Although considered very intelligent creatures, dogs are still animals that can be dangerous. Some are aggressive, some are cuddly, friendly creatures, yet they are all able to bite. Being a responsible owner means protecting your dog, and protecting others from your dog. In situations where your pet may feel anxious, stressful or nervous, a dog muzzle is a solution to stop the unwanted event from happening.
Also, a muzzle is a great aid when training a dog, as well as for medical issues. Unfortunately, not all of us can afford to buy (sometimes) very expensive dog equipment, and why waste your hard earned money, when you can make one all by yourself? This article will guide you, and offer you answers on how to make a dog muzzle.
Why does your dog need a muzzle?
First things first: we can define muzzle as a tool that is fitted over the dog’s snout and prevents the dog from opening mouth or using its teeth.
There are few reasons why a dog would need a muzzle:
- Aggressiveness — if a dog is aggressive and does not allow people or other dogs to approach him he should be always muzzled when in public. This, however, is not a permanent solution as there are many occasions where your dog may come in contact with people when he is not muzzled, for example, if he escapes or manages to take the muzzle off. Aggressive behavior should not be tolerated and every dog owner has a duty to put an end to it. Consult your vet or hire a professional dog trainer to resolve this issue.
- Nervous — dogs that tend to get nervous around other people or animals should also be muzzled. Although he never actually tried to hurt someone, this is a risk and dog should wear a muzzle until properly socialized. If your dog shows this behavior, work on that as soon as possible.
- Scavenger — some dogs like to eat whatever smell nice for them. It may often be something toxic or bad for the dog’s health, and muzzle may temporarily put an end to this manner. Our advice is to train your dog not to eat anything but the food that is in the bowl as it will prevent potential poisoning or chocking.
- Injured — if a dog had a surgery, or has any kind of wound that is still healing, muzzle will prevent the dog from biting and licking it. Also, dog booties should be worn to stop the dog from scratching the place.
- The law — if the law in your country obliges you that you muzzle your dog when in public, you simply have to obey it and provide this piece of equipment for your pet.
If you have recognized any of the behavior or situation listed above, your dog certainly needs a muzzle. Luckily, we are here to help you with your problem. Read through to learn how to make a muzzle with ease.
If you are in a hurry, we have prepared a quick method homemade muzzle instructions. Any material will do, and the best to use is a simple piece of cloth, nylon leashes, pantyhose, or a neck tie; basically anything that can be tied around the dog’s snout. Make a loop in the centre and gently put the dog’s nose through it. Tighten it to be firm, but not too tight, then put both ends behind dog’s ears and tie it into a bow. Do not use a knot as you may need to untie the muzzle quickly.
Here is a video tutorial that describes the technique used in making an emergency dog muzzle out of what you have around.
4 steps to a long lasting muzzle
For those of you who want to make a cheap, simple, yet, durable and long-lasting muzzle for your dog, we have prepared a set of steps needed.
Required materials and tools:
- Nylon webbing and a matching thread
- Plastic cargo buckle
- Sewing machine
So, let’s get to work!
Step 1 – measure
Once we have assembled everything we need for our homemade dog muzzle, it is time to measure our dog in order to cut the pieces. What you need to measure is the dog’s snout, along the jaw line to behind the ear, and across the back of the dog’s head, that way we have covered everything that goes inside the muzzle. Snout and jaw line dimensions should be 1 inch longer, and piece that goes across the back of the head should be 6 inches longer so hem allowances and the buckle will be able to fit in.
Here is a video tutorial that can teach you a bit more about measuring for the right muzzle.
Step 2 — cut the pieces
Now that you have got your dog’s measurements, you need to cut the nylon webbing, and when you get to the part that goes across the back of the head, remember to cut it in half as that is where the buckle will go. Here is a bonus tip from us: Use heat to seal the edges of nylon webbing pieces in order to prevent them from fraying.
Step 3 — sewing time
Snout piece goes first, sew it in circle and attach jaw line pieces on the sides of the snout piece. Thread each outer end of the buckle 3 inches on every part of the head piece. Fold the nylon webbing over and sew it to keep the buckle firmly in place. Do this on each of the top halves. The last thing to do with your sewing machine is to sew each half to the already sewn muzzle.
The best possible way to make the hems stitched together on all the places is to sew a rectangle and then make an x pattern in the center of the rectangle. This will make sure that the stitch is strong and there is no need to worry about it coming loose.
Step 4 — complete the muzzle
Try it on your dog and see if you have got the measurement right. If any corrections are needed, do them now, if not, your muzzle is ready.
You can give it a final touch by adding custom decorations of your choice. A great idea is to make the muzzle appealing, so it will cause a positive reaction from the people who see it and make the dog even more comfortable in it.
Cash out an easy solution
Unfortunately, not all of us can just sit down and make a muzzle. Some of us lack the time, others lack the skills, and some of us are just too lazy to do it.
Lucky for them, we always have a solution! We have prepared a list of muzzles you could shop online or from a veterinary store.
Choose your favorite:
Quick fit dog muzzle is the one with the lowest price, yet it gets the job done. It is offered in 9 sizes with instructions on how to measure your dog and get the fitting muzzle. It is made of strong nylon fabric and it is very easy to put on a dog. The price for this piece of equipment is only $ 7.99.
Adjustable dog grooming muzzle comes in 5 sizes. It is made of quality nylon mesh and recommended for medium sized dogs. The muzzle has quick clip adjustable strap that makes it pretty easy to put on. The price is $ 8.99
Guardian gear plastic dog basket muzzle has a basket made of strong, flexible plastic and is designed to fit securely and comfortably on dogs snouts. It comes with adjustable nylon strap with a quick-release buckle and a faux-leather comfort strip for the dog’s snout, and it is available only in black. The price for this muzzle is $ 12.99.
Soft leather dog basket muzzle comes in one size, generally for medium size dogs, made to fit on average Pitbull or American Starfford Terrier. It is Well-ventilated, light and durable, made high quality genuine leather and riveted for extra strength. The great addition are adjustable leather straps wouldn’t stretch that will keep the muzzle firm and secure. The price of this muzzle is $ 19.99.
Viper Delta wire metal basket dog muzzle is the champion on our list, and also the most expensive one. The muzzle is lightweight, padded and comfortable, and while wearing it, the dog is able to drink water! This extremely well ventilated dog muzzle will last for a long time due to highest quality materials used to make one, thus the price of $ 43.00. It comes in 14 sizes.
Train your dog to wear a muzzle
The first time you put a muzzle on your dog, he will definitely not like and most of the dogs try to take it off. It may seem impossible to make him wear it and forget about it. As always, we have a solution for it. Positive reinforcement has proven successful in solving many behavior problems and it is the best method to make your dog love the muzzle. All you need is patience, consistency and a pack of treats. Of course, you will also need a muzzle, but you have already made one, right?
Start by getting a treat out so your dog can see it. Wait for him to calm down, and slowly introduce the muzzle and let your dog sniff it. At the moment he puts the nose close to a muzzle, reward him with a treat. Repeat this and get the dog’s nose inside the muzzle inch by inch, until it can stand there without you holding it. Reward him with a treat and start moving straps to the back of your dog’s head and attempt to tie a bow. Reward your dog for being calm after every move you make. Once the muzzle is completely on, take it off and reward your dog with a treat again.
Now that you are able to put it on the dog without any problems, it’s time to practice wearing it. Start with short periods, and increase the length for about 30 seconds on every attempt. If your dog gets uncomfortable and tries to take it off, try to distract him with a treat, a ball or anything else that may make him forget that he has a muzzle on.
Once he is able to wear it for couple of minutes without a problem, take your dog for a walk with the muzzle on. In time, he will feel completely comfortable with it, and the best part is that your dog will associate the muzzle with happy situations — treats and walks.
There are things muzzles are good for, yet, there are owners who think muzzle should be worn all the time for every risky situation. Here is the list of «don’ts» when it comes to dog wearing a muzzle:
- Do not think that a muzzle will fix your dog’s aggression problem. It is only a temporary solution, and you need patience and training to put an end to aggression
- Do not use a muzzle to stop your dog from barking. It is not a solution and it will feel like a torment for your dog. There are methods to stop excessive barking of your dog, and you should practice them instead.
- Never leave a muzzled dog unattended and off-leash. Your dog may hurt himself while attempting to take the muzzle off.
- Tube style muzzles should be worn for several minutes only as they prevent your dog from panting and your dog may overheat very fast. A muzzle with a basket allows the panting and can be worn for longer periods.
Remember, dog muzzle will only cover dog aggression problem, not fix them. True, a muzzle is going to protect one dog from biting a person or another dog it but it is not going to solve the issue with aggression.
The problem must be addressed and worked on, so both you and your dog, and everyone and everything around you will be safe.