We recommend the Italian Basket Muzzle. "Muzzle! Muzzle! Are you nuts?! I would never muzzle my dog!" I can hear some of you saying that right now. That is because most people are only familiar with the standard nylon dog muzzle. This muzzle covers the dog's nose like a straight jacket. The dog can barely pant, bark, drink water, etc. If left on too long in a warm environment, it can cause the dog to overheat, dehydrate, and possibly die.
The only thing in common between the nylon dog muzzle and Italian Basket Muzzle is that they both have the word "muzzle" in their names. The Italian Basket Muzzle does not constrain the dog's nose in any way. He can still pant, bark, drink water, etc. The only thing he can't do is to use his mouth to nip or bite. The only places the muzzle actually touches the dog is at the crown of his nose where a soft leather strip positions the muzzle on the nose and at the back of the neck where a fitted strap holds the muzzle in place. Most Canine Professionals actively acknowledge the Italian Basket Muzzle as the most humane way to teach and deter a dog from nipping, chewing, and biting.
So, how do you use it?
- First make sure that it fits properly and that your dog can't easily "paw it off". It should be snug without your dog's nose touching the end of the muzzle.
- Now, start to socialize your dog with the muzzle. Put it on for short periods of time while you also have him attached to a leash. As soon as he starts to go for the muzzle, give a slight tug on the leash and tell him no.
- You can also put a little goodie inside the muzzle to redirect his attention as it is going on.
- Do not make a big deal about the muzzle. Your dog should become aware that it is just another part of life.
- Extend the time your dog wears the muzzle until he becomes used to it. This is the same way that us "glasses wearers" got used to wearing our first pair of glasses so long ago.