To muzzle or not to muzzle...?

bex1984

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I have a 7 year old JRTx. He's quite a neurotic character as well as being bossy and strong willed, and since he's been an adult dog has not been good with other dogs unless he knows them well. He was bitten badly and completely terrified by a large dog when he was 6 months old. We have his younger brother, now 2, who he gets on with although he runs a tight ship and will tell the younger one off fairly regularly - it looks and sounds horrendous but there is never a mark on the other one and 5 minutes later they will be playing/cuddling up together.

We've had help from behaviourists and he's gone from barking and lunging at other dogs on his lead to walking calmly past. So on his lead he's perfect now, but I feel a bit sad for him that he doesn't get off lead more and I'm wondering about putting a muzzle on him?

I wouldn't take him to the park etc as but it would mean I could walk him on footpaths and know that if he did accidentally come into contact with another dog nothing awful could happen...
...but they look so horrible and I worry a little that he'll be more tense with it on so it may cause him to be more reactive when we've been working on calmness!

Any advice?
 

PucciNPoni

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in my experience a dog off lead is less threatened than one on lead, and will be less likely to be aggressive. However if it was my dog and I had him off lead, I'd not muzzle purely because if another dog had a go at him, I'd rather he be able to stick up for himself.
 

Kaylum

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Can't you take him to the park and keep him on a long lead
Take my rescue dog who has been attacked and does not want to go near other dogs to the park and where it is quiet I put her on the lunge line and she can run well on that.
 

pippixox

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Im undecided. I had a reactive dog but luckily he had access to my horse fields and just dogs he knew and liked there. I did muzzle him on occasion when trying to socialise him more, for safety as he was a big GSD. But he did not like it much- allowed me to put it on but tried rubbing it off. Also I could then not use his favourite toys to distract him from other dogs as he could not hold them while muzzled.

I also agree there is a danger of not being able to protect themselves if another dog hurts them. It can make them feel more vulnerable and then more likely to react,

They can get a bit tangled aometimes, but lunge lines work well.
 

bex1984

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Can't you take him to the park and keep him on a long lead
Take my rescue dog who has been attacked and does not want to go near other dogs to the park and where it is quiet I put her on the lunge line and she can run well on that.
Unfortunately I just can't take him to the park at all - our local parks are full of people who think it's OK to let their large bouncy dogs off lead run up to an on lead dog!
 

bex1984

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Him feeling more vulnerable and stressed is what worries me. But then he so loves getting off his lead and exploring on footpaths and I feel I can't let him off just in case a dog appears round a corner or something. He also sometimes approaches other dogs because I think in a way he wants to play - but then he snaps very suddenly.

ETA I used to walk him in the yard fields which was great but don't have a horse now :(
 

Kaylum

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Unfortunately I just can't take him to the park at all - our local parks are full of people who think it's OK to let their large bouncy dogs off lead run up to an on lead dog!
I do know what you mean we have managed to find a very quiet part
 

Umbongo

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I would also be concerned that although with a muzzle he may not be able to bite, he could still lunge at/run into/knock over other dogs. Not ideal for those other dogs who may already be nervous, arthritic, rehabbing from surgery, or potentially aggressive themselves but on a lead.

My husbands old arthritic dog got knocked in to by a muzzled aggressive dog and was very sore for days afterwards and was quite nervous about going out again.

My previous dog was very dog aggressive. We just had to manage him. He did get plenty of off lead time when I was 100% sure there were not other dogs around. We also used to walk him at odd times of the day when hopefully less dog walkers would be out! Would a long line work?
 

Cahill

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one of my dogs wears a muzzle while out and about.
he wears it because other people can not always control their dogs and he would get the blame because of what sort he is.
he minds his own business and always chooses to come back to me rather than look for trouble with other dogs. (if something had a go at him-he would have a go back)
he did not like the muzzle at first,sulked for a couple of weeks.i taught him to have it put on with treats.
also people give you space (more that a yellow coat) which we dont mind at all.
 
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My largest (33kg) greyhound was very dog aggressive when I got him - he couldn't help it, he had spent 5 1/2 years chasing small fluffy things as his job! I always, always muzzled him when I took him out, even if he was going to be on the lead, he was incredibly quick and the potential consequences were not worth it. Obviously he was very used to it and didn't bother at all, and it did have the effect of making idiots look after their dogs properly instead of letting them run up and bother him :)

5 years later he doesn't need a muzzle, he is chilled, happy, loves me and always wants to be with me..... and he only has 2 teeth left :D :D
 

Annette4

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I muzzle Fizz and its nothing to do with aggression (being a whippet she's a rather good rabbit/bird catcher and she eats anything dead she finds). She's not bothered by it, never had any issues with other dogs (just occasionally ****** owners but that's nothing new). Personally I'd rather a muzzled dog than an accident and tbh I wish more people would muzzle their dogs.
 

rara007

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I would start muzzle training him :) With training I think most dogs will happily accept one. I'd use it every time he was in public once he was happily accepting it.
 

bex1984

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Thanks all. I'm still undecided but will look into the training. Would just so love to take him on more interesting walks, especially as his brother is fine with other dogs so he gets to go to the park everyday.

OH takes him to fields or quiet parks with a ball and as long as he has a ball all is fine but I'm not as good at him at throwing a ball really far in the opposite direction if another dog approaches.
 
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