Nylon Muzzles are meant for a very short procedure like a pedicure or suture removal and are NEVER meant to be left on for longer than a few minutes and only under supervision. They are meant to fit snugly to keep the mouth closed firmly.
Basket Muzzles: fit over the dog’s snout, but still allow ventilation, panting, barking, drinking and reward with treats. The Basket Muzzle must fit properly with the shape of your dog’s snout.
Measure your dog’s muzzle:
1) girth/circumference near the nose roughly in line with the canine teeth,
2) around the back of mouth where the lips meet,
3) the length from the tip of nose to where the lips meet, and
4) from the back of lips to the back of the neck to know how long the straps should be.
Basket muzzles can be made of strong metal wire with leather or nylon straps; all leather; soft or thin plastic; padded nylon; hard durable plastic. Avoid inexpensivemuzzles made of plastic or plastic/silicone, and muzzles with big gaps at the nose or chin. Basket muzzles should cover the dog’s muzzle, but not ride up into their delicate eyes. The muzzle should ideally allow you to reward your dog’s good behavior with a treat although some dogs refuse treats when they are stressed and some dogs require closed basket muzzles.
Muzzles allow you to expose your dog to challenging situations with minimal risk so you can put reward based training in place. Never leave your muzzled dog unattended. Depending on the situation, a muzzled dog should also be leashed and kept safe by your side.
Dr. Stefanie Schwartz, DVM, MSc, Dip. ACVB is a board certified veterinary behaviorist and founder of www.CivilizedPet.com. If you need help with a misbehaving pet, please visit www.petbehavior.org.