GO!

Anyone here use a muzzle on walks?

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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Samson

Work? What's- that?
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 21, '12 3:26am PST 
How do people react? How does your dog handle it? I need some experiential stories.

Samson is VERY unpredictably HA. (The very is attached to the unpredictable part, not the HA part - he's not severely HA, but it is there, and it's based in fear).

I've had enough close calls with him that I'm ready to give up and just start using a muzzle to protect him and other people. It took him about ten separate several-hour long visits before he finally accepted my sister's boyfriend's presence at the house. That can also be pretty random, too (he warms up to women much faster, in particular).

I live so far out in the country and have been working so much lately that constant socialization is really out of the question until I'm able to move into town (which is a few years away, at least - still paying off college loan debt).

Any advice? The town where I'm going to eventually move to, and where I tend to bring him to for socialization when I get the change, DOES have a dangerous dog ordinance. Does having a muzzle on him in public show that I'm "harboring a dangerous dog?" I'm not really sure how these things work. I'm working on getting him where I had him a year or so ago, where the muzzle didn't bother him at all. It's been a long time since he's worn it though so it's back to being a bad experience - gotta work on making it a good one.
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Trixie Bean!

none so blind as- those that will- not see
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 21, '12 5:11am PST 
IMO having a muzzle on him doesn't show that you have a dangerous dog- people use muzzles for various reasons, including to stop their dogs eating stuff off the floor!

I used to muzzle Trix on walks, for her and for others safety. She was fear aggressive with humans and dogs, and there was a lot of times when people wouldn't respect that (dogs being allowed to run up to her). The muzzle allowed ME to keep calm, stopped her from being able to snap at other dogs and actually helped us a LOT! My calmer mood on walks helped her to learn that people are not scary after all smile
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Shadow

Lets GO
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 21, '12 7:35am PST 
Shadow is muzzled outside of my property. I have had people comment on it but I see it as protecting my dog. Her behavior swings wildly and I don't want any accidents. I would like to not have to use it but I would rather have her muzzled then not have her.
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 21, '12 7:38am PST 
Muzzles are good tools, and I say use them if you feel it necessary and don't waste time caring what other people think.

That said, be honest with yourself... yes, people do see a muzzled dog differently.

I considered this with Ridley to help get him past his uneasiness around certain children. He's never bitten or even tried to, but children are unpredictable and I can't guarantee that they wont push things too far.

But taking a muzzled dog to an area with children, even if I was off to the side and my dog was otherwise calm, wasn't going to go over well.

So I just had to work around it. For him that was ok and it worked, because I knew his triggers and I knew how to keep him under control. But for a dog who is truly unpredictable, I say take no chances, keep yourself and your dog safe and do what you need to do.
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Koby

I'm a big brat- and I don't care- :)
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 21, '12 8:07am PST 
I use a muzzle on Koby. I think if you decide to use one when your dog needs one, it's just responsible dog ownership. I really don't care what other people think. Once I was walking him on a back road and came across a person who lived there. They didn't mind that I was training him on their road. They appreciated the fact that I took the precautions necessary to keep everyone safe and that I was trying to fix his issues instead of ignoring them or making excuses for his behavior, which by the way, is out of control.
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 21, '12 12:15pm PST 
I used to work at a doggy daycare and there was one dog that was always muzzled on walks - owners choice too, not just mine.

He would lunge, snap and go after ANYTHING/ONE out of the ordinary. If a kid on a skateboard went by, he'd lunge and try to attack. And yes, he WOULD bite. If kids in particular were near him, he'd snap and try to go after them. He was very uncomfortable in general, and while his owners were doing a lot of training classes with him, etc... They were very in denial about their dogs issues for the most part. They fully believed their dogs could do no wrong, but agreed to the muzzle since we were in an area with a school.

People gave him plenty of space, but otherwise, I had no issues.

I fully believe it shows you KNOW what your dogs issues are, and are trying to work on them while keeping everyone safe. That in itself tells of a responsible dog owner.
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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 21, '12 1:18pm PST 
I read in some book- BAT maybe, that it's odd how people react negatively to dogs with muzzles, which really isn't fair since those owners are actually doing their best to protect people (and their dog from a bite history). So now when we see one, I ask if we should say hi. Both handlers said yes, and one dog did really well and seemed to want to play, but the other got uncomfortable. I should have known to ask the wife rather than the husband- I have yet to find a couple where the woman wasn't more in touch with the dog's mental state and what he could handle.
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Titus

Cave canis- vigilo omnis
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 21, '12 5:55pm PST 
Titus is muzzled in more populated areas and in most shops, and though we get some looks, we rarely get any questions or comments.

One thing I've noticed is that when he's muzzled, he's actually more relaxed having the option to bite removed.
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Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 21, '12 6:35pm PST 
I have done it before with a "foster" dog but it didn't really change how people acted towards him, probably because he was a small, fluffy, cute dog.
It did not bother him at all, but he was acclimated to the muzzle first before I used it for walks.
He was also somewhat unpredictable, it was more of a precaution, most of the time he was perfectly fine but there was just that small chance of a situation happening where he might react by using his teeth and I didn't want to take any chances.
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y

dog-sitter in- charge.
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 21, '12 7:33pm PST 
it must be a cultural thing where people in the USA give you second looks for having a muzzle on your dog.
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