Education, Advocacy, Training

Workshop summary

In the world of dog behavior, one of the most essential pieces of safety equipment we have is the muzzle. Unfortunately, their appearance and the judgments associated with them prevent their usage, sometimes with tragic consequences. Dogs wear muzzles for a plethora of reasons.

This workshop will cover the how-to’s of muzzle training, including working through common trouble spots, as well as incorporating tricks, games and activities so that dogs feel comfortable and happy wearing a muzzle. We’ll also discuss how to tailor your dog’s muzzle training for specific scenarios like the veterinary office and leash walks.

Imagine a fearful dog gaining confidence and weaving around agility poles while wearing a muzzle. Or a shy dog running toward the muzzle from across the room in order to place her snout in the basket, eagerly anticipating her reward. These aren’t just pipe dreams; training makes them possible for dogs of varied breeds, backgrounds and temperaments. As dog owners, want our dogs to trust us. We want our dogs to feel comfortable in our presence. We don’t want our dogs to be scared of us. When done the proper way, muzzle training can increase the trust in you and your dog’s relationship, because in every dog’s training plan, trust is not only the foundation, it’s the terminal behavior.

About Maureen

MAUREEN BACKMAN MS, CTC, PCT-A is the owner of Mutt About Town, which offers private dog training services in the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in work with fearful dogs. Maureen’s particular strength is combining her knowledge of counselling along with her studies in animal learning and behavior to help humans understand how to communicate and work with their dogs. She is strongly committed to using only force-free training methods.

Maureen is the founding director of The Muzzle Up! Project. Through partnering with veterinarians, businesses, rescues and trainers, not only in San Francisco but across the world, Muzzle Up! aims to educate the public about dog behavior, safety, and why we don’t need to fear muzzles.

She graduated with honors from Jean Donaldson’s prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers, is certified in training by the Pet Professional Guild, and has a master’s degree in rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.



Benefits for dog owners

Learn how to implement a muzzle training plan, troubleshoot tricky spots, and provide muzzle enrichment activities

Learn how to be proactive and set your dog up for success, including fear-free vet visits and early intervention for aggression and fear

Education on what types of muzzles work best, how to modify for best fit, and how to combat stigma with muzzle art and games

Benefits for dog trainers

  • Expanded skill set to offer clients
  • Ways to incorporate muzzle training into training packages to yield more successful case outcomes and happier clients
  • How to modify muzzle training plans depending on a dog’s presenting behavior plan
  • Using counseling skills to increase client motivation to follow through with muzzle training, and creating a successful rapport between trainer and client to ensure successful, efficient training
  • Incorporating muzzle training into a consultation package
  • Trainer CEUs

Benefits for veterinarians and hospital staff

  • Increasing successful muzzle training outcomes
  • Reducing fear and stress during veterinary visits
  • Providing clinics resources to further support clients, improving quality of care and value of services
  • Improving client compliance for training follow-through
  • CEUs

Benefits for shelter staff

  • How to address shelter-specific challenges for implementing muzzle training protocols
  • How to continue implementing muzzle training program as part of shelter services
  • Trainer CEUs

Pricing and Fees

Contact Maureen for information on fees and bookings:
muzzleupproject@gmail.com | 415-294-1356