I know, I know. You are shocked that I would preach such blasphemy. But, take a deep breath and hear me out. Reaction is often that a dog that is well trained shouldn’t have to wear a muzzle. I agree. But what to do while the dog is in training? What to do until you have absolute, positive confidence that nothing could cause your dog to react and get away from you? You can exhale now.
When you see a dog with a muzzle isn’t that the situation that comes to mind? But there are situations that are solved by having the dog wear a muzzle, such as:
If a dog is injured and in pain, he may very well bite the very hands that try to help him, whether that is you, a friend, or the vet. In that same scenario, a muzzle can keep a dog from chewing and licking a wound that needs to heal.
If a dog scavenges, a muzzle can keep him from eating unwanted food such as found garbage or horse/cow/cat/deer poop.
If a dog hunts to kill, a muzzle can protect wildlife.
Muzzles are an excellent tool to use to allow training for a dog that is reactive without harming another dog. Even if the dog is not aggressive but nips and bites in rough play, the muzzle is protective gear.
Lastly, if you own a dog that cannot be trusted, a muzzle means you, the owner, can relax and be confident that the public will be safe and there will be no law suit, no court dates and no one determining the fate of your dog.
For this discussion, the muzzle should be a basket-type construction, (not the soft mesh ones that groomers sometimes use) enabling the dog to pant, drink, and take treats through the wire basket. Take the time to introduce the muzzle to the dog and for the first few times make the muzzle training short and positive. Whatever the reason is for using a muzzle, it will make him the safest dog on the block.