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A muzzle is a device that fits around a dog's nose and prevents him from opening his mouth beyond a certain point. It may be ill-advised, immoral and, in some places, illegal, but it is possible to prevent a dog from barking by using a muzzle.

There are several styles of muzzles, which are manufactured using fabric, wire, leather or some combination of the three. Dogs come in different sizes with snouts of various lengths, so muzzles come in a number of configurations that correspond to those various shapes and sizes.

With most dogs, if you fit them with the proper muzzle in the appropriate size, you can get it just right so that the dog will be able to drink, breathe, and pant in a normal fashion, but will not be able to get his mouth open wide enough to bark. Therefore, it is possible to use a muzzle as an anti-barking device, and there was a time when they were commonly employed for that purpose. But times have changed and perspectives have shifted to the point that it is now considered cruel to muzzle a dog for an extended period of time.

It is also considered dangerous, and in some places it is illegal to leave a muzzled dog unattended. Of course, that pretty much rules out the use of a muzzle as a means of quieting a dog, because you don't need it if you are there with the animal, and you're not allowed to leave it on him if you are not.

It is really not much of a loss, however, because a muzzle is a miserable way to quiet a dog in any case.

In fact, in terms of desirability, it is far better just to take the time to bark train your dog. If for some reason that is not a possibility for you, your next best bet is to fit the animal with an Electronic Collar.

The Dog Science Network also sponsors a course in dog training, featuring a free workshop in canine
, as well as an advanced course in obedience training, street safety, and watchdog work.

This page is part of Section One:
the Your Dog section of