How long to keep a muzzle on a dog
Several different types of basket muzzles are available, depending on the dog, the situation and the amount of money you want to spend. Leather basket muzzles, also called police-style training muzzles, are very expensive but are strong and safe enough to allow muzzle fighting during training of police and protection dogs. The thick leather weave lets the dog pant and breathe, but prevents her from biting you or other dogs.
Wire basket muzzles are made of wire formed into a basket around the nose and mouth of the dog, usually with a leather strap that holds the muzzle around his nose and a strap behind the ears. This type is the best choice if your dog will be wearing a muzzle for a long time or will be unsupervised. This type of muzzle gives your dog the ability to breathe, pant and drink water freely but prevents her from biting or eating anything she shouldn’t. You can also find wire basket-style muzzles made from plastic, which are a little less durable but should be perfectly sufficient if aggression and biting is not your primary concern. For an aggressive dog or in a situation where the dog may try to bite a person or another dog, a wire basket muzzle is best because plastic can break if subjected to enough force. Note that wire or plastic basket muzzles are not good for the kind of training done with leather police style muzzles, because you or another dog can get hit by the hard muzzle and get bruised or battered.
For occasional muzzling of your dog, plastic basket muzzles made from a flat sheet of perforated plastic can be a good option. This type of muzzle is especially suited for occasional walks, trips to the groomer or vet, and for situations where you’ll be supervising the dog. Because this type of muzzle doesn’t have a separate strap that tightens around the nose, there is a greater chance that the dog could get the muzzle off. The plastic basket muzzle of this type would make it a bit harder for your dog to drink water and wouldn’t be a good choice if you are muzzling your dog daily.
Leather soft-sided muzzles and heavy leather muzzles that attach with a strap between the ears are not good choices for most situations. These muzzles can be heavy, can come off easily and can be thin enough for your dog to bite through the muzzle.