Muzzles - cruel or helpful?

Go Back   Dog Forum > Keeping and Caring for Dogs > General Dog Discussion

Muzzles - cruel or helpful?

This is a discussion on Muzzles - cruel or helpful? within the General Dog Discussion forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Lately, I've started watching "The Dog Whisperer" and "It's Me or the Dog" (although it's so hard to find these series online *sigh*), and seeing ...

User Tag List

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-22-2011, 05:39 PM
  #1
Senior Member
 
sheep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 471
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Muzzles - cruel or helpful?

Lately, I've started watching "The Dog Whisperer" and "It's Me or the Dog" (although it's so hard to find these series online *sigh*), and seeing how certain people owns big dogs while they can't control them (and their aggression) is really shocking! Some of them are aggressive towards other people and dogs during walks, some of them can even drag their owners along, and some of them even turn and bite their owners out of leash frustration! One of the owners was even on the verge of tears as she tells how she's sad and fearful every time she takes her dog for walks coz of that.

But well... after thinking a bit about it, I just began to wonder, why don't they use muzzles on their dogs? For the sake of themselves, and for the sake of other dogs and humans... A muzzle can prevent a dog hurting someone if the owner loses control of the leash, and it certainly prevents dogs from being put down coz they have bit someone.

So why is it not used by many users that has such problems with their dogs during walks? Is it coz it seems cruel? Personally, I think that if we help a dog to get used to it, then a dog would be fine with it and it can help preventing dangerous situations. Also, it can be just temporary, as we can stop using that after we solve the dog's aggressiveness through training/dessensitization.
But well, once someone kinda criticized my parents for using a muzzle on their min pin in order to avoid her eating dangerous stuffs (she had suffered starvation before she was adopted), and that made me wonder how is the muzzle actually perceived by other dog owners.

What do you guys think?
sheep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 06:19 PM
  #2
Senior Member
 
TonkaTruckJK's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,936
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Funny you should ask. With my dogs problems (fighting), I've been doing a LOT of (attempted) cc'g, and I'm waiting for two muzzles to be delivered as we speak.

I look at it as a tool to protect both of my dogs in a situation that I have zero control over. I've been cc'g for over a month now, and things are looking up, but I still don't trust them around me together (RG'g me). It will take me another few weeks to get them fully accustomed to the muzzles, and by then, I intend to do some closer work without barriers. The muzzle is there as a stopgap measure if one of them gets amped up quicker than I can react and redirect/diffuse.

Many people DO see them as cruel, just because they anthropomorphise the dog and think (consciously or unconsciously) "I wouldn't do that to a person unless they were Hannibal Lecter"

As a tool to rehab and resocialize, I think it's the safest and most effective method to protect the dogs, or humans interacting with the reactive dog in question.

ETA: As an aside, be careful how much "Dog Whisperer" you watch and/or try to recreate. Search the forums for Cesar Milan if you're interested, but most folks around here (thankfully) understand that the methods he uses are outdated, proven ineffective, and result more often than not, in fallout from your dog sometime in the future (could be hours, days, weeks, months, etc).

Last edited by TonkaTruckJK; 11-22-2011 at 06:21 PM. Reason: PSA
TonkaTruckJK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 06:25 PM
  #3
Senior Member
 
Tess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 13,293
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Oh Dear... let me just warn you that 99% of threads discussing Cesar's methods don't end well here!



In my opinion, if a dog is feeling so panicked/fearful/frustrated etc that is driven to biting people or dogs, then the entire situation is being mismanaged. If one's goal is a relaxed, confident, unafraid dog, you don't get there by putting the dog in a situation where he is "over threshold" and therefore needs a muzzle.
Tess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 06:34 PM
  #4
Senior Member
 
emma09's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: KY
Posts: 1,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I don't have experience muzzling my dogs. But, I can say that in my experience grooming dogs sometimes you just have too. The majority of the dogs are as sweet as they can be, but when you get them on the grooming table it's completely different. For my own safety, I use them. Quite often actually.
emma09 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 06:35 PM
  #5
Senior Member
 
TonkaTruckJK's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,936
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tess View Post
Oh Dear... let me just warn you that 99% of threads discussing Cesar's methods don't end well here!
Agreed! The search function will show you those past discussions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tess View Post
In my opinion, if a dog is feeling so panicked/fearful/frustrated etc that is driven to biting people or dogs, then the entire situation is being mismanaged. If one's goal is a relaxed, confident, unafraid dog, you don't get there by putting the dog in a situation where he is "over threshold" and therefore needs a muzzle.
I agree - if you're talking about putting the dog into a situation where he is "over threshold" on purpose. With my dogs, I'm taking the steps to cc them, but at some point will need to 'proof' this and reintro...during that time, I'd prefer they're muzzled, to prevent injury due to idiot handler syndrome...without using this tool, I would not be comfortable reintro'g them regardless of how well they are doing with CC'g.
TonkaTruckJK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 06:44 PM
  #6
Senior Member
 
Tess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 13,293
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
I'm not disagreeing with Tonka (his post was not up when I started mine!) He's got a unique situation there and has been working with real pro trainers.


I'm just saying that I would not use a muzzle in order to purposefully put my dog in a situation where it was so stressed it wanted to bite me... that is a la Cesar Salad man might do. Instead, I would tone down the whole situation that had the dog so panicked.

Cesar uses "flooding" as a technique. That is, he'll put the dog in a situation where it is totally overwhelmed and terrified. Not something I want to do to my dogs, and not something I think will result in the cessation of fear induced aggression. JMHO, FWIW!
Tess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 06:46 PM
  #7
Senior Member
 
Tess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 13,293
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Tonka, you keep getting ahead of me here! Yeah, I'm familiar with your situation, and it seems like a good situation for a muzzle. I'm sorry if I confused the issue.

I'm also sorry, as one of the people who once upon a time started one of those Cesar threads that ended badly!
Tess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 06:48 PM
  #8
Senior Member
 
Tess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 13,293
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by emma09 View Post
I don't have experience muzzling my dogs. But, I can say that in my experience grooming dogs sometimes you just have too. The majority of the dogs are as sweet as they can be, but when you get them on the grooming table it's completely different. For my own safety, I use them. Quite often actually.
yeah, kind of like the veterinary issue. Makes sense. Of course ideally all dogs needing grooming are taught to tolerate it through careful training before they even come to the pro groomer, but alas that does not happen for sure.
Tess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 09:17 PM
  #9
Senior Member
 
Dakota's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 307
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Oops, didn't meant to post twice.

Last edited by Dakota; 11-22-2011 at 09:25 PM.
Dakota is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 09:21 PM
  #10
Senior Member
 
Dakota's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 307
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Muzzles are a good tool to use for reason like TonkaTruck stated.
They keep you and other dogs safe while you fix certain issues.
Tess has got a good point too. Putting a muzzle on a dog doesn't mean you can put him into any situation. Do things gradually just as if he didn't have the muzzle on. The muzzle is just there to protect you and other dogs in the process, not so you can hurry through the training.

I use a muzzle on a couple of my sled dogs when I take them to the vet as they have an appetite for cats. I wouldn't want anyone's feline friends to go home with more ailments than what they came in with.

Dog can sometimes get that pathetic "Why do you do this to me?" look when you put a muzzle on them which some people translate to be suffering (hence why some people think it's cruel).
Dakota is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
aggressiveness, muzzle

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Helpful Training Videos and Articles Esme Training and Behavior Stickies 61 03-02-2014 10:43 PM
How can people be so cruel? MarneyIsHere Dog News 1 11-04-2011 05:31 PM
Crates Are Cruel omgitsapibble Dog Pictures and Videos 10 07-08-2010 11:20 AM
Crate Training: Cruel or Not? Joachim Dog Training and Behavior 31 07-03-2010 10:30 PM


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.