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I muzzle Onyx at the vet because she has fear aggression issues and after she was spayed, vet visits were traumatic for her. We did counter conditioning, changed vets and she is better now, but the muzzle still goes on regardless.
Elaine, a dog with fear issues will not overcome them easily...have you ever had a FA dog??
 

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I am very interested in hearing everyone's thoughts. Please don't hijack this thread the wrong way with petty arguments. Thank you
I think a please and thank you deserves to be listened to!

I think it's great to habituate dogs to all sorts of new things, whether they need them or not. Or will ever need them.

I have a dog who had to wear boots on her feet from a zinc deficiency - thankfully she was great about it - but it helps to get a dog used to socks, etc, in case they have something up with their feet.

Handling their heads, teeth, feet, tails, looking under, around - all these things are important.

Tossing a muzzle on just goes right along with the t-shirt, e-cone, etc. The more things I can get them used to, the less traumatic it becomes if they ever need them. Because if they are in a situation where they need cones, shirts, muzzles, they are already not in a good place, so why make that place worse with something new and weird.

I don't do these things in the context of basic care, but in fun stuff - there isn't a big serious someday you could bloat and you may need to wear a cone - it's just let's put on this cone/donut and eat treats and get praised.

HEAVEN FORBID one of my dogs are in enough pain to act out of character - and need a muzzle - but if they are, I want it to be just another thing to them.

Teaching opportunity:
 

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Masi is petrified of my vet:( Happened after an overnite stay, boom, she's petrified.
She's fine in the office and in the exam room, soon as she walks in, things go downhill, she doesn't growl or try to bite, but she's obviously afraid. with that, I have muzzle trained her, and have her wear one in the exam room just in case.

She actually seems more relaxed with the vet with a muzzle on, maybe takes the control away from her? don't know..

Now if the vet comes to my home (we are friends), masi is all over like a BFF:) go figure..
 

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Yes - Kramer (GSD-Chow) loved the muzzle - he would sit and wait for them to put it on and then prance around like it was truly a party hat. But it took the choice away from him. :)

This was when I first got him - we did a whole system with him - he needed to be mildly sedated (pill) and muzzled, then just muzzled, then was able to be seen without it, but it took time.

When he was 15 and needed an ultrasound we had to muzzle him again because he was going to be on his back. No one puts baby on his back, right! As soon as we took it off, he dirty hit all of us - snappa, snappa, snap right around the group.

I miss him so much. :wub:
 

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onyx'girl;1945830 Elaine said:
None of my own dogs, but I deal with it a lot with the fosters. In fact, the foster puppy I had this summer was very FA and I loved her so much I almost kept her. I still have visitation rights to her. She got an early intervention and learned to deal with her problem in a more acceptable way.

My current foster is the older fatter version of that dog and I get a huge kick out of her naughty personality. She didn't get the benefit of an early intervention so I'm having to manage her a bit differently.
 

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So what was the "early intervention"?
I would love to hear how you managed to turn her around.
 

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My greyhounds were old pros at wearing their muzzles and thought nothing of wearing them when I took them coursing. The other breeds at coursing didn't have the benefit of early training to the muzzle and many of them would stop, drop, and roll, to remove it, so were unable to run.
 

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Elaine, I am serious. If you could share your methods it may help others so they don't have to muzzle their dogs. Experiences shared are very helpful.

Jean, WE all miss Kramer!! :wub:
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Thank you to everyone that gave helpful information...I will definitely start to work with her on this....

I personally just ignore the people that think they are perfect owners or dogs...or the people that try to ruin forums with hatefulness...after all I believe this is suppose to be a positive informative experience for all...
 

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That's like saying my dog will never leave my side so I'll never put a collar or leash on her...good grief! My GSD and my Rottie are both comfortable wearing a muzzle...not because either of them has EVER demonstrated any aggression to people, but because someday they might be in a situation without me, and someone might put a muzzle on them simply because of their breed. Example: we are traveling and get in a car accident. I am incapacitated, and the local shelter picks up my dogs. The meter reader leaves the gate open and my dogs go for a stroll and get picked up by the local animal control...again, not unheard of for someone to automatically muzzle a GSD or a Rottie "just in case". Think back to car accident or the lost dog scenario: what if the dog(s) were injured, and I was not there? Better to have them used to wearing a muzzle so that if someone puts one on them it does not create more trauma and stress because they were never taught about muzzles. I'd much rather teach them to accept it (and a properly fitted muzzle DOES NOT HURT THE DOG) rather than know they were terrified by a stranger putting an unusual restraint on them should that someday become necessary.
 

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I'd much rather teach them to accept it (and a properly fitted muzzle DOES NOT HURT THE DOG) rather than know they were terrified by a stranger putting an unusual restraint on them should that someday become necessary.
OR have them bite said person and be PTS as a result of the fear. I think that is what I'm most cautious about. Yes, I would hate my dog to be stressed out and so afraid, but I would hate losing him for trivial reasons much more. :(
 

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I trained Molly to accept wearing a muzzle from when she was only about 4-5 months old. She has never needed to wear one at any time but I am pleased that if in the unlikely event she had to have one on (other than training her to be used to it), it would not stress her out.
 

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I do not do muzzle training, but I don't think it's a bad thing. Nikon has been muzzled before for a sedative injection given by someone not at the regular vet. Otherwise I've never had the vet ask to have him muzzled, he loves going to the vet. If the vet wanted to muzzle him then I am fine with it but they've never even mentioned it. He doesn't panic b/c the muzzle goes on either. I don't think the training is a requirement for every dog, as long as the dog will accept the muzzle. Some dogs not only don't ever need one but when someone less comfortable with the dog asks for one, the dog is fine with it without "training" for it. Sort of like some dogs take months to crate train and others are just naturally happy to be in their crate. I don't have any dogs that are aggressive or fearful for vetting or grooming (quite the opposite, often I take a dog along to the vet to accompany another dog b/c they like the field trip). If I did, I'd do the muzzle training if the dog didn't naturally accept the muzzle, but right now of four dogs only one has been asked to be muzzled once and we simply put it on him and that was that. I have a muzzle somewhere, I don't even know where it ended up b/c I've never used it.
 

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How does one know how their dog will react? And what is the best muzzle to use? If need be at the vet, do they use it or do we the owner have to have one? Sorry for the hijack. Never even thought of training Jake to a muzzle, got me thinking.
 

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I use a nylon muzzle for the vet. The dog cannot pant or drink and can overheat easier.
Also I've seen it cut into the muzzle because it is pretty tight. A wire basket muzzle would be the best one, so the dog can pant, drink and take treats. Those are bulkier and a bit harder for the dog to get use to.
As far as reacting, the dog will paw at it to get it off, causing more stress.
 

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It was suggested in puppy class to get your dog used to you handling their muzzle and build up to be able to wrap both hands around the muzzle and hold for a while. This was in case you needed to use a muzzle in case of an emergency. I even went as far as wrapping a long sock around her muzzle.

Then I had to use one with the behaviorist when we went on off leash hikes. I never had a problem getting her used to it, but I did introduce it slowly and with food. Used it twice but I still put it on her in the house just to keep her used to it so she realizes it is not a big deal.

Since you are wondering if you should do this, I would. Go buy a inexpensive plastic muzzle, I think they are ten dollars. I bought a wire one and it was fifty dollar and very hard to find here. I'm not sure about the mesh ones. The advantage of them is that they will fit nicely in a pocket or purse.
 
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