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Muzzle Training and Why It's Important

Updated: May 31, 2020

I muzzle train all my dogs…my permanents, my fosters and sometimes my boarding dog (if I have the owner’s consent). Why? Because you never know when your dog may have to have a muzzle and you don’t want their first experience with it to be in a high stress situation. Some dogs may need one for reactivity to other dogs or humans, some may need one to stop them from consuming everything in sight on a walk (this is called Pica). There are many reasons that a dog may need a muzzle and the smart owner conditions their dog to one and practices with it throughout their life. Increasingly, good trainers are starting to introduce muzzle training in their puppy classes. I consider it basic husbandry training. You want a muzzle that allows the dog to pant, to eat and to drink. You will be associating the muzzle with GOOD THINGS like food during the conditioning/training. This is a video of me conditioning Louis the puppy to a muzzle.

The video below is of me training my then 15 year old pug, Annabelle, to a muzzle. She was in the early stages of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (Dog Alzheimer’s) and while I would have muzzle trained her anyway, I especially wanted to do it since she was losing her cognitive skills. With the loss of her cognitive skills, the risk of her getting snarky at the vets or the groomers was high.

This is NOT hard to do and there ARE muzzles for pugs (see the pictures attached). The two types of muzzles for flat faced breeds that are pictured are:

Canine Friendly Short Snout Muzzle (no eye holes):

JYHY Short Snout Muzzle (with eye holes)

The best resource for learning about muzzles and muzzle training is The Muzzle Up Project:


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