Looking for some advice on possibly using a muzzle for our 16 week old puppy who will eat almost anything off the ground from leaves to screws and rocks. We had one scare when he got out of his crate and found and chewed a small metal object which showed up on x-rays. He did not require surgery but the vet did tell us that we might want to consider a muzzle but he would have to wear it indoors and out. Has anyone done this? Is it really uncomfortable for the dog? How long do they have to use one? He is pretty good in so many other ways but I really don't want him to eat something that could, quite frankly, kill him. We are working on drop it and leave it but that is a long process. Thanks in advance for any insights.
well you certainly can't put a muzzle on a dog while they are in the crate. so that won't help there.
Honestly I would recommend talking to a trainer BEFORE listening to advice on training from a vet. Vets are great with the medical stuff but many are actually not great and even wrong when it comes to training and behavioural stuff.
You need to puppy proof the house from things like screws and items the dog can ingest. it's just part of having a puppy.
Work on training a formal leave it. This means showing them exactly what leave it means. You can google for tons of tips and free youtube videos or talk to a trainer. Saying "leave it" means nothing until you train it.
This is really pretty typical lab puppy stuff.
Labs will keep you honest.
If you don't clean up, they will.
Ruby comes to work with us and has tried to eat everything there. DVDs, chewed a plastic print server box......
I have a messy recording studio in my house and thankfully she is not interested in cords. but leave a screw or any paper around.....
So far I don't think anything went down.
Poop is her favorite. Still. And she is 1.5 years old now.
One thing I have found. If you leave everything as it was Ruby will get board with it an leave it be. But get one new thing and boy you netter keep an eye out for it.
We tried a muzzle out doors for the poop thing and she had it defeated in short order.
To love the lab is to have a lab.
Meat, Fruit, Vegetables, Bread, Plastic. Paper Products, Pine Cones, Print Servers, Feces, Wood Products, Rubber, Cotton, DVDs.
we are probably not going with the muzzle. Not our first or last inclination but there are moments where I really worry (e.g. the screw) so I wanted feedback. it is a constant challenge, especially outside (where she found the screw while our daughter - who thought it was a twig) was walking her. Our house is NOT puppy proof and may never be - we have three kids including a six year old with lots of toys and art stuff - which is why Beckett is contained in either a crate or his pen or on the couch with one or all of us. As he grows up more, he will get a little more space but gates will be in use for a long time to come.
I think one of the issues now is it can be hard to see what he is getting immediately. He is in puppy school and he does okay with the commands but consistency is a challenge with different people walking him so that is our issue to work through. I think we have a ways to go before he - and we - have mastered drop it and leave it.
Thanks for your feedback
We joke that we should have named our Angus Demetrius something else….
Here should have been "It's all about the Belly!"
In fact, we sing that to the tune of …you guessed it…"it's all about that bass" all the time 'round here.
He came to us four weeks after a tornado hit us and destroyed all of our outbuildings; it took months to get rid of the 100 year old barn that was not our but fell onto our property, its roof and structure timbers not to mention all the tools and interesting things it held; our wooden building was destroyed under that barn as was our coop and another metal building…needless to say, we had lots of screws laying about…and nails. Then we had all the reconstruction to get through…
We took to using a large magnet and dragging it across the ground to pick up nails, bolts, nuts, screws and anything else that we couldn't see with the naked eye; we did this at least twice each week.
Rather than a muzzle, perhaps a magnet would do the trick for the metal bits anyway. As for the other stuff like plastic and so on; we do "sweeps" every day by which I mean whenever we are outside, we are on the lookout for any debris that may be out there. Angus still will have some very interesting BM's every now and then.
Our Yellow Baby Girl "Dream A Little Dream" born December 16 2014
Our Chocolate Girl "Kona of the Storm" born August 8 2014
Our Black Boy "Angus Demetrius" born April 26 2013
Our Yellow Girl "Calliope" born January 6, 2006
Our TriPawd "King" - Shelter Rescue born late fall 2004
I also had a dog that would not only chew, but ingest, unusual things. I had to complete a series of "behavior modification" activities where I rewarded him for chewing approved things and discouraged his chewing of unapproved items. It was a process, but it did work. I was told that some of his chewing had to to with teething and was also taught that he would go through two teething cycles. It was helpful to anticipate the second teething cycle because he did seem to slow down on chewing and trying to eat things, but he started it again just as I was told during the second cycle. I definitely agree that I would consult a trainer. I'm not a big fan of muzzles. Good luck to you. I hope that you get the answers that you are seeking.