The Muzzle Up! Project and why Mookie is muzzle trained!

The Muzzle Up! Project

Muzzles are a fantastic tool to help keep dogs and people safe.  It's said best at The Muzzle Up! Project which will help teach you all about muzzles and their proper use. This site includes training and resources that you'll need to get your dog the right muzzle and get him used to wearing it!  

Did you know that dogs wear muzzles for all sorts of reasons?  Dogs might wear muzzles because:

  • He eats rocks, socks, or other non-food items that can be toxic or cause expensive and life-threatening surgeries.
  • She is nervous of other dogs, and the muzzle helps keep everyone safe during off-leash hiking or on-leash walks.
  • The muzzle works as a cue to tell other owners to give the dog some space.
  • The owner wants to teach their dog to be comfortable wearing a muzzle in case the dog must wear one someday at the vet's office.

A properly-fitted basket muzzle can do all of this, and more! Best of all, if you take the time to train your dog to wear the muzzle, it should be comfortable for your dog. 

Please check out The Muzzle Up! Project website and take advantage of all they have to offer.

So what's my experience with muzzles?  
I started about 20 years ago with my German Shepherds with 2 males who needed to be safe from each other for a bit.  That's what is usually thought of for muzzle use but I started competing in a protection sport that required as part of the obedience routine MUZZLE HEELING!  That was challenging but led me to make it part of my training program.  

Then on a vet visit, Brita in severe pain lashed out when examined and I immediately said "get a muzzle" and was glad that she was muzzle trained.  She, by the way, had Lumbosacral Stenosis and subsequently had back surgery.

So .....  fast forward to Mookie!  I started him with a soft puppy muzzle and he adjusted to it but, as a puppy, didn't think it was something he wanted to do.  At a year old I bought a wire muzzle from Dean and Tyler who offers a muzzle that comes in 30 sizes. Their website includes a chart to help you determine the correct size for your dog. I emailed them with dimensions and got it wrong.  After realizing and lots of tech support I remeasured and get a smaller one which I think is just fine. 

Product features (from their website) include:

  • Heavy felt padding on the nose area to prevent chafing
  • Adjustable leather straps
  • Ample room for your dog to eat, drink and pant
  • Available in smaller breed sizes

Mookie had it on and I put some food on the floor and he methodically picked it up and ate it.  I jokingly said it's better than the slow feeders I've had for him.  We did a few presentations at a rally class and then some position changes (sit/down/stand) at obedience class with it on. 

Mookie napping and eating with the muzzle on!


I will keep it hanging on his crate in my van with a note to use it if there is an accident if he is hurt!   

And finally....

Learn how to make a muzzle using your pet's leash. 

This can be very helpful during an emergency when your pet is in pain and may, unintentionally, try to bite. Click here for a video that shows how simple it can be.