Dog Gear Review traditionally tests hiking and canicross gear, so you might wonder how muzzles came in the picture. It started with Mia being attacked a few times by off-leash dogs, therefore, developing a fear-based dog reactivity. While we joined training groups, visited group and individual classes, met with behaviorists, it also became clear that muzzle training is probably a good idea since there are too many off-leash dogs around us.
I thought finding the right harness is hard, but finding the right muzzle is even harder. After trying a few different types and brands, we realized that we should start writing about our experiences with muzzles as well because so many people struggle with this.
Many people think muzzles are cruel without knowing much about it. Muzzles can be great tools while training the dog if it is properly fitted, and the owner took the time to introduce the muzzle to the dog slowly. If both of these are true, dogs don't feel restricted in the muzzle. They can drink, pant, sniff, and they get used to it faster than you would think.
We hope that raising awareness with the poster below can make other people understand and accept muzzled dogs. There can be many reasons to muzzle a dog, and different reasons require different types of muzzles.
Mayerzon Pet Supplies is specialized in dog training tools and mostly sells its products through Amazon. They have a fantastic return policy and customer service, and they do offer many different muzzles. The one we are reviewing today is their Rubber Basket Muzzle which comes in red and black.
Reviewing muzzles is hard because every dog and every situation requires a slightly different solution. Something can be a pro for one dog and con for the other one. Even when we are talking about sizing, there are different opinions on how much room the dog should have in the muzzle. The only thing that everyone agrees on is that the dog should be able to pant to cool down while wearing it. However, what pant room means can generate great arguments. If you have a dog with a high-bite risk or are looking for an agitation muzzle, you are okay with a muzzle that provides enough room for a half-pant. We frequently use muzzles for full-day hikes or canicross, in which case it is essential to have enough room for a full-pant.
The other tricky thing with sizing is that although there are great Facebook groups to help to determine if the muzzle looks good on your dog, different photos could make the muzzle look much bigger or smaller.
Based on the summary above about sizing, you probably got the feeling that we found this Medium-sized muzzle too small for Mia. The pant room is one thing - we could still use it for shorter walks on cold days as many people prefer a half pant anyways. The more significant issue is that sometimes the front of the muzzle is touching her nose, and Mia hates that. No need to say that dogs’ noses are very sensitive, and a hard rubber muzzle pressing against it would easily hurt them. This is one reason why most muzzles have a bigger opening for the nose.
In cases like this, make sure to utilize Mayerzon's 60 Days Money Back Guarantee and size up ;) If the muzzle only seems to be too wide or too narrow, you can try to reshape the muzzle after putting it in warm water but you cannot do much if it's too short.
Overhead straps are essential for additional security to prevent the muzzle from accidentally falling off. If the dog is appropriately conditioned wearing a muzzle, they shouldn't try getting it off, but it could still happen if they get into a fight or play rough with other dogs. Generally, this is a more significant risk for short-nosed dogs because they would have an easier time getting the muzzle off while a longer snout would “get stuck” in the muzzle if it is properly adjusted and is the right fit.
Another thing to consider is if your dog is a determined biter. In this case, you want to have an overhead strap even for a longer snout to say on the safe side - although, plastic basket muzzles are not the best for high bite-risk dogs anyway.
The Mayerzon muzzle comes with an overhead strap that attaches to the neck strap with a loop. You can change the length of the overhead strap by the slider on the middle of the overhead strap.
The attachment of the strap back on the neck leaves you with limited positioning options as you see it in the photo below. You can easily end up with an overhead strap that already slides to the side and tend to go across one eye. The slider in the middle of the overhead strap makes this even worse since having that little weight there makes it slide even more.
After a few walks, I stopped adjusting this strap, and since I didn't see any advantages with using it on Mia's longer snout, we ended up removing it.
The material of this muzzle is a pliable, non-toxic rubber. It is a little softer/more flexible than a Baskerville, but it isn't foldable like the silicone muzzle that we tested.
Compared to other basket muzzles, it has two rubber parts on the sides, which holds it in place nicely, and we feel it gives some additional security to the muzzle.
To be honest, we did not find much functionality in the plastic “clip-looking” part at the bottom of the muzzle. It probably meant to be a safety loop for the collar. Still, there is no way Mia's normal collar could go through there - and even if it could, fixing the muzzle to the collar like this would result you pulling around the muzzle on the dog face when you pull on the collar which is something that I would avoid. There is always a possibility to get a thin collar just for the muzzle for added security, but the neck strap already goes around the neck, so we don't see that it would be needed if the muzzle is properly fitted.
To summarize, the Mayerzon Basket muzzle is a good looking and durable muzzle with an exciting design, but we found some room for improvement. It would probably be more comfortable if they would leave a bigger gap on the front for the nose, and we would likely position the slider of the overhead strap at the other end of the overhead strap to avoid that distraction between the eyes.
• Bite-proof factor: basket muzzles are generally not the best if a dog is high bite-risk because someone's hand or another dog's hair could still get in through the muzzle. On the other hand, this muzzle is made from harder plastic, so it probably would be enough to prevent a nip.
• Prevent the dog from eating things from the ground: It makes it harder, but it is still possible for the dog to pick up stuff through the openings of the muzzle.
• Safety collar loop: it does have a “loop” at the bottom that you can use to attach it to the collar, but it's a little too high up on Mia to be useful.
• Overhead security strap: it does have one, but it does tend to slide around a lot on a longer snout.
You can buy the muzzle on Amazon. Mayerzon does offer a 12 Months Warranty and 60 Days Money Back Guarantee. When you receive your muzzle, make sure that it is large enough to allow your dog to pant and that it is secure. They are happy to take returns on muzzles that are in like-new condition.
The collar on some of the photos was from Bol-Dog - You can check out our previous review on them on this link. The “No-Dogs” harness is the IDC Powerharness from Julius-K9 that we also reviewed before.