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#workingdogwednesday! Pictured here is the start of muzzle training with Ozzy who just turned 8 months old. This is a gradual process that is done by placing treats inside the muzzle, then giving a “muzzle” verbal command. We first just allowed him to place his face inside the muzzle for the treat, then slowly began to hold it on his head and face while praising and calmly petting his head. Gradually we then began to fit the straps of the muzzle to his head and worked on his focus and engagement while actually wearing the fitted muzzle. This should be repeated daily to positively condition the wearing of the muzzle. The next step will be to start taking him out on short walks while wearing it, without trying to take it off. The goal is for him to be completely relaxed and comfortable with the muzzle on, as if he wasn’t wearing it at all. .
We do muzzle training for several reasons. First, I believe all dogs should be comfortable wearing a muzzle. Comfortable meaning calm and relaxed for an extended period of time if need be. Muzzle training may not always, or ever, be needed for a “pet dog” but it’s better to have the training in place than not. You never know when your dog may be required to wear a muzzle at the vet, groomer, traveling or training in cases of dogs who are highly dog or people aggressive. All of the above is important for Ozzy seeing he is in training to be a personal protection dog (PPD) and muzzle training is going to be a necessary part of the civil portion of his working dog training. Let me know if there are any topics or questions related to muzzle training or working dog stuff you’d like to learn more about!
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