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How to Muzzle a Dog to Prevent Biting

By Elle Di Jensen | Updated September 26, 2017

A dog may bite out of fear or aggression, but slipping a muzzle over his nose and mouth and securing it with a strap is an effective way to prevent biting. Different types of muzzles include:

  • Grooming muzzles
  • Loft muzzles
  • Leather muzzles
  • Plastic or metal basket muzzles

Muzzles prevent dogs from opening their jaws very wide, and provide a barrier to inhibit biting. Dogs can breathe freely when wearing a muzzle. Some types, such as grooming muzzles, are open on the end, so your dog can still lap up a drink of water while wearing it.

Getting Acquainted

Show your dog the muzzle. Let him sniff it and thoroughly check it out if he wants to.

Use Positive Association

Hold a treat near the muzzle and encourage your dog to move in close to it to receive his treat.

Reinforce the Positive

Place a treat inside the muzzle and let your dog eat the treat out of it.

Slip It On

Place the muzzle over your dog's nose and mouth, but don't secure it with the strap. Speak gently and reassuringly while the muzzle is in place. Remove it after a short time, as little as 15 seconds or as long as a minute, depending on how your dog reacts to being muzzled.

Strap It In Place

Secure the strap in back of your dog's head once he's used to wearing it without panicking. Some use buckles and some have snap clips, but make sure it's secure without being too tight.


Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.