Many people think it is a terrible thing for their dog to wear a muzzle. I am not sure why other than they must feel like they are wearing the scarlet letter of shame. It seems the perception is people who have dogs that have to wear muzzles must be terrible owners. Their dogs must be spawns of Satan and why would anyone ever have a dog like that?
I have to disagree on many points. Any owner that is willing to put a muzzle on their dog is being responsible. They understand the dog is capable of biting (whatever the dog's target is). Many of these dogs are not spawns of Satan, but fearful dogs that have been trying to tell people to stay away for a long time. They have finally found a way to "talk" so that people will listen.
Unfortunately, not all aggressive dogs look mean and nasty. Some aggressive dogs look quite cuddly, and approachable, until of course you get within the strike zone. A muzzle can be very helpful to keep well-meaning dog "lovers" away from your dog. When they see the muzzle they are more likely to retreat instead of approach your pet. That helps you, the owner from feeling like the bad guy. It seems strangers never believe owners when they say their dog will bite, most proceed to try and pet your dog without asking permission.
If presented correctly, your dog will believe the muzzle is a basket that delivers nothing but the best food. Follow the training technique described in this link and your dog will look forward to wearing their muzzle.
It cannot be stressed enough, just because a dog is wearing a muzzle does not give anyone the right to anything they want to the dog. If this occurs, it will be difficult to get the muzzle back on your dog, any trust that has been built up will be lost.
The muzzle should only be used as a safety precaution. If your pet needs a muzzle to be bathed, groomed, have their nails trimmed, or for veterinary visits then you will need to train your dog that these procedures are safe. Your pet should be a willing participate, or at minimum tolerate them comfortably - meaning they should be able to eat treats while the procedures are being performed and not be struggling to get away.
If you are not sure how to train these procedures, please contact us.