Best Dog Muzzles
Dog muzzles protect both your dog and people and pets around him during stressful situations. Take a look to find out what are responsible muzzle practices and which dog muzzles are the best your money can buy.
It’s no secret that our beloved four-legged companions aren’t always the “good boys”, and that all of them are different. With their own peculiar personalities, with their quirks and temperaments, dogs can be naughty at times, too. Different breeds have different traits, and knowing how to deal with them and ensure a happy, safe, and stress-free life for your furry companion, is a big part of being a responsible and loving dog owner. In stressful, scary, and unexpected situations, some dogs can become violent and turn to biting. This can come as a surprise for you, as you experience this unexpected new side of your pet. And to avoid unpleasant situations, which can cause harm to both your dog and the people around you, you need to ensure that these kinds of situations cannot happen at all.
Why Does My Dog Need A Dog Muzzle
Patient training and socializing with your pet can work fantastically towards minimizing his anxiety and you should ensure that a dog is accustomed to other animals and people from a very early age. But even so, situations can be unpredictable, and the curious will of a dog can still offer surprises. And if you are in doubt whether or not your companion is going to bite, you should definitely invest in a protective dog muzzle. While this might seem like an excessive measure, it is actually a comfortable, protective item that has a primary role of protection – both for your dog and others. It will also serve as a clue to others that it might be a good idea not to get overly close to your pet.
On the other hand, dog muzzles aren’t just good biting prevention. They can fulfill a variety of other roles that will protect your pupper. Some dogs, as we all know, are just too curious for their own good. They like to get into all the nooks and crannies, to sniff and lick and nibble on everything that tickles their fancy. But that is far from being good. When you are out on your walks together, a dog might eat something he or she should not – unidentified food being the biggest danger. To successfully prevent this nasty habit, and gradually train your dog to abandon his potentially dangerous antics, use a muzzle.
Muzzles are also a good security measure when your pet is at a grooming salon or at the vet’s office. If it is your first time being there, a muzzle is a good preventive to have by your side. In these environments, dogs can get very restless, anxious, frightened, and difficult to control, and if frightened, they might resort to biting. Strap on a muzzle and you will be certain that this will not happen. After all, the safety of your dog and the comfort of those that come in contact are the primary concern–and a muzzle is the best way to ensure that things will remain under control.
Of course, there are many dog muzzles on the market and not all of them will be a good match for your pet’s needs. In order to help you find a perfect fit, we’ve rounded up the most popular choices out there–read on to find out which will suit your needs.
1. Editor’s Pick: PET ARTIST Genuine Leather Dog Muzzle
This leather muzzle from Pet Artist comes with a unique design, intended to full enclose around the mouth. Even though it fully restricts biting, eating, or licking, it still has enough room to allow panting and barking. It has a great balance of sturdiness and lightweight, with all the straps being reinforced with iron rivets. Three straps ensure a tight and secure setup, and there is also a side buckle to allow an even safer, snug fit. This leather muzzle has everything you need – rugged and durable manufacture, a stylish look, and the proper protection. It also has a lot of vent holes to allow optimal ventilation at the same time. PET ARTIST Genuine Leather Dog Muzzle is designed for large breed dogs such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, or Boxers.
2. Runner Up: Baskerville Ultra Muzzle
This remarkable muzzle comes from The Company of Animals, and it’s a refined design that combines protection, comfort, and efficiency into one product. This highly durable plastic basket muzzle is designed in such a way to allow your dog to pant, eat, and drink, while still preventing biting and offering a lot of protection. It is fully adjustable with special straps, and can also be heat shaped to fit a specific breed’s snout. Baskerville is certainly one of the more affordable muzzles on the market, but even so, it is one of the best choices! Baskerville Ultra Muzzle comes in 5 sizes that fit the following breeds: Border Terrier, Westie, Border Collie, Springer Spaniel, Labrador, and Dane.
3. Best Padded: GoodBoy Gentle Muzzle Guard
This appropriately named muzzle is a comfortable and lightweight preventive mainly aimed at small pups and small breeds. It is a great way to stop unwanted chewing of furniture that is typical for puppies. This muzzle features an all-fabric design, with a fluffy, soft inner padding that will minimize absolutely any chance of irritation. It is secured and adjusted via a sturdy Velcro patch and also has a quick-release clasp. This is a great choice for some basic preventive training at home, but not so much for large breeds and snappy dogs. GoodBoy Gentle Muzzle Guard comes in small, medium, large, and extra large size- be sure to check the circumference of your pet’s snout for a proper fit.
4. Best Leather: CollarDirect Leather Muzzle for Large Dog
If you’re having trouble with your Pitbull or Staffordshire terrier, this leather, robust muzzle is a great option to consider. CollarDirect offers a durable, all-leather design that fits tightly around the snout but still allows your dog to pant, and it also has two openings at the front that make sniffing and licking possible. The design also features iron rivets to give more strength to key connections. The muzzle is fitted easily via tree straps that ultimately connect at the collar. This is a good choice for stronger breeds, and dogs with a bad temper. The leather is difficult to chew through, and the tight fit prevents any shenanigans. CollarDirect Leather Muzzle for Large Dogs, as the name suggests, is designed to fit big dogs- the length of the muzzle is 4” and the circumference is 14”.
5. Best Wire Basket: BronzeDog Wire Basket Dog Muzzle
This iconic “K9” design is the ultimate choice if you are looking for a highly durable and protective muzzle. The classic basket design covers the snout and allows for all the natural movements – while still preventing biting, chewing, and eating. It is made from durable and lightweight steel, with soft padding at the connection points. The padding is done in a unique way that prevents the steel basket to rest on your dog’s snout, and as such, it is comfortable and safe to wear. It is secured with adjustable leather straps. BronzeDog Wire Basket Dog Muzzle comes in medium, large, and extra large and is a perfect choice for breeds such as Doberman, German Shepherd, and similar.
6. Best Oversized: Supet Dog Wire Muzzle
This is another fantastic basket muzzle option, which takes a basic design to a whole new level. The lightweight metal basket is slightly oversized and protects the entire snout, with a flat frontal part. The muzzle features a large protective inner padding, made from soft leather, offering maximum comfort for the dog. It has adjustable safety strapping with stainless steel buckles and additional reinforced leather panels at the sides. A perfect choice for German Shepherds and other large breeds, Supet Dog Wire Muzzle offers a perfect balance between price and quality.
7. Best Soft Design: Pro Guard Softie Dog Muzzle
If your pupper has that nasty affinity to pick up disgusting stuff while you are walking him, this simple muzzle can help you solve that issue. Made for just such cases, the Pro Guard Softie is a very simple design that is made from lightweight nylon fabric. The front of the muzzle is made out of mesh to allow natural breathing. Even though it is a fabric, soft muzzle, it is still surprisingly durable, as it is made from the so-called Dupont fabric, which is highly resistant to punctures and chewing. This simple, cheap, and easy to use muzzle is a handy tool to have some simple training with your dog, especially at a young age. Pro Guard Softie Dog Muzzle is designed to fit large breed dogs.
8. Best for Long Snouts: CollarDirect Leather Dog Muzzle
This unique leather muzzle from CollarDirect is a great combination of a soft and basket type. It is durable and extremely strengthened, while still remaining lightweight and flexible. Designed primarily for Dobermans, Border Collies, German Shepherds, and similar long snout breeds, it fits snuggly around the dog’s mouth while still allowing normal breathing and panting due to the flexibility and mesh design. It is made from soft leather straps that are connected by steel rivets all throughout. With a simple adjustable buckle, you can secure it tightly without any worries. A unique design, and a great choice. CollarDirect Leather Dog Muzzle is best suited to large dogs as it measures 14” in circumference and 4” in length.
9. Best for Short Snouts: JYHY Short Snout Dog Muzzle
Hannibal Lecter who? Just because they have short snouts, it doesn’t mean that these pooches don’t tend to put their nose where it doesn’t belong! Flat-faced breeds are in no way immune to all the issues that are common for “regular” breeds such as eating what they shouldn’t on walks (hello mysterious animal poop and candy wrappers) or attacking other dogs in the park. This dog muzzle might look unusual (or even scary) but JYHY Short Snout Dog Muzzle is specially designed to accommodate brachycephalic breeds such as the Pug, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, and the like.
Made out of breathable mesh, this muzzle covers the whole of your pet’s face but it doesn’t make them uncomfortable once they get used to wearing one: the air can pass freely and there are cut-outs for the eyes and the nose for even greater convenience. Your pooch can stay safe all the while feeling comfy! JYHY Short Snout Dog Muzzle comes in 4 sizes, ranging from the smallest that fits breeds such as Shih Tzu or the Pekingese all the way to the largest that will be a match for English Bulldog or a Mastiff.
10. Best Basic: Smarow Muzzle
One of the simplest designs on our list, this typical softie muzzle offers fantastic comfort and good restraint for basic use. Made from a thick, padded, yet soft and breathable material, this muzzle has a simple adjustable Velcro design that secures tightly and conforms exactly to the form of your dog’s mouth. It is secured tightly with a quick release buckle. Soft and lightweight, this muzzle is a great one to have in your bag when you’re out walking, giving you the ability to quickly react and have a quick preventive measure just in case. Smarow Muzzle comes in small, medium, large, and extra large so any pooch can find a match.
Types of Dog Muzzles
There are several varieties of dog muzzles out there, each one made to adapt to different uses and different tasks, and to conform to all the unique breeds. Choosing the right one for your pet can be a challenge, but knowing what each one is designed for can help you immensely. That is why we are going in detail about each type, as we give you examples for the best and safest use of each one.
Basket muzzles might look like rough and cruel things to put on your beloved pet, but they are in fact much more comfortable and humane than they look. Just as the name suggests, basket muzzles have that typical meshed look and are usually made out of steel or rubber. What makes them unique though, is the fact that they do not constrict your dog’s snout fully. The basket still allows for a dog to open his mouth, pant, and bark. Furthermore, some models come with specially designed slits, which allow you to still offer tasty treats even with the muzzle on. This is especially handy if you are in the process of training and you need to offer rewards. Basket muzzles come in all shapes and sizes and are some of the most common choices on the market.
An occlusion muzzle is a specific design that is intended for use with grooming and veterinary visits. These are often made from soft materials or leather, and they fully constrain a dog’s mouth. This means that they are meant for short term use only, and should not be used as regular muzzles. Dogs must be allowed to open their mouths. If you are uncertain of your dog’s temperament, occlusion muzzle is a good and often necessary choice. Some groomers might even emphasize their use, in cases when a dog is frightened.
A gentler, more comfortable version of muzzles, much like the occlusion type, these are much softer and best for use with smaller dog breeds. Soft muzzles come in a variety of designs and are mostly made from soft plush fabrics that minimize chafing. Most designs come with a Velcro closing patch, making them easy to adjust to specific snout shapes. But being much lighter and softer, these muzzles might not be the best choice for large and powerful dog breeds.
What to Look For in Dog Muzzles
Your dog’s breed and physique will be one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a dog muzzle. Sizing is a big thing to look out for, and manufacturers always provide you with a detailed and accurate sizing chart that will help you choose the right one. Too small and it will cause discomfort to your pet; too large and it will not do its intended role. Besides proper size and fit, here are some additional things to keep in mind when buying a dog muzzle:
Comfort should be a priority in a muzzle. The regular types are meant to be worn for shorter periods, but they still need to have good padding on the contact points with the snout. This ties in with choosing the right size, as you effectively avoid chafing and irritation between the muzzle and the dog’s nose. Good quality muzzles should have protective padding at all contact points to avoid discomfort.
Choosing a muzzle can also depend on adequate materials. Consider the breed of your dog, his strength and his tendency to be violent. Some softer and cheaper muzzles can still be torn off, often in scuffles with other dogs. Your grumpy pet can also possibly chew through it. So, with all this taken into account, choose wisely. Muzzles are often made from durable rubber, plastic, leather or still, but also from soft padded fabrics.
Over time, designers came up with several unique designs of muzzles that are made to serve a variety of purposes. If you’re aiming to train a dog and curb his tendencies to bite and be rowdy, a muzzle with a “treat slit” can be an adequate choice. If you have a brachycephalic breed, a special short muzzle is a good choice.
Training Your Dog to Wear a Muzzle
To successfully condition your dog to wear a muzzle without fearing it, you need to be patient. And you need to prepare a lot of treats. It is a gradual process, but with a calm and patient approach, it can be done without much drama.
The first step involves familiarizing with the item. Allow your pet to calmly investigate and sniff the muzzle. Don’t push it and take things slowly. When he sniffs it, reward him with a treat. The next step is to touch his nose and snout with the muzzle. Repeat this until the dog is indifferent to the item, and reward each time.
When your dog is sufficiently relaxed, attempt to put the muzzle on. When you do, immediately remove it and give him a reward. Repeat this step and each time leave it on longer, giving ample treats throughout. This gradual process will remove all fear and get your four-legged companion totally accustomed to the muzzle.Strapping it on will be easy. Dogs are often apprehensive about new items, especially those that fit onto their heads. Don’t be quick to lose your patience, and it will certainly pay off. Just keep your pet’s safety in mind!
How do I desensitize a dog’s muzzle?
Dogs can feel uncomfortable with wearing a muzzle, but you might be legally required to have them wear one (or their behavior might demand it) when out in public, so it’s important to work on resolving these issues so your pet can feel at ease while in a muzzle. Desentization is basically your dog getting used to wearing a muzzle, step by step, so they don’t see it as a novel or scary thing after some time. This will require patience and positive reinforcement training: start by putting treats inside the muzzle, and then putting the muzzle on your pet in short intervals and rewarding them with a treat each time. Gradually increase time wearing the muzzle until your pet starts feeling comfortable wearing one even if not constantly bribed with treats.
Is muzzle training bad for dogs?
Muzzle training, when done properly, is not cruel and not only that- sometimes, it is absolutely necessary to do. If you have a reactive or aggressive dog that can be triggered to attack another pet on walks or bite a person, or a dog that will eat anything they find on the walks, you have to muzzle them for their own and other’s safety. To make sure muzzle training is humane and doesn’t hurt your pet in any way whatsoever, rely on positive reinforcement, praise, treats, and be gentle and patient with them while they are getting used to the muzzle. Never yell, punish, or hit you dog when trying to train them.
For how long can my dog wear a muzzle?
Muzzles are designed for short term wear as your dog can’t drink, eat, or even pant when his snout is in a muzzle. You should only use a muzzle when absolutely necessary, for instance when at the vet’s office or when going on walks- mesh and fabric muzzles are particularly restricting and shouldnt be worn except for short time intervals (under an hour), whereas roomy and airy basket muzzles give you a bit more time, so they are a better choice for dog parks and longer walks.
Do muzzles work for aggressive dogs?
While a muzzle might stop your dog from biting a person or another animal, it doesn’t address the root of the problem. In some cases, the muzzle might fall off or get pawed off and your dog would be able to cause damage, which is why you shouldn’t rely on a muzzle to keep your pet out of trouble. In addition to wearing a muzzle in triggering or stressful situations, your pet should undergo training that would help him overcome his aggressive urges and improve their social skills and behavior in the long run, so the muzzle would become a backup in case of unexpected situations rather than the only thing done to prevent your pet’s aggression.
A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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