Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A muzzle should not be dirty word

I am such an advocate of dogs wearing a muzzle out in their daily life. Because I tend to work with dogs that have dog on dog aggression and have had a bite history or clients who have never let their dogs around other dogs so they do not know the dogs history- I encourage owners to put their dogs on a muzzle for the safety and liability purposes. YOU can get a dog used to wear a muzzle quite easily and there are some great muzzles out there that are comfortable for the dog and the dog can take treats and pant and drink water. I do NOT recommend using a groomers type muzzle or a nylon muzzle because these types of muzzles can only be on for 15 minutes maximum. Dogs can not pant properly in these types of muzzles. The muzzles I recommend are the basket type muzzles-and you can actually cut out the piece in the front to feed treats through. This is a good website to buy muzzles from
The Italian basket dog muzzles is the ones I prefer for any type and size of dog.

There is such a stigma for dogs that wear muzzles  and I think that is why owners are reluctant to have their dog wear one out in public. I encourage owners to remember it it NOT a reflection on them as a person AND it does not mean they have an evil dog. It is the responsible owner who understands the type of dog  they have and knows that the dog needs to go out and about and is not good with other dogs so they do the right thing and muzzle their dog so their dog can have a good quality of life.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dog Collars for Training

Here are the collars that I generally recommend clients use to help with pulling on leash and to also help with those dogs that bark and lunge at other dogs when they are on leash. If you are using a prong collar or choke collar, I would encourage you to invest in a Gentle Leader or a Halti. These are head collars that
are gentle human collars that "gently leash your dog around"! Where the head goes, the body follows! Most dogs are not used to walking with something on their face, so some time is need to help the dog adjust to the head collar. A simple plan for head collar desensitization can be found online at It's a little extra work, but well worth it.
Sense-ible harnesses are similar to traditional body harnesses with one small important twist: their design discourages pulling instead of encouraging it! These anti-pull harnesses go on like traditional ones, but the leash clips to the chest to help you direct your dog. The trade-off with this choice of equipment is that you get less power steering that with the head collars, but most dogs acclimate to these immediately, so no need for desensitization. More information on this great harness can be found on line at

This is an excerpt taken from my book called Reactive Rover : An Owner's Guide to On Leash Dog Aggression