Thinking about putting a muzzle on your dear sweet whippet may cause you to shed a tear. How could you put a muzzle on that adorable doe-eyed canine of yours?
There are many reasons for using a muzzle and different situations may call for a little restraint. Sometimes your whippet may not be the happiest of camper’s under certain circumstances and you wonder, “should my whippet be muzzled?”
In the following article, I will give you information on muzzles, what they’re used for, if they work and if there’s ever a time to use a muzzle on your whippet. So dry those tears and read on to find out some facts about muzzles. It’s not as bad as you think.
Why Are Dog Muzzles Used?
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the definition of muzzle is, “a fastening or covering for the mouth of an animal to prevent eating or biting.” Now you are probably thinking that your whippet does not bite and has never bitten anyone and they would never bite.
My Bonnie has never bitten anyone, but I would never say that she never would bite. When dogs are faced with different, unusual or strange circumstances, we can never be sure what they will do.
Even with people, when something bad happens to rile them up, even the most laid back person can lash out and punch someone.
This could happen even to the most mild-mannered person if the situation calls for it. They can strike out in self-defence or in defending another.
Below you can find some reasons for using a muzzle with your whippet;
In An Emergency
When dogs are hurt, injured or in pain, even the most mild-mannered may try to bite. It is best to use a muzzle to avoid a dog bite or further injury for the dog.
Going To The Vets
Again, many dogs are the most loving creatures but when faced with a trip to the veterinarian it can be a remake of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! They are fearful and afraid.
If they don’t like the visits at all, then a muzzle should be used, otherwise, they may just need a muzzle for a special procedure that may be uncomfortable. This way, the veterinarian can concentrate on the task at hand.
In Large Crowds
An otherwise calm dog may become nervous and upset in crowded areas. A muzzle will avoid any problems.
If a dog is unfamiliar around children, a muzzle can be used. Small children can be unpredictable and sometimes they don’t realize they can hurt a pup with rough play.
Around Other Animals
If a dog becomes aggressive around other dogs or cats, a muzzle is suitable for when other animals are around.
When traveling, some countries have laws making it illegal if a dog is not wearing a muzzle in public places.
To Prevent Eating Trash
Sometimes while walking or playing in public, dogs tend to eat undesirable, gross things, often garbage, that’s scattered around. A muzzle would prevent this.
Taking the dog to the groomer can be traumatic for everyone involved. For the unpredictable and fearful dog, a muzzle is the answer. The groomer will be able to keep a steady hand with clippers or scissors.
Elizabethen Collar Replacement
Oftentimes if a dog has surgery, an injury or skin problems that your vet doesn’t want to be licked or chewed, an Elizabethan collar is recommended. Dogs generally hate them as they are very cumbersome.
It hinders them from movement and some dogs are so persistent they manage to chew them off. A muzzle may work better, allowing them more freedom of movement, while the injured area can heal.
Do Muzzles Actually Work?
If muzzles are used correctly, they do work. Muzzles can keep your whippet safe, people safe and other dogs safe. Many European countries insist on muzzling dogs, especially more aggressive breeds and they make it the law.
Many people think muzzles are cruel and look at you loathingly if your dog has one on. Granted, muzzles should not be used for training or for punishment but can be a big help in preventing an altercation.
Acclimating your whippet to one at an early age is a good idea so if you really need to use one, your pup will not end up angrier or more fearful than they already are.
If you are walking your pup and they are even a little unpredictable and skittish, a muzzle is a good idea. You may not have to use it in the future, just until they are more familiar with their surroundings.
People usually give you your space if your dog is wearing a muzzle and will keep their dogs away. If other dogs are not trained or controlled properly they can be unpredictable and provoke, causing a situation to arise.
If your pup is muzzled, they will be fine. Many people do not have control over their dogs, even if leashed.
Speaking of unpredictable, children are big on that list! Unless children are taught correctly about dogs, they usually want to rush up and “pet the doggie.”
This may not end well with anyone’s dog. Some dog’s love children and others are frightened by their boisterous, rough ways and sticky fingers.
No owner wants their dog to bite someone unless it’s a burglar. Some laws require a dog to be euthanized if they are aggressive and bite someone. Officials don’t care if someone startled your dog. They only know that your dog bit a person. Muzzles keep everyone safe.
When To Muzzle Your Whippet
One of the most important reasons for choosing to muzzle your dog is for the safety of others and your dog’s safety.
Whippets are an extremely lovable and affectionate dog that loves nothing more than to cuddle. If you own one, you are probably thinking, “There is no reason to ever muzzle my whippet!”
However, you may never need or want to muzzle your whippet but sometimes there are reasons to do so and they are good ones; some are listed below.
Your whippet may be just fine at vet visits and may not even mind especially if everyone always makes a fuss about how cute your whippet is.
But some whippets may be fearful and even sense their owner’s vibes that a car trip to the veterinarian isn’t the usual journey for fun and adventure.
Also, it only takes one bad experience to make them remember that this is not an enjoyable place. A muzzle may be needed.
If your whippet is always fine at the vet, but is having a procedure, this may be a good time to use a muzzle. When a person goes to the doctor, procedures are explained and they generally know what to expect even if pain is involved.
You can’t explain a procedure to your whippet and anything unexpected that is painful may cause your whippet to lash out no matter how docile they are.
After An Injury
A muzzle is a good thing to have around in case your whippet is ever injured. When animals are in pain, they may bite and even you, their loving pal is not immune.
Your whippet may be great with nail trimming. If you do it, you may get a little nervous or sweaty and they will pick up on it. A muzzle would be a good idea and even for taking them to the groomer to have their nails trimmed.
When In Fear
If your whippet is fearful of things, this can cause them to be a fear biter. A pup that is a fear biter is not nasty or aggressive.
These pups are usually submissive and when an unfamiliar or new situation crops up, they become anxious and scared. Your whippet may be shy and timid but warms up to strangers after a few minutes.
If your whippet continually cannot overcome this and is fearful, a muzzle should be used and you should seek help for a behavioural problem. This is something a muzzle won’t cure.
If your whippet was adopted and exhibits problems with anxious behaviour and fear, a muzzle should be used.
They may have suffered trauma or abuse at the hands of former owners. This problem will need more than a muzzle to overcome. Speak with your veterinarian.
If your whippet tends to either hoover up unpleasant things on sidewalks while walking or is distracted by other dogs or people and tries to nip, a muzzle is an option.
When Muzzles Don’t Work
Muzzles can be a very controversial topic. Many think they are cruel but they work well in the many situations listed above. If muzzles don’t work, there are reasons for that as well.
Fit And Type
There are numerous types of muzzles. A muzzle won’t work if it’s ill-fitting and hinders breathing. Even if your whippet is loving and well-behaved, owning a properly fitted muzzle is a good idea in case of an emergency.
Do some muzzle research on the pros and cons of various muzzles and do pick one that fits your whippet.
When you purchase a muzzle, allow your pup to smell it and get them acquainted with each other. Put it on and see how they do and leave it on for a short time.
Get them acclimated to it in case you ever do need to use it. Muzzles don’t work many times because the type is all wrong for your dog or it just does not fit.
For Training Or Bad Behaviour
Muzzles will also not work for training or behavioural issues and should not be used for this purpose. Proper training is necessary without a muzzle.
Muzzles will not work for behavioural issues either, such as chewing and shredding. These may be signs of boredom and a little extra exercise can eliminate this.
Muzzles should never be used if your pup is barking a lot, which is rare for a whippet. They should also never be used for any discipline or punishment. Your whippet needs proper training without a muzzle.
Using Muzzles For Too Long
Muzzles should only be used for short periods of time. Your whippet can become too hot and overheated and they can’t eat or drink when wearing a muzzle.
Muzzles are only meant to be used for a short length of time just to prevent something dangerous from happening in a certain situation.
By using the muzzle for too long or to discipline or punish, it will only create more problems and it’s use will fail.
Remember, if you are considering getting a muzzle, just in case you would need it, slowly introduce your whippet to it. Find one that fits well. Ask at a pet product store about sizing.
Have your whippet become familiar with it and give treats if need be. Then, have them wear it around occasionally.
Introducing your whippet to a muzzle is a good thing and better than waiting for an emergency or incident to try and get a muzzle on them. This way they won’t associate the muzzle with fearful or scary times.
If the thought of your whippet in a muzzle puts you in a quandary, think about it. The question, “should my whippet be muzzled?” is not a yes or no answer. It depends on the circumstances.
Your whippet may never need to use it, but the Boy Scout motto is, “be prepared,” and it’s a good one.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!