If your dog has to wear a muzzle at any time, maybe for the Veterinarian, groomer, nail trim or other procedures it is important to desensitize him to wear the muzzle first. If the muzzle is only worn in stressful situations, the muzzle may become as much of a stressor as the actual procedure. A muzzle is not natural for a dog, and the novelty of it can cause unneeded anxiety.
A dog that tries to snap while in these situations is most likely fearful. A dog may feel threatened when touched or restrained when he isn’t comfortable with the person or stressed with multiple triggers, these aggressive signals are usually defensive in nature. A dog in pain is also more likely to bite; even it has never shown aggression in the past.
I prefer the basket muzzles, because you have space to feed treats, your dog can drink and slightly open his mouth to pant.
Repeat each step until he seems happy to see the muzzle and is comfortable with the technique. Use a leash in the beginning while conditioning your dog to the muzzle.
* If at any point he starts to paw at the muzzle or back away, go back to the previous step that he was comfortable at. We want the muzzle to always be positive, so that the dog associates wearing it with relaxation.
* Only good things should happen when the dog wears his muzzle in the beginning. You can give a massage during his muzzle sessions as well.
For more information, visit http://doggiezen.com/muzzle.