Next step in muzzle training?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Maxy24, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

    Nov 29, 2006
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    I've been working on and off with Tucker on training him to accept a muzzle, but since I am in collge it's only when I come home. I have basically been feeding him his meals through it. He does still appear to find it a bit uncomfortable. He is somewhat stiff while it is on and when he does move he'll buck his head up a bit. When I first put it on I would just sit and feed him throuh it but now we run through his commands so that he can get used to the feeling of moving with it on. So far it's been alright, he is not bothered enough to not follow the commands and he has never pawed at it.

    But I don't know if I'm going about this the right way. I worked up to putting it on him slowly, first having him stick his face in to eat spoonful by spoonful, then pushing kibble in through the muzzle as he held his own face in it, then pretending to close the strap while I pushed kibble through, then actually attaching the strap, feeding a little kibble, and taking it off and Lternating between that and the feeding without attaching. He did great with all that so I attach it for most or all of the meal. Should I just continue feeding him while he wears the muzzle and I run him through his commands until he stops appearing uncomfortable? I'd sort of like to speed the process up a bit since we wanted to bring him to the vet soon and want him comfortable in the muzzle for that since I expect an absolute nightmare. Can I just put it on him for a few minutes during the day while we hang out and pop him treats now and then or will that make him hate it? Or maybe put it on before taking him to go to the bathroom. I just feel like I need to work with him on it in a situation where he is not constantly getting food because I feel like we need to do that before I can actually use it. But I don't want him to hate it. So I guess I'm just looking for ideas of where I should go with the muzzle work from here.
  2. DJEtzel

    DJEtzel Active Member

    Jan 1, 2010
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    Kalamazoo, MI
    Each dog is going to be different at how fast you can acclimate them to the muzzle.

    I would start giving better rewards than his kibble, though, if I were you and need him to acclimate faster. Cheese, hotdog, and meatballs are what I used to muzzle train Frag. I would still feed his meals through it as well, though.

    I'd spend some time going through commands, then going outside with it on, in the car with it on, giving him treats (high value ones!) very regularly. Then start weaning off. Start sitting down on the couch and looking away/ignoring him for 5 seconds, treat... 10 seconds, treat, etc. for him "settling" and not being directed, while wearing it.

    It's usually a lot easier for dogs to accept it if they're being engaged and working/getting direction and having something to do with it on, than when they're expected to just sit there for a while.

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