, I can assure you she had big problems before she started.

I did CARE for years, exactly as advised and believe me she has gotten so, so much worse.

Im at a loss what to do tbh.
I turned to balanced training in desperation and I am devastated that based on today, that is obviously not working either.

OP’s posts: |
Doggydoggydoggy Wed 23-Jan-19 17:14:48

Anyway, if she’s going to keep muzzle punching, scaring, nipping? whatever other dogs I am obviously going to have to keep her on lead 100% of the time as even muzzled I obviously can’t trust her not to hurt others.

I think, considering she is perfectly lovely and social away from me, I am obviously the problem and she should be rehomed but DH is dead set against it and I think going ahead would breed so much resentment I think it’s just better for everyone if I just keep her on lead and have done with it.

Ironic really because my DH is really quite stand offish with dogs despite always having them.
He gives her the odd stroke, tidbit, makes her pancakes on shrove Tuesday but really she’s ‘my’ dog.
He doesn’t train or walk her or anything.

I just feel cruel and a complete and utter failure for letting this get so far out of hand and no matter what I try I just can’t fix it.

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Wed 23-Jan-19 17:31:26


Firstly, I feel for you. I really do, because having a dog that you do not enjoy (even if you love them) is just miserable. Facing those walks day after day is soul destroying and I think it genuinly takes a special kind of person to keep that up.

Whilst it's quite possible your dog is, in some way, reacting to your behaviour that does not make it your fault. We tend to think of ourselves as 'apart' from animals but we're not. We're subject to all the same learning theory that they are - classical and operant conditioning, if you will. After so many bad experiences your stress levels may well be high when walking the dog and, even if you fake the behaviour, she will smell the adrenaline anyway.

For that reason, muzzle and lead may actually help you both. You will have the rock solid confidence of knowing she is under control and cannot scare (or hurt) anyone. There are some great, long extendy leads that avoid some of the common issues with them. Flexi do 8m and 10m lengths with a big, yellow tape that is as thick as a normal lead and easily seen. Attach it to a harness (not collar) and she can have plenty of freedom to safely run and roam but without being off lead.

Ditto keeping away from other dogs. Give yourself (and her) a break for a few months and just have walks that can be pleasurable because they are peaceful and safe. Allow yourself (and her) time to relax back into enjoying time with each other without putting you both through the worry of facing other dogs all the time.

You might then find you regain the strength to try another behaviourist. If so, find a good one that will also offer 1-to-1 training sessions and - if you can - give yourself the luxury of having someone work and walk alongside you for plenty of sessions before you go it alone.

Of course, you might also find life is easier and more enjoyable just walking on lead, with muzzle in quiet spots and so 'settle' for that instead. Your dog will still be having a good life (even if on lead) so don't feel guilty if you choose that way instead.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in