Muzzle training is useful if your dog needs to be muzzled while out on walks. Maybe he likes to pick up and eat dangerous litter, or maybe he is nervous with other dogs or people and you would like to take precautions in conjunction with behavioural therapy. The great thing about muzzles in this scenario is they send a clear message to other walkers that your dog needs space. Allowing your dog that space is vital for him to learn to relax again in that scenario.
Another common situation where a dog may require muzzling is when medical procedures or veterinary examinations are performed. Going to the vets is scary; they smell other dogs stress and fear, they smell the unnatural smells of a clinical environment and they often experience situations which maybe intimidating or painful. Some dogs cannot cope with this and veterinary staff must use a muzzle to ensure they can work safely. Often this is the dogs first experience of the muzzle, and it is not a pleasant one.
Laura encourages her clients who own dogs who may need muzzling, whether that be on a daily basis or a one off at the vets basis, to train their pets to be comfortable with the muzzle. Please watch the video above for more information.
Dogs are social and co-operative animals and as such they possess a complex variety of appeasing and threat averting behaviours. The purpose of such behaviour is to deflect threat and restore harmony, thus reducing aggression which may lead to fatal injury.
These communicative gestures are not related to dominant and submissive states.
These early warning signs and appeasement gestures are chronically misunderstood or ignored by people, resulting in supposedly ‘unpredictable’ aggression However, if we can learn to recognise these gestures, we can begin to understand at what point a dog starts saying they need a bit more space or maybe a more gentle approach. Dogs will use this social language with us as well as with their canine friends, and other species too
It is important that children are educated and learn how to read dogs correctly.
Please see doggiedrawings.net for materials you can print off and share with your child’s school
leads and harnesses
Throughout your dog’s life, it is important to consider how to keep him/her safe from harm, law abiding and out of trouble whilst out and about, without causing injury to either of you. A harness is recommended.
Slip leads, prong collars, electric collars and choke chains are not advisable.
Very elasticated mesh type harnesses are also inadvisable. Although they are extremely comfortable, it is often found that the dogs will use these harnesses as a bungee, and will lean forward into it or sideways away from their owners. These are often the first choice for puppy owners as they are commonly sold in the big chain pet stores and because they are marketed for comfort. However, they are easily slipped out of and the lack of control could be a serious safety risk in terms of road traffic accidents, not to mention the difficulty in teaching young dogs how to walk nicely on the lead.
They are designed to be padded and comfortable, made to your dogs measurements and have a front ring and a back ring. The advantage of two rings is a double ended training lead can be used to form two points of contact if your dog is strong. Two points of contact increases your level of control, and means you can steer your dogs head or shoulders, rather than allowing your dog to throw his weight against you as excitable dogs often will do.
This harness fits well. It is comfortable but snug, so the back clip is staying central on this dog’s back, and not rising or swinging