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paulina m scavenging chopo muzzle

Should You Muzzle Your Dog?

While MTT strongly believes all dogs should be muzzled trained, we also want to ensure people aren't muzzling their dog/s for the wrong reasons. Here you will learn why people muzzle their dogs, as well as situations where a muzzle is not appropriate to be used or relied on. 

Reasons To Muzzle

Muzzles come in handy for all sorts of reasons, Not every dog needs to be muzzled, but it never hurts to muzzle train any dog.


These are some of the reasons people may muzzle their dogs:​​

  • Bite risks due to aggression or reactivity towards strangers or dogs

  • Bite risks at the vet (some dogs may be charming in every other situation, but nothing will make them like your vet)

  • Bite risks in other situations, such as an injury or emergency (even friendly dogs can bite when they're in pain)

  • Scavenging/eating things they're not supposed to (like poop!)

  • In place of a cone after surgery/medical care

  • Breed-specific legislation (BSL)

  • Bite work training

  • Greyhound racing/lure coursing

  • Some dogs have fragile skin, and their owners will muzzle to prevent any accidental injuries while they play together

  • Introducing new dogs to a household, just in case

  • Prey drive

  • Some places drop poisonous baits

  • Rough play

  • Some stores require them

  • Public transportation

  • BECAUSE WE CAN! You don’t need a reason to muzzle train your dog. It’s no different to crate training (something we also highly recommend). Even if you never crate them, there’s always a chance you may have to, so why not? It’s fun, rewarding and can keep everyone safe, happy and calm if it’s ever needed.

Reasons NOT To Muzzle


Muzzles should not EVER be used to stop barking. A dog barking is a training issue and having a muzzle that would stop barking would be having a muzzle way too small for your dog. If you think using a muzzle to keep their mouth closed is okay, you should not be muzzling or probably shouldn't own a dog. Using a tight/small muzzle is no different to using rope or tape, its lazy, cruel and not necessary.

There are many companies that advertise their muzzles as bark stopping, which is so unfortunate that these dog companies advocate for this kind of abuse and neglect instead of advocating for a correct fit and proper training.

If your dog can't bark in their muzzle its very likely much too small and dangerous for your dog. More info on this in using a muzzle.


Using a muzzle as punishment is a good way to make your dog even worse. It is devastating that we even have to add this here but having see people first hand say they use the muzzle this way it must be said. 

The main issues dogs have are biting, chewing and barking, if you put on the muzzle AFTER they do these things in order to punish and stop them, then you need not have a dog. Stop being lazy, stop being cruel and train your dog to love the muzzle and use it to work on the training they need. 

But it worked for your dog?

We don't care if an abusive method worked for your dog. I'm sure it did work at suppressing behaviours and losing all trust from your dog.


Muzzles are a band-aid; they stop the bite, not the behaviour. While muzzling, you also need to work on your training. You cannot just throw a muzzle on and go on with your dog being rude/nippy etc. Dogs can still do damage in a muzzle. You will absolutely need to continue training your dog, just like anyone else has to, for the whole dog's life.

Unfortunately we have a few members who come here to try find the quickest fix to their dogs problem, which is usually a muzzle. But slapping on a muzzle and expecting it to train your dogs is like putting on a leash and expecting a dog that already pulls, not to pull. Its just not possible. A muzzle is one part of training, it's up to you to complete the other parts too.


Muzzles should never be used unsupervised as they could try chew the muzzle and choke or get caught in/on something. They could also remove the muzzle which defeats the whole purpose. If your dog, chews, fights etc then you need to either find an alternative whilst gone, like crating, chaining, separating etc. ​

If you find yourself questioning if your dog needs a muzzle, it's pretty likely that they do. Even if they don't, why not? Having a dog muzzle trained is a huge benefit if it is ever needed, the dog will have no issues wearing one.

Members Comments Below

"He is safe, secure and makes walks so much more easy-going on both of us, no need to feel nervous walking around corners and people appearing suddenly, or people stepping out from their fenced-in gardens/drives and spooking him causing him to react. He is more comfortable and relaxed; I am more comfortable and relaxed, making for a tighter bond and a happier walking experience!" -Katrina Jayne

"Allows me to let him continue to do the things he loves to do (go for walks in public areas) and train him in public without fear that he will end up in trouble. He is fear reactive, so the muzzle has given me a sense of security for my dog's safety, my safety and everyone around safety." -Karyn Ward

"It allowed me to be less anxious at the vet, always expecting him to bite someone out of fear. Now I can go into an appointment with confidence, knowing he cannot bite anyone, which has helped him immensely and made him feel less anxious while wearing his muzzle. I think it makes him feel protected somehow" - Aubrey Heffner

"Raja - I can safely take him on walks knowing he can't lash out aggressively if he reacts to another dog. People tend to give us more space, and they avoid letting their dogs get up close in his face, which is his biggest trigger.

Rayna has mild SSA, and with her muzzle, she can safely run around with my sister's female dog because I know she can't bite her. It opens up her ability to interact with other dogs. my stress is lower because I know if she does get aggressive, she can't bite." - Rebecca Burnham

"He can now mooch about in the garden off lead without me worrying about him picking up stones or random rubbish (he has PICA).- Heather Barlow

"He used only to be able to come on adventures in cool weather in his poorly fitted Baskerville because I knew he couldn’t pant properly (but wasn’t smart enough to figure out how to solve it ). Now he gets to go on desert trips, and I’m confident he can pant and play in the water!"- Lisa Volungis

"My boy is a completely different dog while muzzled. He calms down; he listens, lets people near him and WAGS HIS TAIL!!! Without it, he is hard to handle. He's a little over a year old, so he is very energetic. He's more dog than I can handle, but the muzzle complete changes everything for the better" - Leslee D V

"Muzzling has vastly improved my dog's quality of life. It allows us to go on walks and visit with family with peace of mind. Hopefully, it never comes to it, but it may save his life." - Hayley Streidinger

"Before muzzling, I had to keep Bella on lead and away from dogs at all times. Now because of the muzzle, I have managed to train her around other dogs where she is now at a point where she can politely greet dogs with no aggression or give normal warnings without going from 1 to 100 in seconds."- Sarah Louise Foreman

"We go on so many more adventures and to new places without the worry of an off-leash or out of control dog!! It has given us so much peace of mind and enriched my dog’s life!!!" -Danielle Cadman

"It helped to make me more relaxed when out with him, knowing he couldn't bite, which translated to him being more relaxed and then we were both more focussed and in a better headspace for training. We are now at the point we can actually enjoy walks now" - Diane Hamilton

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