Muzzle FAQs: How to Measure a Muzzle

Awhile back, Muzzle Up! asked you to send in questions about muzzles, muzzle safety, muzzle training, and anything else muzzle-related. Unfortunately, there’s a shortage of quality information on this topic, let alone an easy way to find answers to questions. With your support, our ongoing “Muzzle FAQ” series will bridge this information gap.

Here’s a selection from the first batch of questions we received. Thank you to everyone who sends us notes and participates in our Facebook community. Together, we can erase muzzle stigma, one dog at a time.

Q: “I loved the Paul Frank muzzle taping idea so much I bought a couple of rolls online…but ack! The tape is all peeling off…did you treat the Baskerville with something first?”

A: This question refers to our muzzle art project from earlier this year, in which we wrapped decorative duct tape around a Baskerville muzzle. The concept is still a work in progress, but luckily several Muzzle Up! supporters are giving it a try! Our one tip is to try keeping all loose ends of the tape wrapped up to prevent fraying and water damage.

Q: Where can we find more fun muzzles? Black is so boring.

A: Depending on where you live, there are various stores that sell colored muzzles. For those in the US, Baskerville sells a powder blue colored muzzle on Amazon (they discontinued the pink color, unfortunately). See our muzzle equipment guide for other retailers.

Q: A good pictorial on how a muzzle should fit (particularly for bully breeds) would be great.

A: Muzzles should allow a dog to pant, drink water, and exercise comfortably (see our graphic attached to this post.)

Each muzzle brand has specific sizing specifications. We have created a graphic that shows the basic measurements you should take before purchasing a muzzle.

The following are links to sizing information for two of the more popular brands:
Baskerville Ultra: http://www.petexpertise.com/dog-training-aids/baskerville-ultra-dog-muzzle.html

Jafco: http://www.petexpertise.com/dog-training-aids/jafco-muzzles.html

Q: How do you deal with the public when they see the muzzle and automatically think your dog is a biter? My dog has never bitten anyone but I know that people will see a so-called dangerous breed wearing a muzzle and jump to the conclusion that he is vicious. Also, does having your dog wear a muzzle effect your legal liability?

A: We created a blog awhile back that lists what many of our supporters say when facing questions about their dog in a muzzle.

Legal liability can vary depending on your region’s dangerous dog regulations. Check with your local police department for more information on dog bites and liability.

Q: Any tips for getting my dog to accept wearing a muzzle?

A: Training, training, training. Check out our website for videos  and instructionson training your dog to be comfortable wearing a muzzle.

– 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 muttabouttownsf@gmail.com.

7 Comments on “Muzzle FAQs: How to Measure a Muzzle”

  1. I am working with a dog that can paw the entire muzzle off. She is a lab/pittie X wearing a size 4 quick clip Baskerville ultra. I lengthened the strap between the eyes a little so it wasn’t angled upward so much and so it wasn’t so close to her eyes. They will get a collar to put through the muzzle to secure it better and continue working on longer duration. She willingly sticks her face in and will lick peanut butter or spray cheese while it is on. Any other suggestions?
    Thank you!
    Connie, CVT

    1. Hi Connie! Great question. It sounds like you might be trying to ask her to keep the muzzle on for longer than she’s capable. Most dogs can get muzzles off if they really try – so it’s better to assume that if they’re trying to get it off, they need more practice/training. For example, work on leaving it on for 2-3 seconds, then 4-5, then 6-8, then 10, then 15, and so on. Gradually spacing out treats is hard, but important too!

  2. Any guidance for how to measure for a muzzle when there is a real risk of getting bitten while trying to do so?
    Thanks
    H

      1. Hi Helen – Try getting “close enough” guess, and perhaps get a couple sizes that are close to each other, so if you put one on it looks too small you’ve got another one available. in a perfect world muzzles are perfectly sized, but in situations like this I would go for close enough.

  3. My dog is a doberman who eats everything! When we let her outside she has free run of 3 and 1/2 acres. We dont have fencing. She spends 98% of her time running and hunting. She eats who-knows-what and it makes her sick (she throws up, stops eating and sometimes stops drinking. This sickness lasts about 3 to 4 days). This happens about once a week. We, including the vet, think a muzzle is possibly the easiest and least invasive way to try and stop her from eating. We are having trouble finding a muzzle that accommodates her measurements. Her snout length is the problem. Do you know of a type that might work? It needs to allow her to pant freely and drink water. We appreciate any help you can give. Thank you. Chris and Will

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