Many dogs have to wear muzzles. Some are required to by law (breed-specific legislation). Some are fearful. Some eat rocks, feces, or garbage on the street.

The Muzzle Up! Project strives to erase the social stigma that comes with owning a dog that wears a muzzle. After all, when dogs are trained using positive reinforcement, they come to enjoy their muzzle, because the muzzle predicts good things (food, walks, fun with their humans). Muzzles also keep fearful and aggressive dogs safe, preventing them from possibly hurting another human or dog, while allowing them to still enjoy being a dog. And, unfortunately, some dog owners have no choice, since breed-specific legislation requires their dogs to wear one.

This blog post is a celebration of the humans who are doing it right: Desensitizing and counterconditioning their dogs to muzzles, finding creative ways to have fun with their dogs, and giving their dogs the gift of exercise and adventure.

1) First up is this gorgeous dog who doesn’t let his muzzle get in the way of a good game of fetch (thanks to Muzzle Up! supporter Rachel Jackson for the photo):


2) Next, we have this creative pooch, who has found a way to retrieve an enticing tennis ball while wearing a muzzle (thanks to supporter Faren Sandberg for the photo):


3) Supporter Emma Hindson shared this dramatic photo of her dog, Zara, who climbs mountains with her muzzle. (Check out more of Zara’s adventures on her Facebook page):


4) Kisses are an important part of many dogs’ routines. Supporter Megan Mead’s photo of Sweden shows that this muzzle is entirely kissable:


5) Supporter Cassarra Groesbeck sent us this photo, showing this group of dogs enjoying an off-leash hike:


6) Sue F. Morgan sent us this photo of Dave, displaying his athletic prowess and zest for life:


7) Not only do Cobalt and Sapphire color coordinate, they also attend a global protest to end BSL (thank you to supporter Carol Louise Bell for the photo):


To join the Muzzle Up! movement, visit our Facebook page and spread the word. A huge thank you to all our current supporters! Check back for more muzzle adventures.

– Maureen Backman, MS, CTC

Maureen is the founder of The Muzzle Up! Project and owns Mutt About Town dog training in San Francisco, CA. Get in touch at

Muzzle stigma, Training
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Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this information publicly and letting dog owners that it is OKAY to muzzle a dog who MAY exhibit behavior that could be harmful to other dogs/persons. Muzzling is a huge step in bridging the gap between folks on either side of the BSL issue.

  2. Great post one!
    When dogs are trained using positive reinforcement time this following funny issue.

  3. Reblogged this on ZeroBites Dog Training and commented:
    I am personally a big fan of muzzles, they can give dog owners peace of mind, and they enable dogs to go out and have fun.


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