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Muzzling Dog Aggressive Dogs in Public?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Howard

Tail Waggin'- Mutt
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 6, '12 2:16pm PST 
What are your thoughts on this? Does it make the breed look bad? I often see pit bulls who are dog aggressive wearing muzzles in public to keep them from lunging out at other dogs and biting them. The pit bulls who are muzzled are very people friendly but not dog friendly. Do you think the muzzle on a pit bull or any breed for that matter who is dog aggressive gives off a bad vibe for both the breed and the owner?

I would like to hear your thoughts and opinions on this.

Edited by author Tue Aug 28, '12 2:51pm PST

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Bello

Herr Bello ist- nicht ein- Mensch!
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 6, '12 2:32pm PST 
It probably does give off a bad vibe to people who don't know dogs well and think that a dog who is dog aggressive is also human aggressive. I've also seen people walking their dogs using haltis/gentle leaders, non-dog people will assume they are muzzles. For the very short time I used one on Bello I was asked if it was a muzzle. People will assume quite a bit. Can't do much about that.

Too me though, using a muzzle in public shows that the owner is aware that they might not be able to perfectly control their dog and are taking that precaution to keep others safe. Though, I hope that they are also working on the aggression and not just sticking a muzzle on the dog.
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Titus

Cave canis- vigilo omnis
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 6, '12 5:31pm PST 
I don't really give the dog's breed much thought. My feeling is that if the dog is muzzled, it's for a good reason and the owner is being conscientious... I muzzle my HA dog in public, too.

Keep in mind too, that there might be breed specific legislation in place that requires some breeds to be muzzled in public whether they're aggressive or not.
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Nicky

World's Cutest- Leprechaun
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 7, '12 8:33am PST 
It may "look bad," but on the other hand in a case of true aggression at least the owner cares enough to keep the safety of the public in mind. They are still able to take their dog out in public and work on training with the muzzle acting as a fail safe. It would be highly irresponsible to pass on the muzzle for the sake of looks. Besides, when it comes to certain breeds, people are going to assume things anyway.

Edited by author Sat Jul 7, '12 8:34am PST

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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 7, '12 10:16am PST 
I muzzle Shadow in some places, not because she really bites but because if she gets upset she will grab at my hand. Under real stress she may mistake another hand for mine and I would hate to have a terrified dog labelled a biter. I cannot control airplanes, motorbikes, loud cars, etc. These are all things that can and have pushed her over the edge. At least if she is muzzled I can focus on calming without worrying about an accident.
My only problem with muzzling DA dogs is that without conditioning and care a muzzled dog can feel really vulnerable and that has the opposite effect. I don't give a rats behind how the public perceives anything. And as far as PBs go you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. The general public has already formed their opinion.
I did recommend that my friend keep her English Mastiff muzzled on walks. Not sure she is really dog aggressive but she sure does act up and it scares her owner. With the muzzle on the person feels safer and is not transmitting tension to the dog.
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Ava

Super Friendly- Aviator
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 7, '12 3:03pm PST 
"It would be highly irresponsible to pass on the muzzle for the sake of looks."

Quote for truth! way to go

I've seen people bring muzzled dogs in to off-leash dog parks before, and when they let them loose as soon as they get in to the pen, and their muzzled dog is tearing after other dogs and bowling them over... I just have to think "what's the point!?" Their dog obviously does not get along well with others, yet they think a muzzle will make it all better because... I dunno? An attack isn't an attack if the dog can't bite? I really don't know WHAT they're thinking. thinking

As for foregoing the muzzle because you're worried it will make your dog look bad? He will look even worse if he gets in to an all-out brawl and does serious damage to another dog. Like Nicky said, NOT muzzling a seriously DA dog for the sake of looks would be really irresponsible.
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Koby

I'm a big brat- and I don't care- :)
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 7, '12 3:59pm PST 
I don't think the breed has anything to do with it. I muzzle Koby when we're around crowds of people, because he's very reactive. We're working on it and making progress. I do it mostly because I don't trust the people. Some are stupid enough to walk up to a strange dog. If he's muzzled, they are not as willing to just walk up to us. It's more for his protection than theirs. I will be darned if he will get a record or put down for a nip because some person was so stupid that they put themselves in a position to get bitten.
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Kashmir- ♥ CGC

Boxer Beach Bum
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 7, '12 6:09pm PST 
I dont think it makes the breed look bad. I feel at least the people are smart enough to muzzle their aggressive dog is a plus, ive seen too many aggressive dogs in public that shouldnt be. The city where my cousin lives its the law to muzzle pit bulls and they have one. Rocky is the sweetest dog but whenever outside their property he has to be muzzled.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 8, '12 8:18am PST 
I have to agree that public perception should not be put above knowing your dog and being responsible. If your dog is either DA or HA, a muzzle is far better than having them declared vicious and dangerous and losing them because they attacked an animal or person.applauseapplauseapplauseapplause and Thank-you to those who put concern for their pets and the public above whatever someone else thinks. I do not have to use a muzzle thankfully,but I have used a halti and gotten the same reaction anyway, I don't really care what people thought,I found it a very helpful tool in teaching my dogs to walk nicely on a leash,something very necessary for me due to having 2 very large dogs and being a small person with physical problems.
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Zack

Move or I'll- plough you down!- (lovingly)
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 8, '12 9:51am PST 
I have a 'dog agressive' Staffy, which is considered to be a 'bad breed' around here (he's gorgeous!). He suffers from anxiety and doesn't like strange dogs, so gets reactive if they try to approach him. If another dog runs up to him and is being quite direct, he sees it as agression and reacts if they invade his personal space. Him being attacked recently by a DA dog has not made things better.

Because of this, Zack is muzzled if we go ANYWHERE where there might be dogs off lead. He doesn't wear it walking down the street simply because 99.9% of people keep their dogs on leads in the streets where I live, and strays aren't a huge deal here.

Yes, it does make him look horrid, but I cant control what off lead dogs will do, so I need to take measures to keep everyone safe. Him wearing a muzzle makes him look mean, but its the responsible thing to do, and some poeple DO understand. I've had children come up to me and ask about Zack and I've explained to them that YES they can pet him because he loves people - he just isnt too overkeen on dogs.
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