The decision to muzzle a dog is always one that divides owners. Some find it a cruel practice, others a necessary one.
When it comes to the requirements around Rottweiler muzzle enforcement, you must check the laws of your state. Different states have different legal requirements. For example, muzzles are necessary for your Rottweiler in states where they have been declared a dangerous breed.
Muzzles: A Part of Responsible Dog Ownership
Your Rottweiler is likely the softest, most placid dog on earth. These dogs make terrific family pets, love to play and have fun, and enjoy a docile home environment.
However, there’s no denying that they pack some real weight; if they truly wanted to, they could cause serious damage, even if they didn’t mean it.
Often, the guidance around training and muzzling a Rottweiler is built around respecting a Rottweiler’s capabilities to do damage. It doesn’t mean fearing the dog but understanding that it’s best to err on the side of caution.
It may mean that when outside or in the company of those your dog doesn’t know, it may be safer to use a muzzle.
A No-Brainer if Your Dog is Aggressive
Some dogs are aggressive.
It may be that your Rottweiler has been adopted from the pound without you knowing its history. Or, even with the best intentions and doing your best to train them since puppyhood, they’re still triggered by certain scenarios.
Whether it’s lunging for other dogs on a walk, snapping at people who get too close, or another way they show aggression, it’s your responsibility as an owner to keep those around you safe.
Muzzling is a way to keep your Rottweiler safe, too. Even the smallest bite they inflict could result in the law enforcing them being euthanized.
So, even if you’re not legally obliged to muzzle your Rottweiler, common sense should help decide for you.
Occasions When a Muzzle is Needed
When Your Rottweiler is Injured
You might not have considered this, but if your Rottweiler’s suffering from an injury, you should think about muzzling them when they’re outside. They’re more anxious and sensitive, and biting is a way for them to protect themselves.
When They’re at the Vet’s Office
Be kind to your vet! All dogs dislike the vet’s office, and even though we know the vet is there for your dog’s best interests, your Rottweiler won’t see it that way. Be considerate by muzzling your Rottweiler so your vet can examine them without incident.
When They’re at the Groomer’s
Like the vet’s office, not all dogs love going to the salon, and your groomer has to get very close to your Rottweiler to do their job.
If your Rottweiler knows and trusts your groomer, exercise your discretion, but some groomers insist on large dogs wearing muzzles to respect their requests.
When They’re in Places with Lots of People
Busy times at the park, trips to dog-friendly beaches, or other places where you might find crowds are all such that you should muzzle your Rottweiler. Crowds can cause anxiety, which can cause dogs to react even if they’re not usually aggressive.
If there are Workmen in the Home
Your Rottweiler’s home is the place they’ll guard and protect with all their heart, and even though you know the workmen pose no threat, your Rottweiler doesn’t.
Put a muzzle on your dog to keep everyone in the situation safe. If, after a little while, it appears everyone’s getting on very well and the workmen are comfortable, the muzzle can be removed. Once again: err on the side of caution.
When not to Use a Muzzle
All a muzzle is designed to do is restrict the movement of a dog’s mouth so that it can’t open wide enough to bite someone.
A muzzle should not restrict a dog’s ability to pant, drink water, or eat. Some muzzles do this, for example, the soft muzzle.
Soft muzzles were designed to wrap around the dog’s mouth in a material such as leather or nylon. These are only short-term options, as they restrict a dog’s ability to pant and drink.
Muzzles aren’t supposed to be used as punishment, as your dog won’t understand what they’ve done wrong or how the muzzle is supposed to teach them a lesson.
Never use a muzzle to prevent a dog from barking. In some cases, they’ll still be able to bark even with a muzzle on, but if not, the dog will become even more frustrated, creating a larger problem. Instead, address the reasons for your Rottweiler’s barking.
A muzzle is not the answer if your dog has a behavioral problem, such as chewing household items. Instead, these behaviors should be addressed with the right training instead of using a muzzle as a deterrent.
What Type of Muzzle is Best?
You’ll usually find two types of muzzles on the market today: the soft muzzle, mentioned earlier, and the basket muzzle.
As we’ve discussed, the soft muzzle is only to be used in the short term and usually by professionals, such as vets or dog trainers.
They’re not suitable for your Rottweiler as they limit the dog’s ability to drink and pant, which is vital for controlling excess heat.
Instead, the basket muzzle is the best kind to use. They’re usually made of plastic or rubber, although wire ones are available.
They fit over the dog’s nose and mouth, restricting their ability to open the mouth wide enough to bite and restricting their mouth from encountering anyone, human or animal.
The good thing about a basket muzzle is that your Rottweiler will not be a danger to others but will still be able to breathe easily, pant, drink, and eat treats, if not the biscuits from their bowl.
Basket muzzles are not uncomfortable for the dog to wear and are safe both as an item worn by the dog and to protect everyone around them, including the Rottweiler itself.
How to Introduce a Muzzle to Your Rottweiler
Dog professionals encourage owners to use the muzzle as a positive way to engage their dogs before they begin to wear it on walks. Don’t force the muzzle on your dog first, as they’ll become frightened of it.
Instead, begin by putting treats into the muzzle and feeding them to your Rottweiler so that they associate them with positive things. Once they’re comfortable putting their nose in, then you can fasten the straps.
Be sure to get the right-sized muzzle for your Rottweiler, and get advice from a vet or pet store staff member if in doubt. Always read the instructions with the muzzle, as different makes have different ways of being worn.
A Muzzle is an Occasional, Temporary Solution
If you remember that a muzzle is only to be used for short periods, such as taking your Rottweiler for a walk or the other reasons discussed, then your dog will very likely get used to it and even see your reaching for it as a sign they’re going out for a walk.
A muzzle should be insured to protect your Rottweiler and those around them, but it is neither a training nor a punishment device.