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Muzzling DA dogs

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by Tiffseagles, May 20, 2011.

  1. Tiffseagles

    Tiffseagles GRCH Dog Premium Member

    I was at a seminar and saw something that kind of bugged me. Dogs that were displaying prey based aggression towards other dogs (including an APBT mix) were being muzzled (never had a muzzle on before), brought into a pack of dogs and dropped leash. So, obviously, they would try to attack other dogs (while muzzled) and were corrected for it with audible cues (can of pennies, air horns or words) and if that did not end the altercation, a physical correction was given. This is how they were being integrated into group 'play' sessions. My questions are:

    1) Is this a common/accepted practice?
    2) What potential negative affects could this have for the dog being muzzled?
  2. Alma

    Alma GRCH Dog

    Youre kidding me???? That has to be one of the dumbest things Ive ever read. I understand setting your dog up for failure to be able to correct at the right time, but to throw a high prey drive DA dog in the mix like that... well.... I honestly dont think Id listen to anything else those people had to say.

    1. Not for the people I train with...
    2. Idk about a negative effect, but I cant imagine it would do much to end to issues.

    We do have socialization classes with some DA dogs, and they are muzzled while in the group to prevent the other dogs from being hurt, but we dont just throw them in, we wait for the right amount of calmness and curiosity before we introduce them. I would imagine the way those people are doing it would be far more stressful an event then need be..
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2011
  3. Tiffseagles

    Tiffseagles GRCH Dog Premium Member

    Thanks for the response. I had similar feelings.
  4. rguerra

    rguerra Big Dog

    Sounds like something that they show in National Geographic :D.

    If a dog was bred to be DA, then it shouldn't be stressed like this. Just get another dog bred to not be DA.
  5. Lotsapits

    Lotsapits Big Dog

    100% idiocy. Good way to turn a normal DA good natured dog into a manbiter as well. JMO. Why/How do I say that? Because imagine how incredibly frustrating that is to the dog. The dog will act out in some way and it may be toward a human.
  6. #1 stunner

    #1 stunner Good Dog

    I don't want to have to use a muzzle on Trigger when taking him on walks. To me it just looks bad for the breed as any person crossing our paths (when walking him) might see is him being a danger, SEEING it on him, when in reality he is not..and it doesn't do any good for their image.
  7. Atheist

    Atheist Good Dog

    I feel if you cannot control your dog to a point that you need to muzzle it, it is a dog I would PTS. I mean if the muzzle is due to dog aggression, why? DA is easily managed. Train your dog not to lunge, keep him on a leash and avoid high dog traffic areas. Simple. If the dog has to be muzzled to prevent it from biting people it should not be allowed to live unless it has a working purpose, bomb detection, military or police use etc. If the dog is so uncontrollable around other dogs it needs to be muzzled, I would just stop trying to have it around dogs rather than muzzle it in public.

    A muzzle on a pit bull to me is just a sign that screams "this is a dangerous dog and it cannot be trusted nor can the owner control it" Who wants that stigma attached to their pet? If an owner is not comfortable with their ability to manage normal DA in a pit bull they should have another breed. If they feel the need to force their pit bull to interact closely with other dogs, and require a muzzle to do it, they should get another breed.

    I suppose for extreme circumstances like taking a dog to a vet or situation where a DA dog may have to be briefly very close to other dogs it is OK as a precaution but other than that I would never muzzle a dog longer than it would take to get him to a vet to PTS. My dog is very DA but I still can take him on leashed walks in public and just last weekend I took him to a Petco for a Rabies Booster Clinic. There were a lot of dogs there, so I just had my daughter wait in the line and I just stay about 15 feet away from the other dogs and when it is our turn then we take place at the table and get the shot and leave. It isn't that difficult. You really only need a muzzle if you cannot keep your dogs mouth out of contact with what he wants to bite. Isn't that what the leash is for? The muzzle is an excuse for the owner to not pay attention, further ruins the breeds reputation and even if the muzzle is only to prevent dog on dog stuff, the public will see the dog as dangerous to people.

    On second thought maybe I should get my dog one of those Hannibal Lechter muzzle masks. That would do wonders for both our images in town.

    Also I am curious, every DA pit bull I have had seemed easily controllable around other dogs. I mean you need to be careful but they are relatively calm around dogs. The aggression seems to be when the dogs are in their space. Now if my dog is in the house an a stray dog comes on our property he will go ape shit crazy. But if we are walking on leash, he seems uninterested in the other dogs as long as they aren't too close. I just make sure I don't allow dogs into the space or perimeter of the extended leash.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2011
  8. rguerra

    rguerra Big Dog

    Totally agree. Couldn't have said it better.
  9. Tiffseagles

    Tiffseagles GRCH Dog Premium Member

    Athiest - My thoughts exactly which is why I asked about this whole scenario.
  10. Zoe

    Zoe GRCH Dog

    If you put a muzzle on Tank and stuck him in a group of strange dogs. One of two things would happen. He'd yank of the muzzle and grab the closest dog. Or two, he'd peck the closest dog to death with his basket muzzle. That thing packs a punch! :lol: At no point would he be stressed. He'd think it was his birthday! :lol: I think the stress factor would really depend on the dog. I've definitley have handled dogs that that would REALLY stress, but they are not the ''prey driven'' type of DA. Their DA would be more related to defensiveness... like say with Deeohgee. I'd see her be pretty stressed in that situation...

    ---------- Post added at 03:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:33 PM ----------

    Meh. I muzzle Tank and I've actually had awesome response to him because when people look at him, I explain WHY he's muzzled. He's got a massive fan base around here of people who GET IT because I took the time to explain. If you think all DA dogs are ''easy'' to handle, you haven't met Tank. :lol: The thing is, any dog is easy to control on leash with stimuli out of reach. Try controlling Tank with no muzzle when a loose dog is right in his face. The chance of ANYONE being able to physically out power this 95 pound dog that is INTENSELY driven is pretty slim. He'd drag the biggest guy down so fast, he wouldn't know what hit him. :lol: I would so love to get him on Cesar just so I can see Cesar hit the dirt! That would be classic! :D
  11. Tiffany3483

    Tiffany3483 Good Dog

    I think it is stupid.

    I rarely if ever use a muzzle on my dogs for anything. I think muzzling a dog for the first time and throwing it in with other dogs could make the situation worse b/c the dog can't defend itself as well.

    Although I had a male Doberman, Gunner, almost kill a male Bullmastiff with a muzzle on. He used his body to pin the dog and rammed the muzzle into his throat over and over again. I think biting would have caused less damage than having that basket muzzled hammered into your throat!

    We tried using muzzles with JD and Casper once they had their fight to try to get them to get along. We had consulted a behaviorist and after seeing them, she even agreed it was a lost cause. Muzzle or no muzzle they were going to fight and one or both was going to die.

    When I was fostering a lot for Greyhound rescue, they all came with plastic basket muzzles which they were used to wearing. When we would intro them to small dogs and cats, they would wear the muzzle. We had on male snatch a hold of a cat with the muzzle on so fast, I couldn't believe it. If I hadn't had a good hold on the leash, that cat would have been dead in no time. He slammed the side of his mouth on the cat and grabbed whatever cat parts came thru the holes on the muzzle. Awesome hound, but was a certified cat zapper!
  12. MJJean

    MJJean GRCH Dog

    I can't imagine being threatened and attacked by a muzzled DA dog is a thrill for the non-DA dogs and would likely be traumatizing enough to make them dislike other dogs.
  13. bahamutt99

    bahamutt99 Stealth ninja

    I forgot that I even owned a muzzle until I uncovered it the other day while looking through my tote of dog crap. I can't stand them, personally, because they have a mental association with BSL to me. I think attitudes towards muzzles are probably regionally-influenced, too. People from other countries will talk about how its perfectly normal to see muzzled dogs wherever they are. That the dogs get to ride buses and things like that because they are muzzled. If I saw a muzzled dog here in America, my reaction would range from thinking it was a serious working/guard dog, to thinking someone had no control over their spoiled/aggro/fearful/etc dog. (Would all depend on what type of dog and how it was behaving.)

    I certainly wouldn't do what the original post described. If it were my old Loki girl in there, she'd probably shut down or get really defensive if another dog came near her. If it was Terra, I could see her trying to get the muzzle off, or failing that, wrestling the closest dog with the muzzle still on. I've actually heard about people putting two dogs together muzzled and letting them duke it out for exercise without harm. Seems kind of risky to me, but what do I know...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2011
  14. K9 Love

    K9 Love Good Dog

    It's law here for pit bull/pit bull type dogs to be muzzled, so no, we are not bad owners that can't control our dogs' here, it's law.

    I tend to agree with Atheist, but at the same time there are always uncalled for situations that can't be avoided or trained for. The point of training and managing a DA dog (at least what I usually see, or the goals I usually set) are for a dog supervised, on leash to ignore strange dogs, not to react, to just continue on their way. Well in the case that Zoe mentioned, a loose, strange dog in your dog's face, how are you supposed to train for that? How can that realistically be a goal for a truly DA dog?

    I have heard of people doing this before, I've personally never done it. I've heard all kinds of reasons as to why not to do it, but only had a few old school trainers try to explain to me why to do it... most of it IMO revolving around the fact that they don't really care about how the dogs could react negatively mentally and or physically. If they bust each other up, they bust each other up, if they freak out when you do take the muzzles off, it is what it is.

    What concerns me, having one muzzled DA animal in a pack, is also what the pack decides to do to that dog. I know if Roxy were to encounter an unstable (DA is considered unstable to other dogs) dog that couldn't "retaliate" by biting, she would be severely correcting them, likely getting other dogs riled up to do the same. DA is not a natural quality in a dog. Dogs are ultimately pack animals, and if they couldn't live in a pack, eat in a pack and breed in a pack without human assistance it's not a natural, desired quality, therefore some dogs, if in a group together, might try to take him out. I've read studies on dams, or other pack members killing pups because they were displaying signs of unnatural aggression, and I would think this would be the mentality we would be provoking from our dogs if we were to throw an unstable, DA animal into a pit of other dogs.

    I just can't see this being a reliable way to reach the goal of having a DR/DA animal being comfortable around other dogs. The negative effects for the both the muzzled and unmuzzled are just too great to even risk it IMO.
  15. VonKromeHaus

    VonKromeHaus Good Dog

    I agree with Alma's post! I do own a muzzle and do use it on Judge for training(PP work). However, if I were to use it on him in the same context as above, he'd still kill a dog or seriously injure them by muzzle punching them to death. Those things as was said...pack a punch, broken ribs, bones etc. Plus it would make his reactivity WAY worse than it is!!!!
  16. starrlamia

    starrlamia Puppy

    i would thinking throwing a muzzle on an unconditioned dog would cause even more anxiety and stress and exacerbate the situation?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2011
  17. VonKromeHaus

    VonKromeHaus Good Dog

    I think you are right Starr. IME- that's what a muzzle will do to a dog that isn't conditioned to it. I don't understand the reasoning behind why someone would use that mehtod for dog agression. To each their own, but IMHO it is counter productive to what they are trying to acheive.
  18. starrlamia

    starrlamia Puppy

    totally agree.

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