Muzzle for Shih Tzu Dogs – Good or Bad Idea?
This is a topic that people ask again and again, should I muzzle my Shih Tzu or not? If you are looking for help when deciding the best thing to do regarding a muzzle for Shih Tzu dogs then you have come to the right place.
A classic muzzle that holds a dog mouth completely closed and fits over the long muzzled breeds is not the right muzzle for Shih Tzu, firstly it won’t fit and secondly if you do manage to get it in the right place it will slip off at the crucial moment, probably when your hand is close to those pearly white teeth.
Yet you need to do something with your annoyed Shih Tzu and cannot find a muzzle to fit? So where do you begin?
When Should You Use a Muzzle for Shih Tzu?
Muzzling any dog should be the last resort, communication should be tried first along with rewarding training and encouragement of relaxed behavior.
The dog’s teeth are his only weapon and if he resorts to showing or using them then he must be feeling pretty threatened. That said there are some times, such as clipping Shih Tzu nails, sorting out a coat or health problem where some dogs will certainly bite.
This is when the dog owner has to consider a muzzle for Shih Tzu. A muzzle is a better option than a bite, that’s for sure. Yet there are also other choices that could possibly fit the situation.
What Can You Use Instead of a Muzzle For Shih Tzu?
- You know the Elizabethan collars that the vet’s sometimes use? They are designed to stop the dog chewing an area of his own body. If the dog is wearing one of those whilst you are clipping his nails or grooming him then his access to your hands, with his teeth, will be greatly limited.
- If you are going to need to use a muzzle for Shih Tzu and money is no obstacle then you could consider investing in a cat muzzle. The specific one to which I refer is round and allows the face open to air flow, therefore it is aptly called an air flow muzzle. It is an expensive item but worth it just to prevent the stress that a facial muzzling would cause the dog.
When there is No Choice – Using a Muzzle for Shih Tzu
Sometimes there is no choice but to muzzle a Shih Tzu. This is a sad result of dogs that are scared or have never learned to be relaxed when handled. There are some rules that you can follow when muzzling in the short term but it is certainly still very important to carry out a training program for handling as a long term solution.
The rules are pretty simple;
- Only muzzle the Shih Tzu for very short amounts of time, literally seconds and then remove the muzzle for the dog to cool himself whilst breathing. This dog breed overheats quickly, within minute
- Take care that the muzzle does not rub on or affect the Shih Tzu eyes in any way as the eyes of this breed are particularly vulnerable.
- Only certain types of muzzle for Shih Tzu are suitable. A Box muzzle with lots of breathing space can be used and it will cover the teeth area but still slip if not held carefully. There is a new muzzle type designed specifically for flat faced dogs but again, care must be taken around the eye area and it must never be worn for more than a couple of minutes at a time.
Remember that a muzzle for Shih Tzu is a last resort but sometimes a necessary one. That said it is vitally important to use it carefully, safely and responsibly whilst also working on long term solutions for good Shih Tzu handling.