Why The Baskerville Ultra Muzzle Is One Of The Best Dog Muzzles We’v
Be honest—the first thing you might think if you see a dog walking down the street wearing a muzzle is, “Wonder why that dog is wearing a muzzle?” It’s human nature to wonder, as the improper use of muzzles has led many who don’t know any better to think that behind every dog muzzle is an aggressive dog.
That’s simply not the case, though. Many animal behaviorist experts recommend a basket muzzle for dogs for many reasons—with aggression being only one of many. The most important reason that dog parents consider dog muzzles is they want to be responsible pet parents—keeping their dog and other dogs and people safe.
Dog muzzles are not just to protect others from an aggressive dog. They also protect your dog—a dog who may not love having strangers in his face all the time, or who may be more of an introvert. As sentient creatures with personalities of their own, not every dog wants to be the life of the party and wearing a humane muzzle can help create some safe space for your pup.
What do you need to know about dog muzzles when you’re looking for the best dog muzzle? What features should you consider, and what are some of the reasons that experts believe muzzles are useful? What exactly is a basket muzzle? We’ve got all those answers, as well as information on the Baskerville Muzzle from The Company of Animals, which is one of our favorites!
Why Consider Dog Muzzles?
Gone are the days where dog muzzles were just haphazardly slapped on a dog so an aggressive dog didn’t lash out. Yes, dog muzzles are wonderful tools for those pet parents who have dogs that may need additional support when it comes to aggression. But today’s animal behaviorists emphasize there are so many other reasons dog parents should consider muzzles.
Dog muzzles can be fantastic training aids when you’re working on socializing your dog, and this can be imperative for dogs in rescue who are looking for their second (or sometimes third or fourth) chances at their forever home. Unfortunately, sometimes we just don’t know the background of a dog and they may not have an aggressive bone in their body—but every dog has a bite threshold and we may not know where it is.
For dogs who are somewhat fearful of new situations, or are reactive, a humane dog muzzle can be a lifesaver. According to Maureen Backman, MS, CTC, PCT-A, when a dog is afraid of something, there really isn’t much else that’s going to get through to them. Backman founded The MuzzleUp Project, which brings awareness to the good that muzzles can do for dogs and humans.
Much like in humans, when a dog’s flight/fight/freeze coping sets in, there is little happening in the cognitive functioning arena. It’s very challenging for even the best-behaved, most obedient dogs to respond as they believe they should when their brains (and instinct) are responding to fear. As pet parents, our number one goal is to keep our dogs safe and protected. It’s what they depend on us for, and what we can do when properly using appropriately developed dog muzzles.
BYOM – Bring Your Own Muzzle
This applies to your dog when going on trips to the groomer or to the vet’s office. Yes, your dog may love people and may love being loved on, but in a clinical situation like your vet’s office, their instincts are in overdrive to protect themselves and be aware of their surroundings.
Every veterinary office has a supply of muzzles on hand to be used if needed, but many don’t allow for full expressions of panting; panting is a key way dogs calm themselves down in stressful, uncomfortable situations, so bringing your own muzzle to the vet that allows for panting, drinking, taking treats, such as the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle, can help your dog feel more comfortable during their visit.
Every dog has a bite threshold, and while it may be pretty hard to get there for some dogs, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. When you use a safe muzzle for dogs during exams or grooming, you are protecting the person conducting the exam or groom as well as your dog, as he is less likely to injure himself or others when wearing one.
And let’s be frank. Not every dog parent has impeccable dog manners. Many can’t even comprehend that another dog may not love theirs, and are completely okay with letting their dogs run up to others’ so they can play.’ This isn’t always terrible, but when it is? It just takes one snap to make a situation—even between two dog lovers—turn very ugly, very fast. When you consider using a dog muzzle for walks about your neighborhood, you’re showing the world that you take dog ownership and responsibility seriously too. You’re also protecting your dog from others who may not have such good manners.
Which Types of Muzzles Are There for Dogs?
If you’re new to the world of dog muzzles, you may not know that there are several different types of muzzles on the market. They’re not all created equally, though, and since your number one reason for using one is your dog’s safety and protection, you want to make sure you choose the best dog muzzle for your furry friend.
Our favorite type of muzzle is a super durable TPR (thermoplastic rubber) basket muzzle like the Baskerville Ultra. Many people have the misconception that basket muzzles are the worst—like archaic pieces of punitive dog training. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Basket muzzles offer the best and most humane options when it comes to training and fit because they allow your dog to do all the things a dog does naturally and easily while wearing the muzzle. You want to make sure that whatever dog muzzle you choose allows your dog to breathe, pant and drink easily and you especially want a muzzle that will let your dog take treats while wearing so you can offer rewards while acclimating and training them.
Leather muzzles are another option. Some are basket (so choose that if you go with the leather route) and others are basket-shaped but enclosed. You really want to be careful when choosing leather muzzles because they can be hot and not all allow your dog to pant and breathe easily, much less eat or drink when wearing.
Grooming Muzzles are exactly what they sound like. Often used for very short times when your groomer is grooming your dog, a dog cannot eat, drink or pant while wearing this muzzle. They are not designed to do much more than that.
Soft muzzles are lighter than basket muzzles, but they don’t have the same options for breathing and panting that a basket muzzle offers. And, because they sometimes have especially soft sides, there still is a chance that your dog can bite through—not what you want to have happen if you are using a dog muzzle for protection of your dog and for you.
Metal basket muzzles are simply not recommended, and we cringe when we see them because there’s too much of a chance the dog muzzle can break at spots the metal was welded. This means your dog could poke itself, or you, and they’re just not a great idea when it comes to the best dog muzzles.
Find The Fabulous Fit
It’s important that the muzzle you buy your dog fits appropriately. To get dogs comfortable while wearing muzzles, they must actually be comfortable while wearing the muzzle. We don’t like chaffing or irritation and neither do our dogs. Make sure that you measure your dog and pay attention to the sizing guide. A good sizing guide like that of the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle by Company of Animals will not just give you measurements by which you can compare your dog’s measurements, but also a general idea of dog breeds who best fit in each size.
It’s also important to not just pay attention to the width of your dog’s snout but also the length of your dog’s snout as well, since loose fits can defeat the purpose as well.
How to Help a Dog Muzzle Be Your Dog’s Best Friend
The most important thing you can do when acclimating your dog to a dog muzzle is doing so when it’s NOT necessary; i.e. In the comfort and relaxing environment of your own home! If at all possible, introduce it to him or her when you can also use treats (we love using peanut butter) and ensure that there is nothing ‘scary’ going on in his world. While you can certainly get dogs used to wearing dog muzzles in emergency situations or when it’s a must for your safety or theirs, getting them comfortable and used to it BEFORE that absolute need is so helpful.
If you have that option, give them some time to get acquainted. Let them sniff it out and take a gander, and as they do so, give treats. Allow them to associate treats or peanut butter or something else delicious with the muzzle so they’ll come to know it for reward, not punishment.
As you then gently and carefully begin to put the muzzle on, continue reinforcing and giving treats, letting him know that you’re there for him and he’s doing a great job. This is why it’s really a great idea to use a basket muzzle because you can still ply your dog with “good boy!” and treats each step of the way.
Every time you put the muzzle on, let the wearing time be extended ever-so-slightly. This will get your dog used to longer periods for when needed. Be sure to give treats and words of encouragement when you do, so they’ll come to see their muzzle as they might even see their leash—a cue for going out and seizing the day!
Baskerville Ultra Muzzle: Humane Protection for Our Furry Best Friends
One of the best dog muzzles we’ve found is the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle. The Baskerville Ultra comes in several different sizes so you’re able to get just the right fit for your dog. As we said, their sizing guide is extensive, and you can always contact them and chat about what might be the best fit for your dog.
The Baskerville Ultra is a basket muzzle that takes into account that dogs are often high-energy creatures who pant to cool themselves down as well as to self-soothe when they are stressful. That’s why they made the number one feature of their basket muzzle to be one that allows dogs to pant, eat/drink and take treats when wearing. The shaping works sort of similar to that of a mouth-guard in that the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle can be heat-shaped to fit your dog uniquely. The fitting instructions are handy, as is the video Company of Animals provides to give you step-step-fitting instructions.
With the Baskerville Ultra, you’ll be confident knowing your dog’s optimal comfort and welfare was what backed every step of the creative process. More, with each wear, you’ll know that you and your dog will be advocating for responsible dog ownership simply by walking. And then, who knows? You may even have the opportunities to share about all the benefits of dog muzzles and help put those archaic myths to rest!
More by Lori Ennis