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My Babykins had a reaction the other day to a vaccination - we took her to the Emergency Vet. They don't allow any dog owners in and they require the dog to enter with a muzzle.

If you met my dog you'd be shocked anyone would suggest a muzzle. She's a trained therapy dog; we did nursing home visits for awhile before I trained her to be a mobility service dog. She is the friendliest dog.

Any dog in pain can snap or bite, even the most friendly. She was carried into the hospital by an unknown vet tech, into a strange scary building she had never visited to be examined by the emergency room vet without the comfort of my self or my husband.

Because I had trained putting a muzzle on her, I had no problem putting it on. She wasn't stressed by wearing a muzzle. Because she is crated trained, they had no trouble crating her before and after her exam.

She was fine, just pain and discomfort in the area of the injection - not an allergic reaction to the vaccination. A little pain medication, some bed rest for a few days and she's back to normal.

We have a lot of new members with puppies and young dogs - I highly recommend training your dog to wear a muzzle and be comfortable in a crate. You never know when you have an emergency.
 

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I'm so glad Babykins is okay.

You've really raised an excellent point. I think most of our poodles would be horrified if we tried to abruptly muzzle them, especially before sending them into a scary place with strangers.

What muzzle would you recommend for training? Did you bring your own or did they require that she wear one of theirs?
 

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That is interesting. I used to have to use a muzzle on Snarky when he was in the company of one particular cur dog. Snarky was the kind of dog who would snark at other dogs (hence his name) but wasn't interested in finishing a fight. The cur, in contrast, didn't much see the point in starting a fight unless it ended with the loser dead. Pogo had the sense not to antagonize the cur, but Snarky was a brat. Therefore, both poodle and cur had to wear muzzles when around each other.
 

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That is interesting. I used to have to use a muzzle on Snarky when he was in the company of one particular cur dog. Snarky was the kind of dog who would snark at other dogs (hence his name) but wasn't interested in finishing a fight. The cur, in contrast, didn't much see the point in starting a fight unless it ended with the loser dead. Pogo had the sense not to antagonize the cur, but Snarky was a brat. Therefore, both poodle and cur had to wear muzzles when around each other.
As I was researching muzzles that will fit a spoo, this thread actually popped up at the top of my google search:


Would you recommend the Leerburg based on your experience? Did you end up trying any others?
 

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The Leesburg wire cage is the only one I used. It was mostly good for what I was using it for, which is a dog working and running hard for an extended period while wearing it. Snarky could open his mouth to pant. He could stick his head in a bucket to drink. We could slip treats into it. He just couldn't nip his nemesis while wearing it.

Leerburg sells different designs for different shaped heads.. The thing I didn't like about Snarky's muzzle was that the spacing of the wires was a little bit too far apart. Snarky got his toe caught in the wire a few times while trying to rub the muzzle off while first getting used to it. (Eventually Snarky did get used to the muzzle. He learned that donning his muzzle was the prelude to lots of fun running and barking and playing. )The cur's muzzle had a different design, due to the broader cur head, and didn’t have that wire spacing issue. I dont know if the muzzle designs have changed; this was quite a while ago.

I think for something like a vet visit you'd probably want a soft cloth muzzle rather than Snarky's cage muzzle. Less scary looking, and less painful to you when the dog whips his head around and bonks you with his snout. However, some of the cloth muzzles I saw seemed to restrict how much the dog could open his mouth. That's fine for a 20 minute bus ride, or if you are in an air conditioned vet office. For me, good ventilation was essential. I did not want Snarky dying of heat stroke.
 

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All of our dogs are trained to accept muzzles for those sorts of emergencies. I actually should refresh their acceptance of them soon. I have heavy duty rubber basket muzzles. I'll have to look up the brand (same for all of them). I found the measuring/fitting instructios to be spot on.

Muzzle acceptance and crate training are very helpful in emergencies. In a real emergancy everyone will be upset and it is not likely to be so easy as the rehearsals.
 
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)

This is what I have. I prefer a soft muzzle. I put it on very loosely so she can open her mouth partway to pant.

Edited to add. Catherine is right. In an emergency you aren’t calm and patient the way you normally are. It was good that I was able to quickly and easily put the muzzle on without her fighting me. Knowing she was comfortable with muzzle made sending her in easier. I wasn’t sending in a dog pawing at her face trying to knock a muzzle off. Same with the crate.
 

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Working now on muzzle acceptance with Asta - good for emergency vet visits - but my best outcome will be that is easier for me to groom. Asta can be a terrorist.
 

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With the grooming and soft muzzles - note that you can't leave them on for more than half an hour or so, as they do inhibit panting. We had one for my childhood dog, who was also a terrorist when groomed... it made a huge difference in both the dog and the human's comfort level- the dog relaxed, either because it knew it couldn't bite, or because my mom relaxed as she knew it couldn't bite.

I have thought of muzzle training with Annie, but haven't yet. It is a good idea for emergencies. She is good about me putting on a gentle leader or head harness, though she hates those too.
 

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I buckled the soft muzzle very loosely - Babykins was panting when she went into the hospital - but she couldn't bite. However I can see if you pulled it on tighter, then yes, it could prevent panting.
 
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I buckled the soft muzzle very loosely - Babykins was panting when she went into the hospital - but she couldn't bite. However I can see if you pulled it on tighter, then yes, it could prevent panting.
That looks like a great one to have in first aid kits. Good to know you don't have to put it on tightly, though I guess fit will vary a lot by muzzle size/shape.

Looking at Chewy, so many of the review photos are of pit bulls. Hard to visualize them on a spoo!
 

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These are the muzzles we have for our three dogs. They come in a great range of sizes, will allow the dog to drink and take treats, but prevent biting. You start training by putting a bunch of treats in the palm of your hand and hold the muzzle just above the treats so the dog has to stick their muzzle into the basket to get the treats. After they got used to that I laid the straps over the back of their necks, then repeated with loose buckling and so forth always with treats in the palm of my hand.

 

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JAFCO is the BEST brand I've found for bite risk dogs. The clear one is flexible, which is awesome for long term useage. It also has the option for a circular treat hole JAFCO Regular Plastic Muzzle

right now, since I cannot afford a JAFCO, I have a Birdwell size medium in blue for my 55 lb pit mix
 
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