The Best Dog Muzzles Australia -
The Ultimate Guide
Our #1 Pick
The Best Value for Money
Mayerzon Breathable Basket Muzzle
It was frightening.
Our newly rescued German Shepherd came fully stocks with anxiety, separation fears and violent tendencies. He was a biter. Have you seen a German Shepherd in full rage recently?
Not a pretty sight.
And though we were sceptical about them, our veterinarian recommended a dog muzzle while out walking, just until he was feeling more comfortable in himself. After months of rehabilitation and building his confidence, we eventually trained him to a place where he could be approached by strangers and not bite them out of fear. If anything, he became wholly uninterested in what any human or dog wanted from him. Another year of gentle socialisation and he became a zen master.
If your dog has a biting problem and you are considering getting them a muzzle, you are in the right place.
I am fully aware of the controversy around them, so we’ll address that first. Then we’ll talk about the two main types of muzzles and how to use them, before diving into the very best dog muzzles on the Australian market.
Your ultimate guide to dog muzzles starts here.
Why Muzzles Aren’t Bad
The humble dog muzzle has been a part of dog-owning life for centuries. Even Victorians had them. There are records of patents made on dog muzzles from the 1900s, with the intent of allowing dogs to pant, bark, eat and drink freely without having the ability to bite humans.
“Muzzling the dog was once part of the routines of conscientious dog care. That’s because many dogs were allowed to roam, even in cities, and dog bites were a real public health problem. As late as 1917, Philadelphia city ordinances allowed dogs to roam as long as they wore a “wire basket muzzle” and a collar with the owner’s name inscribed on a metal plate.” - The Pet Historian
So those are the origins, but in today’s modern world, we rarely have dogs just walking themselves around. There is always a responsible owner not too far away, so why would your dog need a dog mouthguard? (2)
1. In Stressful Situations
Is your dog so terrified of the V-E-T that you have to refer to it as the V-E-T otherwise they will run and hide under the kitchen table?
The V-E-T only brings poking, prodding, and discomfort for them. And can you blame them?
I bet you have avoided your yearly check-up at the dentist for the very same reasons.
If your dog is likely to lash out violently in these situations, a muzzle is not a bad idea to protect you, the vet, and anyone else who may cross their path during this high-stress situation.
Other examples of stressful situations include:
Playgrounds or areas with a high influx of young children if your dog is wary of children
In large crowds, if your dog is anxious
During grooming sessions
2. During Walks (if necessary)
I didn’t want to muzzle my dog but with his history of violent outbursts even at home, it was a bit irresponsible to take him around town and on free walks without decent protection for any unsuspecting passer-by. Walks are very unpredictable. If another dog were to dart out and cause a fight, it could end really poorly for both canines. When walking a dog with a nervous disposition - and a strong one at that - it is better to be safe than sorry.
Are Muzzles Cruel?
Muzzling can absolutely be cruel if used in a demeaning, destructive or malicious way. (3) As can all tools. The same could be said about dog crates or barking collars. There is a shadow side to all of these things.
1. Don’t use the muzzle all of the time
The first thing to note is that a muzzle shouldn’t be worn all of the time. It should be used alongside gentle, encouraging, positive training techniques to end the problematic biting habit that your dog has.
2. A comfortable fit is extremely important
A dog muzzle for biting should fit properly. No muzzle should completely close your dog’s mouth, allowing for no movement at all. As the Pet Historian said, even in Victorian times they were made with the free movement of the dog’s snout in mind. They are simply a guard so they can’t attack anyone.
As for sizing, this is the one product category where I can’t shake my fists in rage at how they discriminate on dogs of different shapes and sizes in the canine industry is, favouring small dogs and leaving large dogs with fewer options. A decent size range is very easy to find here. There are muzzles for small dogs just as there are for large dogs. No biter is left behind.
If a large dog is fitted with a small dog muzzle, it could lead to chafing and sores caused by the material rubbing around their neck, ears and snout. The fit is paramount to ensuring your dog isn’t unhappy wearing this.
3. Read your dog’s body language to figure out what is best for them
Lastly, I can only speak from my own experience. My German Shepherd never showed any signs of distress or discomfort when wearing his muzzle. In fact, putting his muzzle on was always a welcomed sign that he was going for a walk, so he associated it with good things.
But you know your dog best.
If they seem depressed or agitated because of the muzzle, you should look into other techniques and tools to help solve your dog’s biting habit. (4)
How To Use A Dog Muzzle Effectively
So, we have established that muzzles generally aren’t cruel if used correctly. Now let’s discuss how to correctly use them. (5)
Step 1: Let them get used to the muzzle
It’s a terrible idea to approach your dog and stick a muzzle on them straight away. After all, the reason you are likely biting them a muzzle in the first place is for a biting habit right? Which assumes a nervous disposition. Going straight in with a muzzle to an unsuspecting snout is a recipe for disaster.
Allow your dog to sniff and inspect the muzzle in their own time. Be encouraging with your voice as your dog investigates this new tool.
Step 2: Use treats to bribe them
This works best with basket muzzles. If you slather on some peanut butter at the snout end of the muzzle to entice your dog to stick their nose in on their own. Don’t coax them in at this stage. Just allow them to lick the bottom of the muzzle and naturally feel the sensation of having their snout in the muzzle.
Step 3: Try holding the straps in place
Once you have done this bribery trick a few times without fastening the straps, try holding the straps in place behind your dog’s ears. How are they reacting? Are they scared or distressed? Do they feel a little confused but generally okay? If your dog is feeling okay, give them lots of praise and you can move onto the next step.
Step 4: Leave the muzzle on for a short period of time
Once your dog is relatively calm with the muzzle being held in place, try fasting the straps and leaving the muzzle on for a short period of time. And by short, I mean short. 30 seconds for the first go. Then build up to 1 min, 2 mins, 5 mins, 10 mins and so on. It’s best to do this around the house for the first instance and engage your dog in fun activities while they acclimatise to the sensation.
Step 5: Lengthen the amount of period the muzzle is on until your dog is completely comfortable
When you get them to a place where they can have their muzzle on for the length of your average walk, you are ready to use it as intended. These former acclimatisation steps are crucial to your dog’s success with a mouth guard.
Basket vs Soft Dog Muzzles
Baskerville muzzles, also known as “basket muzzles”, are the traditional cage-like structures often used in muzzle design. These look scary but they are actually quite freeing because they allow plenty of airflow and free movement of your dog’s jaw. Dogs find it easy to breathe, eat, drink and pant with a basket muzzle on.
The con here is, unfortunately, the look.
Let’s go back to my German Shepherd for a second. It was quite a few years ago so the only muzzle we could find to fit him was a terracotta-coloured basket muzzle. And while we knew that he was in training and improving every day, the muzzle sent an instant shot of panic on sight to passers-by. It is a deeply engrained connotation that a muzzled dog must be dangerous. Which… in a way, yes, but not in an uncontrollable way that people should be afraid of.
So soft muzzles were invented as the gentler-looking counterpart to the traditional Baskerville models. You can get some really cool dog muzzles in the soft style because the fabric can also be more easily coloured and patterned.
That said, soft muzzles aren’t perfect either. Because of the way they are constructed, they do have less free movement of the jaw. The recommendations we have made below all have movement of the jaw, but it is worth noting that it will always be a little less than the basket option.
Best Dog Muzzles Australia: 2021 Edition
I hope I have made a good argument for using a muzzle if you need to and feeling less guilty about it. Here is a quick round up of the very best muzzles available to us in Australia.
Let’s start with the traditional muzzle. Sometimes simple is the best and this one by Mayerzon is fit for purpose.
It is a simple muzzle with plenty of ventilation due to its Baskerville structure. This also allows for easy panting, breathing, barking, and drinking.
It is constructed of a non-toxic pliable rubber, which is hardy but not harshly so. It is less likely to break than more brittle hard plastics would.
There are 5 sizes to choose from all labelled by the corresponding breed size it would suit best.
The smallest size would work best for a Westie or similar breed. The medium would work well with Border Collies and similar breeds. The large size would suit a Springer Spaniel or similar breeds. The Extra-large would fit Labradors. Finally, the Extra-extra-large would work well with Great Danes and Mastiffs.
It’s worth noting that short snout breeds like pugs and boxers are not ideal for this model.
The sizing is the hardest thing to get right so Mayerzon have you covered here. They have a 12-month warranty and 60 Days Money Back Guarantee. When you receive your muzzle, you can make sure that it is large enough to allow your dog to pant while still being secure. They are happy to receive your return if that first fitting is not ideal for your pup and switch to a larger or smaller size.
For a muzzle that is a little easier on the eyes but still gives your dog some freedom, the Goodboy Gentle Mouth Guard is a great option.
The soft lined neoprene padding is gentle on your dog’s snout while allowing movement of their jaw for drinking, panting and breathing.
The lining comes in two colours - blue and pink, to customise to your dog’s style.
High-quality buckles and adjustments make it easy to fit to your dog’s head for the perfect fit.
There are 4 sizes to choose from here: small, medium, large and extra-large.
With excellent reviews and a decent price-point, this is a great option for a soft dog muzzle for canines of all sizes!
If you want a super cheap muzzle that will do okay for your purposes, the EZONEDEAL model is not a bad product.
For one, it is extremely inexpensive, but you do get what you pay for to a degree.
This is a soft muzzle for dogs, made of nylon and polyester. Your dog can still drink, breathe and pant freely but it is worth noting that it doesn’t have the same amount of movement in the jaw as the former two options on this list.
It comes in five fabulous colours: purple, pink, red, blue and black. All colours come in four sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large. Most dog breeds will find a good match here.
A huge plus is that this model does fit short-snouted breeds like Chihuahuas and King Charles Cavaliers.
It is cheap quality, so this is worth noting, but if you want a colourful budget option, this is the one for you!
So, you want a dog muzzle that is still oddly inviting? We recommend the TANDD model.
It is very much like a Baskerville but with a soft coloured mesh design that is far less intimidating than the traditional basket muzzle.
It is made of an eco-friendly PVC material that is durable, breathable and lightweight. The fitted edges that sit on your dog’s skin is soft and gentle.
This model comes in 4 greats colours: grey, black, orange and beige, adding to its stylish design.
The mesh material allows your dog to drink, pant and breathe freely.
As for sizing, there are 6 to choose from, making it one of the most representative on this list! From extra-extra small to extra-extra-large, a wide range of breeds should get on with this muzzle. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include short-snouted breeds because of the way the size of the nose band.
Best of all the price point is reasonable and the reviews are generally positive. This is the non-intimidating muzzle you want in your life!
Finally, if you are after the best large dog muzzle, it is incredibly easy to find. Any on this list would work perfectly well for your large or extra-large pup.
The under-represented ones here, for once, are the short-snouted small breeds!
Because of their unique physiology, most muzzles don’t fit them correctly. They need a different style altogether.
TANDD create another style, specifically for our short-nosed pups. This muzzle looks more like a complete head mask with eye and mouth holes for easy breathing, drinking, panting and vision.
It has many of the same great features as the previous model we mentioned from TANDD. Eco-friendly material, and a decent size selection of four sizes, but not colour variation this time.
This muzzle with suit French bulldogs, Pugs, Boston hounds, Chihuahuas, Poodles, Pekingese dogs, Shar-Peis, and other short snout dogs.
Top Choice: Best Dog Muzzle Australia
Overall, for most breeds, the Mayerzon muzzle will work wonderfully. It is durable, has a good size range and does everything you need a muzzle to do. If you want a design that is less “cagey” the Goodboy model is quite a nice one. The soft inner lining is comfort for your pup while still doing the duties of a muzzle.
Of course, for short-snout dogs, you have to be a bit more purposeful with your shopping. We highly recommend the TANDD model for them.
So you’re in search of a puppy muzzle. While you can muzzle puppies, it’s worth noting why you want to muzzle them. If it is because of destroying furniture etc, this should be dealt wiith with training first and foremost. (6) If your dog nips when excited, that is a completely natural behaviour and can also be solved with training. (7)
The issue is with malicious, intentional, or anxious biting. That is generally what muzzles are used for. If your puppy is displaying signs of these behaviours, you can consult your veterinarian or a dog behaviourist to get advice if muzzling so young is good for them. In some cases, it will be, and muzzles for small dogs will work perfectly fine for them.
Dogs bite for a myriad of reasons but the main ones are:
- Food guarding/possessiveness
If your dog is adopted and was neglected in their former life, they are also more likely to be fearful and aggressive with humans. This was the case for my German Shepherd.
It is entirely possible to reform them over time with gentle care and attention.
Generally, no! Most dogs have pretty good control of their bite intensity. They have less control of this when they are young and that is why training during the nipping stage is important.
Mouthing during play or shepherding behaviours that German Shepherds do are not malicious. They are meant to be playful and not break the skin.
Debra Horwitz from VCA Hospitals writes “Other bites may bruise, pinch, or indent the skin without creating bleeding. More intense bites break the skin, puncture wounds may be superficial or deep, multiple punctures may be present or tearing/shearing injuries may result. Some dogs may bite hard enough to crush bones. Some dogs bite once and withdraw, others bite multiple times within the same episode. Some dogs bite when threatened and when in close proximity; other dogs charge from across the room.” (8)
While all biting should be discouraged from the outset, these behaviours all need to be approached differently.
Each manufacturer will give you an accurate guide of the idea measurements to use their product. Having said that, the short answer is you need to measure across the snout just below the eyes and around their neck. The tape measure should be flush to the skin but not constricting them.
- Grier, K. August 20, 2015. “Dog Muzzles and City Dogs, 1900”. The Pet Historian. Retrieved February 27, 2021. https://thepethistorian.com/2015/08/20/dog-muzzles-and-city-dogs-1900/
- Gibeault, S. September 23, 2019. “Dog Muzzles: What You Should Know about When, Why, and How to Use One”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved February 27, 2021. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/dog-muzzles-about-when-why-and-how-to-use-one/
- Levine, E. September 6, 2017. “To Muzzle or Not to Muzzle: That Is the Question”. Psychology Today. Retrieved February 27, 2021. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/decoding-your-pet/201709/muzzle-or-not-muzzle-is-the-question
- Stregowski, J. October 2, 2019. “How to Stop Your Dog From Biting”. The Spruce Pets. Retrieved February 27, 2021. https://www.thesprucepets.com/dog-bite-prevention-1117453
- “How to muzzle train your dog”. PDSA UK. Retrieved February 27, 2021. https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/looking-after-your-pet/puppies-dogs/muzzle-training
- Heuer. V. June 19, 2009. “Destructive Behavior in Dogs”. PetMD. Retrieved February 27, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/behavioral/c_dg_destructive_behavior
- Madson, C. June 6, 2020. “Dog Trainer Tips: Puppy Nipping and Biting”. Preventative Vet. Retrieved February 27, 2021. https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/puppy-nipping-and-biting
- Horwitz, D. “Dog Behavior Problems - Aggression to Family Members - Introduction and Safety”. VCA Hospitals. Retrieved February 27, 2021. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/dog-behavior-problems-aggression-to-family-members-introduction-and-safety