Modifying a muzzle

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Maxy24
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Modifying a muzzle

Post by Maxy24 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:09 am

I bought Tucker a muzzle for when we go to the vet next. I know he will attempt to bite and don't want him in the fabric muzzles they use as it's always bothered me they don't allow the dog to pant. If my dog is stressed enough to bite he's going to want to be panting his head off. So I bought the muzzle maybe three weeks ago and I've been working on getting him used to it. Feeding him dinner out of it. But it's rather difficult to get the kibble into, you have to get it into the sides or underneath his muzzle and it's a pain. I've gotten better at getting the kibble through during our dinner sessions but if it were ever an actual situation where he were stressed and becoming fearful I'm not sure I'd be able to get treats through in a timely manner, if at all. So I was wondering if it were safe to cut a hole in the muzzle to make it easier. But where can I cut the hole so that it does not interfere with it's protective function? I'd like to cut right in the front but I don't want to make the thing useless. Others have told me to cut right above the nose but I'm not sure that will make my life easier, he lifts his head to try and take the treat with his mouth so I'd have to grab his muzzle and push it down to prevent this in order to get the treat through the top. This is basically what the muzzle looks like, I took the front guard thing out though:

Image

ladybug1802
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Re: Modifying a muzzle

Post by ladybug1802 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:08 am

I have done exactly what you want to do with my basket muzzle....because I go into the vets each week and do training there whuich involves feeding my dog treats. So I have used a stanley knife to cut one of the horizontal bars out at the very front of the muzzle. So instead of 2 small squeares, one that section there is now one longer rectangle. I only cut one of the small horizontal bars out though, as any more I feel might mean he could still bite.

I actually have 2 muzzles though...one where I have cut a bit out which I use for training, and whyen I need to feed him through it, and one with nothing cut out, which will be kept for just in case he needs to go into the vets suddenly for a procedure.

I would also maybve start feeding different treats...kibble is rather large, so feed him stuff like chicken, or hot dogs or cheese which can be cut up smaller...these will alkso be far more tasty for him anyway.

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Horace's Mum
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Re: Modifying a muzzle

Post by Horace's Mum » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:29 am

Snap, I also removed a little crosspiece at the bottom of the nose part, and it never affected the function of the muzzle. Put your muzzle on and look to see where the mouth would open - that is where you need to cut. I would agree on using smaller/softer treats too - but also much higher value ones if you want to work on helping him - kibble is too boring in a high stress situation.

Don't forget to spend the time getting your dog completely happy in it before you ever take that muzzle to the vets, otherwise you will "poison" the muzzle for a long time to come, which stops it becoming a useful tool and turns it into "another bad thing about going to the vets".

Sarah83
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Re: Modifying a muzzle

Post by Sarah83 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:33 pm

Rupert snapped one of the side bars out of his and I found it really easy to feed treats through that as it was the one closest to the side of his mouth. I also gave much higher value treats than kibble while out and about although Rupert worked for kibble at home.

Maxy24
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Re: Modifying a muzzle

Post by Maxy24 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:11 pm

Oh no, the kibble is just for getting him used to it in the house. Whenever we use it in any real situation I would never use kibble. I just can't afford to give him more treats than he's already getting for window barking training and LAT on walks.

ladybug1802
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Re: Modifying a muzzle

Post by ladybug1802 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:40 am

It will be hard to get kibble thru the muzzle....maybe try getting hot dog sausages or cheese which are not expensive?

bendog
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Re: Modifying a muzzle

Post by bendog » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:53 am

Or "small bite" kibble - like the fish4dogs, or small dog versions of kibble

Maxy24
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Re: Modifying a muzzle

Post by Maxy24 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:07 am

No that's not what I meant by afford, I mean his waist can't afford it lol, he's gonna start packing on the pounds. On some days I'm pretty sure he eats more treats than he does food from his meals (and all treats are for training purposes, but he needs several every time a dog walks past, when the mailman comes, when we walk past a dog on a walk, when a person talks to us on a walk, and if he goes to the park he needs them for listening to his come command). His kibble isn't really that big (Acana, it's flat so slips through on it's side), but if you think other things will go through easier for when I do use the muzzle out and about then perhaps modification is not needed.

ladybug1802
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Re: Modifying a muzzle

Post by ladybug1802 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:10 pm

Same with my dog....when i take him on walks we go through a LOT of treats. Either for training purposes, or for when people and/or dogs pass us. I have a constant big bag of eithert hot dogs, cheese, chicken etc in my treat pouch....then I cut his meals down accordingly. So you can actually cut the pieces of hot dog or cheese into really tiny taster size pieces so it is better for his waistline than kibble. As an example, I cut each hot dog sausage down the middle, the cut each length of that down the middle again (so essentially the sausage has become 4 long pieces) then cut these into small pieces.

Somoene I do agility with takes massive treats for her dog....she uses big sausages and must only cut each sausage into maybe 8 or 10 pieces!

Erica
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Re: Modifying a muzzle

Post by Erica » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:03 pm

Some good low-calorie treats are apples and carrots. Dogs can't really digest them, so they don't gain weight from them, but depending on the dog they may rank higher than kibble or other doggy treats! Ami for sure looooves apples; apples, pepperoni, and garlic chicken are the treats on walks. Carrots he doesn't care for and won't eat unless we're in the training groove, where he barely notices what treat he gets since he's so focused on training and earning the next click. Zeus loves anything he can get, so carrots and apples work well even on walks. :)

(Opal's a picky little stinker and won't eat either, and neither will Onyx; Marble is like Zeus though. :P )
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

JudyN
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Re: Modifying a muzzle

Post by JudyN » Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:24 pm

An alternative for the vet's is to give something that can be poked through the muzzle on a small spoon for your dog to lick so you don't have to keep poking treats through. Peanut butter or cream cheese could work well. You could even smear some on the inside of the muzzle where your dog can reach with his tongue.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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