The Best Dog Muzzles in 2021
Muzzles are a valuable management tool for many dogs. Dogs that hate the veterinarian, get aggressive when you try to trim their nails, eat random dangerous things, get in fights with other dogs can wear a muzzle and everyone can be safe while you work with your dog on the issue.
Muzzles should be thought of as a management tool, similar to crates, leashes, and no-pull devices, something you use while you train the dog to overcome an issue. However, some dogs will never quite get over a particular issue, and in that case, it’s totally okay to simply muzzle the dog if necessary, for example while going to the veterinarian or doing toenail trims, or for your own peace of mind while walking your dog.
Our Top 6 List
[amazon box=”B01MY0ITZB,B06XY5866M,B00JH2PJEE,B0051H45GC,B073Z2FCTH,B01KNX0XCS” template=”table” numbering=”true”]
1. CollarDirect Pitbull Muzzle
[amazon fields=”B01MY0ITZB” value=”button” title=”View on Amazon”]
These handsome leather basket muzzles are specifically designed to fit the bully breeds. They come in black or brown and can be very securely buckled onto the dog’s head with two adjustable straps. When fitted properly, this muzzle does not affect the dog’s ability to breathe and pant, but its design will prevent the dog from being able to drink water easily. Treats can be given to the dog while it is wearing it, but it can’t eat random things off the ground.
- Made out of sturdy, handsome leather
- Very secure and safe
- Allows the dog to pant to cool itself
- Only comes in one size to fit a 3″ long and 14″ circumference
2. BronzeDog Wire Basket
[amazon fields=”B06XY5866M” value=”button” title=”View on Amazon”]
This lightweight muzzle is made out of stainless steel with soft leather padding on the parts that touch the dog. It has an adjustable leather strap that securely holds the muzzle in place. The thin open design of the muzzle keeps the dog from biting but doesn’t stop the dog from breathing, panting, licking its nose, being able to take treats, or even drinking. It is designed for large dogs with a typical shape for dobermans and German shepherds.
- Excellent ventilation and allows the dog to freely breathe, pant, take treats, and even drink water
- Sturdy steel and leather construction
- Padded to prevent chafing
- Only comes in one size, intended to fit a dog with a 3 and a half inch long and 10 and a half inches in circumference
3. CollarDirect Muzzle
[amazon fields=”B00JH2PJEE” value=”button” title=”View on Amazon”]
This leather muzzle is technically a basket type, but unlike most basket muzzles it only has two openings, one for the dog’s nose and one for its tongue to hang out when panting or drinking. The lower opening can be used to give the dog treats. It comes in brown or black and is intended to fit the larger bully breeds.
- Not as well ventilated as most basket muzzles
- Only comes in one size to fit a 4″ long and 14″ circumference
4. Baskerville Ultra Muzzle
[amazon fields=”B0051H45GC” value=”button” title=”View on Amazon”]
These muzzles are made out of a sturdy plastic type material. They fit securely on the dog’s head and prevent biting, chewing, and eating random things, but don’t restrict panting, drinking, or breathing, and it is easy to give the dog treats while wearing this one.
The nylon straps are adjustable and the shape can be custom adjusted to fit any dog through a heat-treatment process described in detail in the instructions that come with the muzzle. Thus, it can be shortened and widened to fit a dog with a squashed face like a boxer or it can be narrowed and lengthened to fit dogs like collies and borzois. It comes in black or tan.
- Doesn’t restrict breathing, panting, drinking, or eating treats
- Fully adjustable straps and the shape can be custom-fitted to your dog
- Comes in six different sizes
- In some cases it can chafe when worn for prolonged periods of time
5. Soft Silicone Basket
[amazon fields=”B073Z2FCTH” value=”button” title=”View on Amazon”]
This one is very similar to the Baskerville muzzle but it is made out of a softer, more flexible silicone material. Another difference from the Baskerville is that instead of a buckle, it uses a quick-snap/release clip, which can really come in handy when trying to rapidly snap it into place on a reluctant dog. It doesn’t restrict the dog’s breathing, panting, or drinking, and it is easy to give the dog treats while wearing this one. It comes in black or red.
- Soft, flexible but very sturdy material
- Doesn’t restrict the dog from breathing, panting, drinking, or taking treats
- Has a quick-snap/release clip for ease of application
- Comes in six different sizes
- In rare cases, the straps can loosen during prolonged use
6. Photoiscool Adjustable Anti-Biting Protector
[amazon fields=”B01KNX0XCS” value=”button” title=”View on Amazon”]
This is a slip muzzle and keeps the dog’s mouth closed at all times. It therefore should only be used for short periods of time because it prevents the dog from panting. A dog that can’t cool itself by panting can rapidly overheat and possibly die. Slip muzzles aren’t intended to be put on dogs while they are exercising, just for uses like going to the veterinarian or clipping toenails. It is made out of sturdy leather and comes in brown or black.
- Comes in four sizes
- Sturdy leather design
- Secure straps that keep it on and attach to the dog’s collar
- In rare cases, the dog can still nip while wearing this one
We recommend the CollarDirect Pitbull muzzle. It is a very sturdy, well made leather basket muzzle. It doesn’t prevent the dog from panting, which is important, and its straps make it practically impossible for the dog to remove. Although it is advertised as being for bully breeds, it will fit large dogs of other breeds unless they have a really long muzzle.
Muzzles keep reluctant dogs from biting the veterinarian or groomer, stop dogs from eating random things they find, keep dogs from getting into fights with other dogs, stop dogs from biting joggers and bikers, keep dogs from attacking livestock or wildlife, and so forth. They will not stop your dog from barking.
Basket or Slip Muzzle
Baskets basically form a cage around the dog’s face, while slips are a band that wraps around the dog’s face, making it impossible for the dog to open its mouth. Slips are intended for short term use only during events such as grooming or veterinarian visits. Baskets don’t stop the dog from panting, drinking, or accepting treats and are suitable for use on walks and for prolonged periods of wear.
Muzzles can be made out of leather, plastic, silicone, metal, cloth, nylon, or a combination of materials. Leather looks nice, especially in leather collars, and is very sturdy but if your dog likes to romp in the water, an artificial material like plastic or silicone might work better for you.
If the muzzle doesn’t fit, obviously it won’t work. Don’t guess whether it will fit; measure your dog’s snout. You’ll need the length of the dog’s muzzle from just below its eyes to the tip of its nose, and the circumference around the dog’s muzzle just below its eyes. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer and ask before buying one.
Carefully study how to use the strapping system for the muzzle you selected before putting it on your dog. Most have straps that go around the dog’s head underneath its ears. Some have other straps to make it more secure, such as a strap that runs up the dog’s head between its eyes, or a strap that connects to the dog’s collar. It needs to be securely held in place, so take your time adjusting it properly.
Tips on how to use a muzzle
While you can just make your dog wear a muzzle the first time around, the second time will be a problem. No dog likes wearing a muzzle! So once they had a bad first experience, they will resist every time after that. We recommend training your dog to wear the muzzle using the following steps:
- Hold it in your hand and give the dog a training treat.
- Hold it in front of your dog’s nose and give the dog a treat.
- Lure the dog into putting its nose into the muzzle and give the dog treats while the dog’s nose is in it.
- Repeat the above steps several times a day for a few days until the dog is eagerly and happily shoving its nose into the muzzle.
- Next, fasten the straps and keep rapid-fire treating your dog for one minute. Take the muzzle off.
- Repeat the above step several times a day for a few days, gradually extending the amount of time the dog is wearing the muzzle.
- Next, put the muzzle on and get your dog to do fun tricks, play a game, or obedience exercises.
Once you’ve reached this point, your dog is likely trained well enough. Personally, I’ve trained my dogs the phrase “muzzle up”. When they hear it, they shove their noses in the muzzle, eager to get going!
We do not recommend using a muzzle, even a basket one, for more than a couple of hours at a time, and never leave the dog unsupervised while wearing it.
We are the Pet Dog Pals, a group of avid pet owners, bloggers, product testers, and writers for all your canine needs! We own a collective 16 dogs and 21 cats to help us test and review pet products. Our top lists and tips come from experience to help you be the best dog owner you can be!