by Lori Amato
The muzzle is a gadget you received when you adopted your greyhound ages and ages ago. You probably took it and heaved it into your back closet. The only purpose it serves now is to hit you on the head when you open your closet door. People think that muzzles are cruel Middle Age torture devices right up there with chastity belts and guillotines. Your dog learned to wear one while he was at the track but the way he acted when you attempted to use it a few times were as if he had never worn it before in his life. He would paw at the muzzle or rub his head against any object available to try and remove it. Greyhounds attempting to remove their muzzles have goosed humans on occasion.
The sad thing is that the muzzle can be the key to a short term (or long term solution) to a lot of issues that may develop when you live with your darling dog. A dog who wears a kennel muzzle can bark, drink water, and pant. Here is a list of maladies that use of the muzzle can address: GROSSUS YUCKUS – The little dear of yours is out in the backyard crunching away. She comes running in and promptly kisses you right on the lips. You discover her breath smells like something reminiscent of your septic tank. AAAAACK. That’s right she has dined a la doodoo; it’s either her own, another animal’s (horse doodoo is especially appealing), or they have brought their lovely habit indoors and have begun to eat snacks right out of the resident kitty cat’s litter box. Other than the most obvious tactic of all (pick up the yard, litter box etc., promptly) you can use the muzzle to your advantage. You can either get a custom “stool cup” from the National Greyhound Association, or you can fasten some cheese cloth to the front of it. MUNCHUS INAPPROPRIATUS – Your dog ate the table leg while you were not home. Your dog tore the expensive bandage off his front leg. Your dog licks a healing wound and causes damage. My all time favorite is your dog dines on expensive innards of cars (we have a dog who dines a la seat belts to the tune of $300 a pop to repair). If you muzzle your dog he cannot use his mouth to cause damage to himself or property. If you leave your dogs muzzled at home alone please make sure there is no place the dog can rub his or her head and become caught, however. Head-rub proof the house. DOGGUS APPLYUS TEETHUS AT WRONGUS TIMEUS – If you are working with your dog getting him used to having his nails clipped, or groomed use the muzzle as a safe guard. It will give you an extra measure of protection. You can also bring your muzzle with you to the vets if you feel there may be a problem in the waiting room. Some greyhound may attempt to dine on small dogs or cats, or perhaps your grey may dine on the vet while in the middle of a particularly painful injection. The other reason to muzzle while you are not home is if you are not 100% sure that your dog is going to get along with the other household pack. (My preference in this case would be to separate animals rather than muzzle.) DOGGUS PLAYUS GROUPUS – If you allow your greyhound to participate in a greyhound or regular dog play group, the muzzle can be a way to prevent serious types of mishaps that may occur when a group of rowdies gets together. This can hold true even when your own group of hellions is out in the backyard. Some dogs and bitches can get a little snippy or mouthy while playing and can cause serious damage to each other. Greyhound skin is like latex. It tears very easily so use your muzzle to prevent trouble. Muzzles are useful for non-greyhounds as well. I used a medium turnout muzzle as a solution to the problem of exceedingly talkative Samoyed who could not keep quiet when kenneled. The Sammy did not seem able to figure out that he could still bark while wearing the device. My friend got a much needed breather from the constant yelping. I have advised another person to use the muzzle on her car-eating doberman. There are two types of muzzles that I recommend: the Kan-Sal muzzle and the plastic turnout muzzle. The only difference between the two is the styling. Both are efficient. You can order either type from the National Greyhound Association. The address is PO Box 543, Abilene, KS 67410. The phone number is (913)263-4660 and fax (913)263-4689. Call them and ask them to send you their one page flyer and order form. They also have an Internet Web Page. The Dog Supplies page is at http://nga.jc.net/supply.htm. Bitches do well with a medium muzzle and the males in the large.
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