Finding the best muzzle for your dog: An equipment guide

The Muzzle Up! Project has received a large number of requests for  information on the different types of muzzles available, breed-specific muzzles, and where to purchase them. The following is a starter list, compiled from our own research and information from supporters. Please email us at muzzleupproject@gmail.com if you have any questions or resources to share. We’d especially like to hear from those who live outside the US to help us expand our international resources.

Equipment Review

The Baskerville Ultra muzzle is the gold standard for a safe and comfortable basket muzzle. Product features include:

  • Durable, flexible rubber
  • Neoprene padding on the straps to prevent chafing
  • Safety strap that fits over the head to ensure a secure fit (optional)
  • Wide holes guarantee your dog can eat, drink and pant

– The Ultra is available on many sites. Muzzle Up! recommends purchasing one from the Karen Pryor Clicker Store. For those in the UK, Company of Animals provides a selection, including the option of blue or pink plastic.

– Pet Expertise offers a great sizing chart to help determine the best fit for your dog. Several Muzzle Up! supporters have indicated one drawback to the Ultra: in some dogs, the plastic chafes the skin above the nose. Fabric strips placed on the plastic can help prevent damage to the skin, as well as ensure a proper fit.

– Dean and Tyler offers a muzzle that comes in 30 sizes. Their website includes a chart to help you determine the correct size for your dog. Product features include:

  • Heavy felt padding on the nose area to prevent chafing
  • Adjustable leather straps
  • Ample room for your dog to eat, drink and pant
  • Available in smaller breed sizes

While wire muzzles can be a safe and effective choice, they are typically heavier than plastic muzzles. The metal can also become uncomfortable for a dog in hot or cold climates. Leather basket muzzles, while sometimes hard to fit, can provide some extra comfort for your dog. Keep in mind that some leather muzzle designs do not allow for easy consumption of food and water (two things that are essential for muzzle safety). Dean and Tyler also offers a versionwhich, like their wire muzzles, includes padding around the nose area to prevent chafing.

– Trixie Pet Products offers a leather “bridle” style muzzle, which includes space for treat taking, panting and drinking, as well as a forehead strap for a secure fit.

Breed Specific and Custom Sized Muzzles

– The Dog Muzzle Store offers one of the most comprehensive collections of breed-specific muzzles available, in both leather and wire varieties. Here is an example of a leather basket muzzle designed for French bulldogs, pugs and Boston terriers. Their site allows you to list your dog’s measurements to ensure a custom fit.  Features of these custom muzzles include:

  • Felt padding along the nose area
  • Ample ventilation
  • Forehead straps to ensure a secure fit

The site includes various other leather options  to choose from, but this one has the best design for delivering treats and drinking water. The Dog Muzzle Store’s rubber and plastic coated muzzles come with a comfort strap above the nose as well, and the rubber coating ensures comfort in hot and cold temperatures. Here is an example of their metal wire muzzle, designed for boxer type breeds. They also offer a fully padded wire version (seen here on a German Shepherd).

– Hot Dogs All Dressed offers custom-made leather muzzles for all breeds.

International Links 

– Bumas custom leather muzzles in various colors (based in Austria but ships worldwide)

– Gappay rubberized muzzles (based in Germany)

– Sofahund Hot Dogs All Dressed (custom leather muzzles in various colors)

– The Greyhound & Whippet Shop

– A special note about greyhounds: By purchasing from a respected rescue organization, you can ensure that your money will not support the dog racing industry. One of our supporters shared the link to Greyhound Rescue West of England, which provides several basket muzzle options. Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary also offers basket muzzles for this breed in a variety of colors.

– By Maureen Backman, MS CTC. Maureen is the founder of The Muzzle Up! Project and owns Mutt About Town dog training in San Francisco, CA. She will be presenting about Muzzle Up at this year’s Pet Professional Guild Summit in Tampa, FL. Get in touch at muttabouttownsf@gmail.com.

55 Comments on “Finding the best muzzle for your dog: An equipment guide”

  1. I have a 2 year old Doberman that weighs between 70-75 lbs. Due to her aggressive behavior towards my other dogs in the pack she was recommended to wearing a muzzle. I have no clue what size muzzle she should wear. Can you please help me measure her so I can buy the right size of muzzle for her.

  2. I need a muzzle for my bernedoodle puppy (25 pounds) to keep him from eating socks and other items. He is not aggressive towards other dogs/people. What is the best muzzle for this purpose?

    Amy McCall

    1. Hi Amy, generally we recommend basket muzzles. Baskervilles fit many dogs, but you’ll need to do some specific measurements for your pup!

  3. I am looking for a muzzle for my australian cattle dog. Being a breed that tends to nip I want it so he is not able to bite or nip at anyone. I have been looking at basket muzzles. I want him to be as comfortable as possible he is 42ibs of pure muscle. From tip of nose to between eyes is about 3to 4 inches. Do you have a specific muscle that tends to be best for herding breeds to prevent bite injuries?

    1. It depends on face shape. If he’s got a really long nose, a sighthound muzzle might be best. Otherwise most herding dogs fit the baskerville quite well.

  4. KhaosCollars on Etsy makes custom sized biothane and leather muzzles! They also have options for an open nose and 3 levels for the amount of negative space between straps.

  5. Your site was recommended by my trainer. So much helpful and reassuring information her. Thank you.

    Looking at Burma’s, not delighted with the six week wait time. Positive CER is slow enough! Hate the black muzzles . Your positive negative CER example shows a pretty muzzle, yet I can’t find it in your list of muzzle providers?

    I’m not a fashion conscious person, but muzzles have enough stigma without the biker look!

    1. Some other custom muzzle makers exist, like KhaosCollars on Etsy and Trust Your Dog in Fort Collins, CO. Some people also customize their black muzzles with paint or sequins 🙂

      1. Have you ordered the Biothane from KhaosKollars? My Coonhound is in between sizes of the baskerville, and I was also hoping for something friendlier and lighter, and leaning towards the level 2, as she does snap when she’s nervous.

  6. Hello. I need a muzzle for my very placid labrador to prevent her picking up poison baits when we go remote camping or bushwalking. (Baits are used extensively in the Australian bush to eradicate feral cats and foxes.) Can you please recommend the style of muzzle I should look for? I note many styles say the dog can eat while wearing the muzzle, which may defeat the purpose.

    1. Hi Trish, something like the BUMAS will generally prevent snacking. I’ve had to cut the muzzle to make it easier to feed my dog through it. Some of the Jafco muzzles will also do the trick, since the treat holes are so tiny.

  7. Hi, my dog has nose cancer and her nose is extra sensitive. She needs a muzzle that will be comfortable and not put too much pressure on the bridge of her nose/ snout. Her nose is also bumpy in that area due to the tumors. Do you have any recommendations?

    1. You’ll probably need something custom. Many people add extra padding to their muzzles, but this is a tough one!

  8. Hi I’m really struggling to find a muzzle for my shih tzu Harley, we have tried mesh to basket muzzle and he somehow removes them all and they don’t sit correctly.

    1. If he’s removing them he probably needs more training to tolerate wearing them. Check out our resources on that!

  9. Your thoughts on Leerburg Jafco plastic muzzles please? The three strap has opening for treats. Thanks!, Hope

  10. I have a 70lb male shar pei. My vet referred me to you. Any suggestions for sizing for a Baskerville? I’m having issues finding the right fit

    1. Shar peis are tricky for sizing, a Baskerville might be the wrong shape. Hard to say without the dog in front of me!

  11. My practice manager has a pomeranian that tends to eat everything. We have searched for a basket muzzle that might fit to no avail. Have you seen anyone that makes an extra small basket?

  12. Hello! I was referred here from Muzzle up Pup – Pro-Muzzle Community Facebook group. I have a Neapolitan Mastiff with a HUGE HEAD AND LONG DROOPY LIPS! Is there a specific brand or company that you would recommend me checking out to find a muzzle that fits him properly?

    1. Hi Michelle – probably a custom muzzle, though I’m not 100% sure who specializes in big droopy dogs!

  13. Hi I need help with my Jack Russel and chihuahua cross dog. I’d like to get Baskerville or similar type muzzle with quick release plastic buckle (not the regular buckle) for him but smallest size (size 1) is too big. He is fearful and aggressive and very sensitive around his muzzle. If you could suggest one thing similar that would be great.

  14. So I went to the BUMAS website and the muzzle recommended for my golden retriever is priced at $233 USD!! Is this accurate? Seems ridiculously expensive.

    1. Yes, they are quite expensive. I believe that Trust Your Dog has similar muzzles for a lower price.

  15. Looking for a muzzle suggestion for an Aussie (60 lb). I’m in Canada so would need to be able to source it here.

  16. Good afternoon! Your website and training to a basket muzzle has had a profound impact on our Shepherd.

    Don’t you think you should reach out to the White House and see if you can influence the training of their dog Major to the muzzle?

    My regards,
    Teresa

  17. I tried to email (so I could send pictures!) but it got sent back to me, so here’s another attempt:

    I’m looking into buying a muizzle for my 70lb pit bull. I measured her (with certainly much human error) to be 2.25-2.5″ (5-5.5 cm) length (possibly shorter) and 10.5-11″ (29 cm) circumference (closed, potentially should be longer). For a baskerville ultra my gut thinks she might be a size 5 even though the sizing chart makes her look more like a 3/4? I would love any and all advice (and am open to trying a different muzzle brand too). Thank you!

  18. I am fostering a chihuahua that weighs approximately 6-7 pounds. His snout doesn’t measure more than three inches around. I have been unable to find any brand that carries basket muzzles that would fit a dog that small. Any suggestions?

  19. My rescue dog has aggression & anxiety issues, so I muzzle her when we leave the house. I have two Baskervilles, a 4 and a 3, and use the 3 even though it’s a little small on her…. the size 4 muzzle is a perfect fit but the straps are entirely too large to fit my dog’s head. Even the straps on the size 3 are a little too big, which has led to a couple of close calls when the straps slip… I was wondering if there was something available that had the muzzle size of a Baskerville 4 but the strap length of a size 2? That would really be the perfect muzzle for my pup!

      1. I have tried shortening the straps on both muzzles but still have a loose fit on them, and not sure how to DIY custom straps for the larger Baskerville. Any thoughts on where to start?
        I also don’t use the collar strap at the bottom, since she wears a Martingale collar. Would it make things more secure if I switched collars as well?

        1. The strong stitching on those straps would be tough to duplicate if you have to take the side and bottom ones in. Is there anyone in your area who repairs or makes horse tack? They could do it. Maybe even a shoe repair person. I don’t think it would cost much.
          If you can get a good fit by adjusting only the upper portion of the head strap, you could remove the forehead strap and slide the buckle all the way over to the Baskerville tag. Once you have the correct length, you can cut off the surplus and run the raw end of the strap through a flame to keep it from unraveling. (Apologies if you’ve already tried that, it was the only other thing I could think of.)

  20. I agree with Denise A. above. I don’t can’t find a proper muzzle. Wee need some one who makes them correctly.

    1. Hi Marisa, what are the measurements of your dog’s muzzle? You’ll need that information to find the right muzzle size.

  21. I have a 55-60 lb pit mix that is almost 7 years old. We live in an urban area. He loves other dogs, but can be quite anxious/fearful about meeting people. There have been times that he’ll accept meeting a new person and then he reacts. He hasn’t bitten anyone, but there have been a few close calls. It can be very hard to gauge how he’ll react in any given situation outside the home. I’d like to start muzzling him on walks for his own safety as well as others. I’ve slowly but surely been training him to wear a Baskerville muzzle (ultra muzzle, size 4). He’s ok with it – for the most part – when he sits. But the moment we start walking he paws at it like crazy. I’m wondering if there might be different muzzle option to try. Or is this pretty typical in the training process?

    1. Hi Margaret – is it possible that the muzzle isn’t fitting properly? Sometimes that discomfort makes it worse.

  22. Im going to be training my dog to wear a muzzle. He has some resource guarding issues, so it will be for his safety as well as others. What type of muzzle should I buy?

    1. Hi Tara, it depends a lot on your dog and the fit that you need. We have lots of resources under the “resources” tab here!

  23. Hi! Just listened to Michael Shikashio’s podcast with Sarah McManaman and loved it! We have long-had a Baskerville and are awaiting the delivery of our custom BUMAS. Very excited. I am concerned though that my dog can’t do what he loves- fetch sticks out of the lake, hunting under rocks and tight spaces, actually catching his prey (usually lizards), etc. Michael and I have had several sessions on my guy and while we’ve worked through many issues but this is one I’m currently struggling with. Our terrier mix spent 986 days in the shelter and has always had barrier frustration issues (among other issues). I’m loathe for him to experience frustration with the muzzle, but of course he needs it. Any suggestions much appreciated! Thanks in advance!!

    1. Hi Rachel, I think the uniqueness of your case probably means we need to schedule a consult with a trainer rather than hashing things out here – I don’t have enough detail to help you out right now.

  24. Hello and thank you in advance for your time. My 95 lb. pitbull Comet needs basket muzzle training due to his intense fear of muzzles and getting his toenails cut. 4 times we tried with oral sedation and anti-anxiety, then he had to have an injection to have his nails cut. It seems like a dog his size with a big head would automatically be a #6. Where could I find the plastic ones, or they look like plastic, as in the training video? Is the Baskerville muzzle info linked to this website a good fit for a pitbull? It’s rubber. I really need to find one so I can begin this training before his nails grow too long. I appreciate your help.

    PS He lived in a shelter for two years and I know he was muzzled to be brought in by animal control. The muzzle scares him. I think the process will be looooooong.

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