Dog closing one eye
Today I took the dog for a walk in the woods in my neighbourhood. I wasn’t really expecting any dogs and since I don’t have a yard and the dogs there are really well fed and have plenty of freedom, I was a bit surprised when I saw that the dog I was walking was wearing a muzzle.
The muzzles in question, aren’t really that bad. They are not something I have to pull over a dog’s mouth and the dogs are allowed to eat, drink, play with stuff, run off leash and basically do whatever they want (it’s my neighbourhood so I know this).
A dog wearing a muzzle is not necessarily dangerous in my mind. A puppy can be when it’s young and it’s not as developed as a full grown dog. A dog that’s in its early teens and has not reached maturity may react differently to a new stimulus. The muzzle is there to prevent a muzzle from being pulled over their mouth if they happen to react.
My own dog, who is a golden retriever, wears a muzzle when I bring him to the pound or when I am taking him on our regular walks (which would be most of the time because he’s a sweet little kid).
There’s just something about seeing a dog wearing a muzzle and feeling that the dog will have trouble breathing or will react inappropriately. It’s like seeing a child wearing a diaper. You don’t want to see this, and I don’t. I’d be worried about the dog’s well being, and it would make me sad if anything bad happened to my dog.
But this isn’t just about dogs wearing a muzzle, and it’s not really about the dog wearing the muzzle.
I walked my dog yesterday, and as I walked by a parked car, she lunged at it and she got excited, and it spooked her, and she lunged again at the car. Of course I put her on the leash so she couldn’t lunge at the car, and she was calm enough to walk by the car and not lunge at it. But while she was distracted, the owner of the car reached into the back of the car, and the dog lunged at the person.
And this is where I have my problem with a muzzle on dogs. I don’t know if my dog would be that bad, but you don’t want to see your dog attack someone, or lunge at a stranger. And putting a muzzle on my dog, just so she can’t lunge at anything, would make me more likely to see this because it would be more noticeable. And I don’t think I could be objective about this – I would definitely be more likely to take my dog’s muzzle off to see if she lunged or not. And you can never be 100% sure, but if you don’t take the muzzle off, you get to see your dog lunge. You don’t want to see your dog lunge at anything.
But that isn’t why I’m posting. I’m posting because I’ve also been to places where the muzzle isn’t a required thing. My friend’s dog has a large-pitched dog and she has always used a muzzle on it. But as long as she’s with her, the dog isn’t wearing a muzzle. She isn’t afraid of anything she can’t see, or does she think that if she can’t see the dog, it won’t attack her? I’m not sure. I wish I could ask her.
And even if she is absolutely sure that the dog can’t see her, she still has to walk by her, which could leave her vulnerable. I used to be afraid of horses and thought it was my responsibility to always have my dog on a leash when around horses – this came to an end when we went to the Great Pyrenees Rescue Centre and they explained that while muzzles were a good idea, a lot of dogs that would attack a horse would attack a person and that was what the muzzle was for. A muzzle doesn’t protect a person from a dog that isn’t used to wearing one.
But what if the dog isn’t used to a muzzle?
I know that dogs can become used to wearing them if they are on their regular leash and the person is with them, and if the person is wearing a leash and the dog knows that the person wants to be with it, they can become used to wearing one.
This seems like the safest way for a person and their dog to be around other dogs.
This all sounds pretty frightening, even if the owner knows her dog and knows that she is not aggressive.
This has been in the news lately, too. I’ve seen it myself in places. When the person and dog are both safe and everyone else is not, it seems dangerous. I wish I could have asked my friend about this because I was really confused by her situation, and this blog has reminded me of this.
We had our first encounter with this happening with this dog. It was on a trail ride we were taking at a local campground. There were about five horses and thirty dogs on the ride. There was a little boy about the age of our dogs. I have a feeling there was no need for this incident to happen. As I am learning from my post, the dog may have been fine, it was just too rough of a ride for the little boy.
The dog was in our ride with the owner and us. The owner explained to the boy and to us that the dog was on a leash and with the horse that bit him. We were going to be in the horse’s way of this, but could see how this was so unsafe, so we backed off. This was the first time in my life I have ever seen this situation, and it was a very clear that it was unsafe for the dog and the boy. I have been learning as much as I can from this experience.
The boy was playing with the dog on the trail and seemed to have no control over the animal. He was also very close to this animal as he played with it. As the horse passed by, the dog did not follow and the boy also went with the horse. The man tried to pull the boy and the dog back to him, but the boy was unable to move.
The situation was very clear that this boy was incapable of controlling the dog and he was too close to the dog. He could have also been hit. The other person with us said the horse was gentle. It was a very calm and kind horse and the dog was not aggressive towards it. The dog was even on a leash! I was amazed at how relaxed it was. I understand why the owner brought it back to the man and I could see it was clearly a dog that was just not ready to be handled.
The owner kept