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How to Get a Dog Used to a Muzzle - Including Aggressive Dogs | Pupford

September 29th, 2023

Filed under Training

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Not only is muzzling your dog something that protects you, but it can also protect other dogs. Muzzles are especially important for dogs that are reactive, aggressive, and for many other reasons. But, it's important to get your dog used to the muzzle in a humane and safe way!

Related Reading: Reactive Dog Training: 5 Games & Techniques

In this video, Traci Madson will walk you through how to safely put a muzzle on a dog. Remember, this isn't something that should be rushed, but rather should be done over time and with patience. This is a step-by-step video on how to put a muzzle on a dog so that they will enjoy having it on!


Traci Madson is a CPDT-KA dog trainer who also holds memberships and certifications in aggression training and is an AKC evaluator. She has been training dogs for over 20 years.

Traci is the lead trainer for the Potty Training Course, Barking Solutions, and Dog Body Language Course, all a part of the Pupford Academy.

Learn more about Traci and reach out to her on her website.


We know muzzles can seem scary, but they are actually a really good tool to use for dogs with reactivity and aggression - in addition to properly training your pooch.

It’s important to create a positive association with your dog so it's not seen as a punishment.

Take this process slowly and do not force the muzzle onto your dog in any way. πŸ‘

Here are some basics steps for putting on a muzzle in a safe and humane way:

  1. Show your dog the muzzle and give them small, high-value training treats (multiple times)
  2. Don't force the muzzle on your dog, let them voluntarily stick their nose in (by using peanut butter or a treat your dog loves)
  3. Take a week to get your pooch used to different parts of the muzzle - straps, fastening, etc. Only go as fast as your dog will allow

Basket muzzles are best because they still allow your dog to drink water and breathe comfortably.

Here is a popular muzzle recommended by many dog trainers.​


black dog getting used to wearing an orange muzzle | Pupford

The key to helping your dog get used to a muzzle is to let them go at their own pace. Use treats, peanut butter, and other reinforcers to help them create a positive association with the muzzle.

If you are unsure of how to best work on counterconditioning and desensitization, it's a great idea to get the help of a certified, positive-reinforcement-based dog trainer in your area!

For more help with reactivity, check out the Reactive Dog Course & 21 Impulse Control Games – Part of Pupford Academy.

Related Reading: Does playing tug make a dog aggressive?


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