View Full Version : Muzzle

23rd April 2007, 09:37 PM
I'm wondering if anyone can reccommend a good muzzle for a Cavalier. Zoey is in the stage right now where everything goes in her mouth and down if I don't get to her fast enough. Shes also gotten quicker as she knows i'm going to take whatever treasure she has found away from her.

I'm really concerned that shes going to get sick or a blockage from eating everything she can find. Shes especially bad on our walks and at the park. Sticks, rocks, and a snail yesterday. :grnyuk: She's also had looser than usual stools and i'm sure its from this new developed habit.

If anyone has any suggestions other than a muzzle that'd be great too. I'm not fond of them but I'm really worried about my little girls health and well being.

23rd April 2007, 09:50 PM
we thought about the muzzle because alfs is allways eating stones we spoke to the vet but didnt get much of an answer about how to stop him,one nite he must of eaten about 6 small stones,gravel.the vet did say we do need to stop it as it is dangerous for their tummies,and they cant digest them,he doesnt eat snails allthough he is partial to dead crabs,what we do is keep him on a short lead along the soney areas,but is hard to watch him all the time.i dont have an answer because we have the same problem,when we pick his poos up some times they are just pure gravel its scarey.

23rd April 2007, 10:29 PM
I think instead, I'd focus on training as a muzzle is not going to help this -- they can still eat things through a muzzle as well as lick things off the ground. She is just a puppy and this is how puppies explore their world.

So maybe start with some management techniques? If she is getting into things especially in grassy park areas, then stick with walks on pavement where there are fewer snails, rocks and sticks, for example.

But really, most puppies will not endanger themselves with things they pick up and play around with -- mine regularly chew sticks still, grab leaves and so on. They also grab all sorts of things on city sidewalks and only once in three years ghave I had a gastro problem as a result. I've never seen anyone need a muzzle to control normal puppy behaviour. You also will need to train your dog to accept a muzzle anyway -- so why not instead focus on training her to walk in a better, more attentive way?

Training 'leave it' is something your dog is definitely old enough to be learning, and this is going to be an important cue for her in the future as well. So is 'look' -- so that you can keep her focused on checking in with you and less on the ground. :)

Have you had her in obedience? I would really recommend this at this point -- getting her into some structured classes so she learns to *pay attentioin to you* on walks will really, really help and will allow you o set the basis for these other commands.

Outside of that I really would not be overly worried abpout her picking up things. Small children and babies do just the same -- they put everything in their mouths -- and have a pretty high tolerance for ingesting things.

She will get less interested in the ground very quickly as she gets a bit older and as you give her something more to do with her brain -- thinking about walking correctly, checking in with you, etc. :)

And yes eating stones IS dangerous. Again, these are dogs that need to learn 'drop it' and 'leave it' as a matter of some urgency. :thmbsup:

23rd April 2007, 10:30 PM
Using a muzzle for this reason is a great idea and one that my vet recommended some time ago for Digby our resident stone eater. Unfortunately I have found due the small nose finding one that fits and is comfortable is easier said than done ? and I've had no luck so given up.

I have not tried the basket type which look nice and open so they can breathe freely and would possibly be more comfortable ?

Sorry not much help.

23rd April 2007, 11:03 PM
In general i'm much happier with a management type approach. I know she will eventually outgrow this phase, its what to do for now. Walking on concrete vs grass doesn't seem to phase her at all. If anything the concrete is worse for finding rocks, and other very icky things like cigarette butts. I know you're right by saying in general they won't pick up/eat things that are dangerous for them. Unfortunately I worked in a vet clinic for a couple of years and have seen the results of what can happen to those who do. I'd rather not take my chances.

That being said she is in puppy classes and doing very well. She loves going, and we have been working on "watch me", "leave it", "drop it", and all the other basic commands. Shes very good during her classes, and at home. Its outside that all of her training seems to go out the window. Too many distractions and new things to check out. We'll continue to work on it with her, and hopefully one day I won't have to worry about her being a mini vaccuum cleaner.

Thanks so much for your post, they are always so well written, and very knowledgeable.

23rd April 2007, 11:12 PM
I am not a fan of muzzles-- if you use one make sure that the dog can easily pant to cool itself down. To exercise a dog and not allow it to cool itself can cause heat stroke.

23rd April 2007, 11:13 PM
I haven't checked out any types of muzzle yet, however I did have a basket/weave type for my pony who could get fat off of air! He hated it but was quite comfortable in it. He could breathe/drink, but only get small amounts of grass. I don't think they'd work so well for a dog unless it was to curb biting, she'd still be able to get stuff through it. She has a really short snout/nose so I'm sure i'll run into a similiar problem as you, and i'm not 100% comfortable with putting one on her anyways. I think i've decided to keep her really close and be as diligent as I can about letting her have stuff in her mouth.

23rd April 2007, 11:16 PM
I'm really not a fan either, I'd really like to stop the behaviour over preventing it with a muzzle.

24th April 2007, 12:39 AM
I would only use a muzzle on a dog that bites, never for the normal chewing stage that every dog goes through.

24th April 2007, 02:12 PM
The time i have to watch alfs is when you meet someone out on our walks and i am chatting away,because the little sneak knows i am not watching him and he will dive down to eat something,i have started to say leave it which works sometimes and other times he will gobble it down real quick.the other word i use whivh also works is spit it out,he has learnt to spit it out but again i have to be standing quite close or he will run away and eat it,it does deppend on his moods,he is quite cheeky.

Maggie's Mom
24th April 2007, 04:28 PM
I have used a muzzle on occassion for this purpose. Maggie had a habit of eating everthing in site. I bring her to work and one day she required an xray, they found staples in her stomach. Only used it while I could not watch her but did not want to put her in the crate. Maggie has been through Kindergarten and Middle School and knows leave it perfectly, unless she ssees something she REALLY !!!! wants. We have found Cigarette Butts (We know noone who smokes) dollar bills, etc in her poop. We still have problems on occassion, but she is almost a year and they are much less frequent.