Since this is a more complex topic, we wrote an article about the different reasons for muzzling and why muzzling isn't cruel for those interested in reading more on the topic. In addition, our “What to do around muzzled dogs” poster is also available on this link for downloading.
While there are many reasons for muzzling, some shouldn't be among these - like using a muzzle to avoid barking. We feel it is essential to clarify that muzzles shouldn't be used to prevent barking; it is a dangerous and ineffective way to address this problem. If you want to learn more, check out our article on why not use a muzzle to stop barking.
Reviewing muzzles is hard because every dog and situation requires a slightly different solution. Something can be a pro for one dog and a con for another.
Even when discussing 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. For example, if you are looking for an agitation muzzle or the muzzle will only be used for short periods, you are okay with a muzzle that provides enough room for a half-pant. On the other hand, if you use muzzles for hikes or canicross, it is essential to have enough room for comfortable full-pant. We discuss this in detail in our article about Panting Freely vs. Fully in a Muzzle.
The other tricky thing with sizing is that although there are great Facebook groups to help determine if the muzzle looks good on your dog, different photos could make the muzzle look much bigger or smaller.
We received an XL and a Large to talk about sizing in the review. The length of both muzzle worked pretty well on Mia's longer snout, but the XL provided a better pant room for long-term use. The Large still has enough room for a small pant that is suitable for short muzzle sessions.
For comparison, you can see the XL on top and the L in the bottom image.
The problem with upsizing is that the treat hole is designed for a smaller fit, so it's getting harder to deliver treats due to the placement of the treat hole on the bigger size.
Since this muzzle is made of a softer rubber material, it is not recommended for dogs who are a serious bite risk, as we discussed in our previous article about non-bite-proof muzzles. However, it is great for muzzle training, to prevent the dog from picking up bigger items or protect from a quick nip.
All five straps of this muzzle are adjustable, which is actually not a common feature of muzzles in this price range. This helps create a safe and comfortable fit.
The sliders on the connection points of the straps let you adjust the length of all straps while keeping the plastic buckle on the neck strap centered.
The unique feature of this muzzle is the movable front cover! You can keep the front closed or slide it up to create a large treat hole for easy reward while training. You can see below what the open state looks like.
You can see the closure section of the muzzle below. The muzzle is secured in the open or closed state with light pressure. It is not sliding too easily, but it is not a secure lock; there is a chance that a dog would be able to push it open in a fight or if they push their face to the ground to try removing the muzzle.
The broad forehead strap was a little awkward on Mia, but that's something we run into frequently due to her long head shape. This muzzle stayed in place well on her even without the forehead strap, so I ended up removing it, which is a personal preference. It would probably flatten out if used on the same length for a while and wouldn't interfere with the dog's vision this much.
The muzzle (especially the large size) was a little narrow even on Mia, squishing her face under the eyes. Since this is a soft, foldable muzzle, I wouldn't be worried about chafing unless used over an extended period, but this would be a reason for me to size up for a more comfortable fit.
Altogether this is a well-made silicone muzzle for a very affordable price. The adjustment points and the movable front are great upgrades that make it a great first muzzle and training muzzle.
• not rubbing or chafing the dog's nose,
• preventing licking, a quick nip, picking up sticks or other bigger items.
• start muzzle training since it's soft, lightweight and the front cover can be opened for easy treat delivery.
• bite-risk dogs since the soft material could be bent and folded.
• poop eaters.
You can buy the “Barkless” Muzzle with a Movable Front Cover on Amazon. When writing this review, it comes in five sizes.
Disclaimer: this review contains an Amazon affiliate link, which supports Dog Gear Review if you purchase the product after clicking on it without costing you anything extra. Using affiliate links will never compromise us writing unbiased, honest reviews!
If you want to learn more about muzzles, you can join amazing groups on Facebook, like Muzzle Up, Pup!, or follow The Muzzle Up Project. You can also check out the Muzzle Training and Tips website and browse our articles, where we discussed many muzzle-related topics.