Envision being on a walk, and seeing a dog wearing a muzzle walking nearby. The initial impression is still often one of concern or worry – a “scary dog!” reaction that can happens instinctually based on historical connotation of muzzle use. The truth and reality is that muzzles keep everyone safe, and demonstrate someone who is keeping safety and positive experiences at the forefront of their walking plans.
There are many reasons why a dog may wear a muzzle, and positive muzzle training is something that every dog should experience. Using positive rewards to teach a dog to wear a muzzle teaches a dog that a) muzzles are a GOOD thing, and b) hands coming towards their face is a pleasant activity. Proofing the act of wearing a muzzle far in advance can help dogs have a more pleasant experience for when they would benefit from its use.
Having a dog wear a muzzle keeps everyone safe – the dog is prevented from giving a bite, other parties are prevented from receiving a bite, and the dog’s person will have a sense of confidence and security in being able to walk their dog out and about safely for all…which dogs can sense and relax under!
Brother Wolf dogs with different histories and behavior challenges are commonly walked or hiked with muzzles on in order to promote safety for all. This allows them to participate in enriching and educational activities that may not have otherwise been possible, and they become better dogs for wearing muzzles. The muzzle is a tool that opens doors for them!
The next time a muzzled dog is seen on a walk, remember that the muzzle means that the dog’s owner is making positive choices with their dog. No longer a mark of concern, but a badge of responsible freedom.