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View Full Version : Muzzling a Cavalier!!



Karen and Ruby
4th November 2011, 04:14 PM
Hi All

After yet another expensive Vet stay for Ruby this week after eating another something that she shouldnt I am starting to wonder what I can do about her scavenging

Out on a walk she is off lead all the time when we get to our destination away from the road, she knows the leave and the drop command very well- she will swap anything that isnt food for a biccie.
However if it is something food related like a bone etc she will do anyhing to keep hold of it. The only way I can get her to drop it is if I make a very loud noise next to her that scares her- so I have bought some training discs and carry them with me as this works very well if she has a bone or something else that she wont drop for a treat.

But with having to watch Charlie for his poo rolling habit and that fact that he wants to chase anything that moves Im really not enjoying our walks anymore and a vet suggested a muzzle but I refuse to put her in one- how ridiculous to see a cavvie in a muzzle.

But on thinking I could be safe in the thought that she cant pick up anything but the only designs available strap round the back of the head- which for a dog with SM is highly inappropriate.

She is insured so it isnt the money that Im spending (which is over £1600) just for these last two episodes its more the fact that she is causing herself unnesersary problems by having the munchies and she has enough to deal with with out having to go to the vets and stay for days for eating something that she shouldnt!

And keeping her on lead doesnt work either- she still manages to pick up everything she can! She is actually worse on the lead for it as she gets bored and frustrated!

I dont know what to do really!

Kate H
4th November 2011, 08:54 PM
Having had a Cavalier who killed himself at 4.5 years by getting acute gastro-enteritis from eating something he shouldn't while off-lead (we suspected infected human faeces :yuk:as there were signs of tramps dossing in the area), anything you can do to stop Ruby would be good (and save you a massive hike in insurance contributions!). I would think if you looked on the internet you could find a soft muzzle, perhaps with an adjustable strap round the back of the head that wouldn't need to be too tight - you might be able to add loops to go round the ears (like Oliver's sun hat) to stop her pulling or knocking it off. Good hunting!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Cathy T
4th November 2011, 11:12 PM
Totally agree with Kate. Have a friend whose Cavalier has had 2 life threatening incidents with pancreatits and now muzzles her Cavalier for his protection.

Karlin
4th November 2011, 11:32 PM
Not all dogs that have SM would be bothered by a strap around the head–you'd really just have to try and see. Quite honestly, I don't think any of my 3 with SM would be bothered by something that went around the back of their head–and all 3 wear collars, but I don't use the collars for walking them, I use a harness. But then some cavaliers with SM actually are far more comfortable being walked on the collar then they are in a harness (unusual, but definitely this can be the case).

What you want is a very comfortable muzzle that gives plenty of room to pant. The Baskerville muzzle is a good one for this and is widely recommended by trainers, and there are also soft varieties that are more just like a soft bag (but the strap does go around the back of the head). A lot of the people around here who have the breeds that are supposed to be muzzled in public places, use those soft cloth muzzles and just have them hanging around the dog's head rather than actually on the dog–they can slip them on quickly as needed. I don't know who makes those. A good dog trainer would probably know.

Karen and Ruby
5th November 2011, 12:17 AM
Thanks- I didnt think anyone woul think it a good idea but ive been looking around. Seems like the soft Mikki muzzles would be more comfortable for her but if they allow room to pant and drink (which is what they say) she could eat with it also??

Mindysmom
5th November 2011, 02:21 AM
At the same time you could work on teaching her not to put anything in her mouth without permission although that would be a longer term solution. My trainer has always advocated doing this and until Rylie ate an Advil that hubby dropped on the floor I thought it was too much work to train. Needless to say that changed my mind. I work with my dogs daily - not with "leave it" because that assumes I see whatever it is first but that regardless of what is on the floor they shouldn't take it without my permission. I will say they are both pretty good in the house but outside is a whole different ball game. It's usually not until I see that they are both nose to nose at one end of the yard that I realize that they are eating rabbit poop. I can guarantee that when I next get a puppy that will be one thing I work on from the day we get her home - both inside and outside.

A head halter would prevent her from sniffing (and thus eating anything) but of course she'd have to be on leash and close enough to you that she wouldn't be able to jerk it and injure herself.

Desrae
6th November 2011, 08:39 PM
At the same time you could work on teaching her not to put anything in her mouth without permission although that would be a longer term solution. My trainer has always advocated doing this and until Rylie ate an Advil that hubby dropped on the floor I thought it was too much work to train. Needless to say that changed my mind. I work with my dogs daily - not with "leave it" because that assumes I see whatever it is first but that regardless of what is on the floor they shouldn't take it without my permission. I will say they are both pretty good in the house but outside is a whole different ball game. It's usually not until I see that they are both nose to nose at one end of the yard that I realize that they are eating rabbit poop. I can guarantee that when I next get a puppy that will be one thing I work on from the day we get her home - both inside and outside.

A head halter would prevent her from sniffing (and thus eating anything) but of course she'd have to be on leash and close enough to you that she wouldn't be able to jerk it and injure herself.

I have the same thing going on with my two, they'll easily leave something in the house, unless it's tasty food that they hear drop from a mile away, then there's no hope, but if there is a sock, or a broken glass, anything, I say a sudden 'Leave it' and they willingly obey. Outside is a different story. Belle used to be notorious for eating chewing gum, but after much effort we've gotten her out of that habit, little brother Bobby copies her, they sometimes find the odd bit of gum, which gets past my eye, I'm vigilant and watch the ground as we walk, in case there is something that might be of interest, I kick it out of the way or walk in a different path... a bit of work, but haven't been 100% successful with the Leave It command.