Fitting a muzzle on your dog is more than just knowing their breed and weight. The better fit a muzzle is the more comfortable your dog will be. If your dog is comfortable he can focus more on training.
Tools you will need a piece of string and a tape measure.
How to fit a muzzle
Step 1. Placing the string on top of your dog’s nose run it from the tip of the dog’s nose to about a ½ inch from their eyes. (For small breeds this is closer to ¼ inch)
Step 2. Measure around the dog’s nose with the mouth closed about ½ an inch away from the eyes. Then add 1 -3 inches. One inch for a toy breed dog and three inches for a very large dog like a Great Dane.
Step 3. Select the muzzle brand you would like. Each brand will have its sizing chart. If you are using a muzzle for training it shouldn’t be cloth or mesh. Basket muzzles are used for training.
Buying the correct size is based on the type of muzzle you are planning to purchase.
Go to that brand’s website to see each brand’s own sizing chart.
Here are my three favorite brands and why I like them:
*Buma’s is based out of Australia, but they ship all over the world. I’ll never buy another brand. You can pick up to 5 different colors on each muzzle so you can pick the exact colors you like. The material is also waterproof and doesn’t tend to chaff like a lot of the harder plastics do.
*Baskerville is probably the easiest to find in-store and online and they have an affordable price tag. These can also be boiled in hot water which softens them and allows them to be molded to your dog’s face shape.
*For flat-faced breeds that have a muzzle length of 3 inches or less I go to Etsy and order the Boston terrier muzzle. I had no problem getting a Baskerville or Burma to fit my flat-faced Dogue De Bordeaux.
Once you have purchased a muzzle it should fit like the photo below. Your dog should have space between his eyes and where the muzzle sits.
The muzzle should not go past his nose by more than an inch. There should be enough to put one finger in the back strap of the muzzle.
Adjusting it further.
Some breeds have sensitive skin on their face, so muzzles may chaff. Another common challenge is a muzzle may be slightly too loose around the muzzle.
If this is the case the best option I have found to solve the problem is by adding a barrier between your dog and his muzzle.
You can buy fleece to cover the chaffing area which will also tighten the muzzle a little bit. I normally use glue, but if you’re crafty you can sew this. Colorful duct tape can be used. Moleskin (available on Amazon) is another soft barrier you can add.