Training puppy to wear muzzle from day one?

Molly'sMama

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Hi
Nearly 18months ago, our 6month old lovely cocker spaniel pup died from peritonitis. We were all horrendously shaken up about it ,- this had never happened before with our other dogs, obviously! By the time the vets caught it , it was too late [but that's another story for another time..... ]

Vets reckoned she might have just picked something up whilst in the garden or running round the hills where we live and swallowed it- Cockers are pretty mouthy so it's plausible- they couldn't find what it was, but they said that a sharp enough piece of gravel could have done it, so it's not like we were walking her over landfills!

My question is - if , should we ever get another dog/pup, is it acceptable/reasonable to expect it to wear a muzzle whenever it is walking or in the garden, regardless of how friendly it is? Or would that be cruel, or something? If not, have could we prevent this event occurring again?
Just cannot stand to lose another beautiful pup.
Thanks.
 

jrp204

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Sorry to hear about losing your dog, I think you were hugely unluckly and it would be massively unfair to muzzle just to prevent it happening again (which it may not). You are now aware of the symptoms etc and would be more informed if it were to happen again, which would be highly unlikely. Please don't muzzle, what sort of life would your dog have?
 
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PorkChop

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I personally wouldn't. What I would do is teach a very good leave it command, and really do a lot of retrieving, so that they automatically bring anything back to you.

It must have been awful and I do understand your thinking but tbh I think you were just unlucky.
 

Lunchbox legend

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How awful - utterly heart breaking. I can fully understand your fear. I'm always rooting around in my pup's mouth to take things away from him. It beggars belief what they think is a good thing to play with!

I also wouldn't muzzle a pup, though, and would also teach a leave it/fetch it command so you have some control over what he/she is allowed to play with. The other thing I'd do, is make sure there are a whole bunch of things available the pup can pick up and that these vary every couple of/few days. Hopefully, if there's safe stuff to pick up, he/she is less likely to pick up unsafe stuff.

I'm sure it'll be fine next time.
 

Molly'sMama

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Thanks everyone. Some good ideas there.
I know rationally it was just an unfortunate accident but the worry still niggles. Will make sure that any future pups have good ability to drop/leave etc. :)
 

Alec Swan

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An excellent thread, and a timely reminder for all those with young pups. The real trick would be to train it to eat with chopsticks. I'd have thought that gravel, sharp or otherwise, would be the very devil to eat.

Alec.
 

Booboos

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I am very sorry to hear about your puppy! It must have been a horrible shock for you and extremely sad.

However I would agree with everyone else that your pup had a very unfortunate accident. Do teach a new pup a 'leave it' command, it's very useful and in general all dogs should be comfortable with you touching the mouth and being able to put on a muzzle but that would only be needed in an emergency. I wouldn't use a muzzle in the circumstances you describe.
 

Cinnamontoast

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How awful for you! I wouldn't put a muzzle on a puppy tho. Teach a solid leave command.
 

Echo24

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Puppies eat anything and everything! I wouldn't think it would be fair to muzzle a young pup from day one. Sorry to state the obvious but if you're worried about it happening again you should monitor your pups at all times. So no leaving it in the garden on its own, if necessary, have him on the lead, and always keep an eye on it when let loose in the park. Scavenging is something that can be managed, (majority of my work dogs are trained not to scavenge!) and like all behaviours, preventing it from becoming a habit is better than curing it.
 

Dry Rot

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Quote: "Vets reckoned she might have just picked something up whilst in the garden or running round the hills where we live and swallowed it".

That is a very vague diagnosis that I would interpret as "We don't know what initiated the problem but whatever it was caused peritonitis which resulted in death".

Sadly, animals die, and I am sorry it had to happen to your puppy. But to subject another puppy to wearing a muzzle or even worrying that it might "pick something up" is depriving it of a normal life style. Dogs are wonderfully equipped to deal with what they eat, hence the revolting habit of burying things until they are stinking! By doing that, they are, in effect, leaving bacteria and putrefaction to do the major part of the digestion for them. It is perfectly natural, if not something to be encouraged!

So stop worrying and let your next pup be a pup and have a happy normal life, complete with a bit of dirt! They are dogs, not children.
 

noodle_

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leave command........no muzzle



my young cocker spaniel ate a very large stone, operation, horrendous bowel infection, threat of second surgery and 5 days in intensive care he pulled through

the little sod ate another when i got him home - he got a verbal *******ing [hes very sensitive], and never ate one again... the leave it command is brilliant.

he ate snails as well when he was a pup, my hairdryer, a sock [which came out whole and i had to pull it],, and also his bed which involved another knock out, and a scope pulling bits out his gullet

so yes - they are little sods but i wouldnt muzzle mine...ever

accidents/incidents happen....

hes now 2 and im just about forgiving him for the 3500 bill.......
 

Dry Rot

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leave command........no muzzle



my young cocker spaniel ate a very large stone, operation, horrendous bowel infection, threat of second surgery and 5 days in intensive care he pulled through

the little sod ate another when i got him home - he got a verbal *******ing [hes very sensitive], and never ate one again... the leave it command is brilliant.

he ate snails as well when he was a pup, my hairdryer, a sock [which came out whole and i had to pull it],, and also his bed which involved another knock out, and a scope pulling bits out his gullet

so yes - they are little sods but i wouldnt muzzle mine...ever

accidents/incidents happen....

hes now 2 and im just about forgiving him for the 3500 bill.......

Puppies chew things. Supply a large bone and it will keep them happy for hours. Since I stopped keeping a large kennel of dogs I no longer buy direct from the abattoir and so can't help myself from the bone bin. I was shocked to have to pay £1.50 for a bone! But the dogs have certainly got good value out of it and, when it's gone, I'll probably get another.

The "Leave" and "No" commands are essential to every day obedience and I'm amazed some on here have to be reminded!
 
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