Why are Dog Muzzles Important?

Written by Lucy Marcham, Academy Trainer

When used correctly, muzzles are a fantastic positive tool and a sign of responsible ownership. People often get worried about putting a muzzle on their dog for fear of what other people and owners will think of their dog.

However, muzzles are the sign of a responsible owner and with the right approach will be seen a positive tool for your dog. 


Why would you need a muzzle?

There are many reasons for a dog to wear a muzzle, although the most common association is aggression.

Aggression towards people, other dogs, and animals

Remember under The Dangerous Dog Act 1991, a dog’s behaviour is the owner’s responsibility. If your dog bites another person or animal, this could result in your dog being taken away from you and in some cases even put to sleep.

We recommend you always speak to a vet and a qualified behaviourist to get help and support with any aggression issues.  Keeping everyone safe, including your dog is the priority.

Eating things on walks

Munching on walks can either be dangerous or could upset their stomach. Having the muzzle on the dog means they can still run free, without the worry they will pick up something nasty.

Ex-service Dogs

These are legally required to wear a muzzle when out in public places, as they were originally trained to work with the police or army. Ex-racing greyhounds also fall into this category.

On Boats and Ferries

Many will require dogs to be muzzled while on board, so it is always worth checking before you travel.


What types of muzzles are there?

There are 2 main types of muzzles, basket and mesh. While a lot of people prefer the look of a mesh muzzle, they often are not suitable for the reason you need it for.

Basket muzzles are a great choice for all situations and can be worn for a long period of time when fitted well. The mesh muzzles however can only be worn for a short period of time, 10 minutes or less if it is hot. They should never be worn out on a walk as they don’t allow panting comfortably.

The mesh is more suited for use during nail trimming, or a short vet visit.

Top tip – Muzzles are a positive tool and are not designed to help with barking, chewing or as a punishment of any kind. With a correctly fitted muzzle, the dog will still be able to bark. If the muzzle is too small the dog will not be able to pant or drink, causing serious risk to life.