11 Best Dog Muzzles: Your Buyer’s Guide

dog muzzles

123RF (Maria Itina)

Just as with dog training collars, a muzzle might seem excessive or scary right up until it’s clear that your dog needed one. Dog muzzles are not for bad dogs – in fact, every dog should be trained to wear one in the general interest of keeping everyone safe. Since dogs can’t use their words to explain when they feel anxious, a properly deployed muzzle can save you and your dog a lot of grief, and in some cases, may even spare your dog’s life. Learn more about the best dog muzzles on the market with our detailed buyer’s guide covering various styles for different situations.

Which dog muzzle is best?

The Company of Animals Baskerville Ultra Dog Muzzle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Rugged components
  • Can be heat shaped to your dog's muzzle
  • Dogs can pant, drink, and eat with it on
Price: $16.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Goodboy Gentle Muzzle Guard for Dogs Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Prevents biting and chewing
  • May be a better option for smaller breeds
  • Thick neoprene padding
Price: $17.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
CollarDirect Leather Pitbull Dog Muzzle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Custom fit for dogs with short muzzles and wide heads
  • Handmade leather construction
  • Collar loop
Price: $29.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Jorvet Nylon Muzzle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Simple to use
  • Great for short term use
  • Works for a wide variety of breeds
Price: $15.33 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Birdwell Enterprises Plastic Dog Muzzle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Fully plastic coated
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Multiple color options
Price: $16.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Alfie Pet Paxton Adjustable Quick Fit Plastic Muzzle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Prevents biting and chewing
  • Easy-on function
  • Quick to adjust
Price: $18.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Dean and Tyler Wire Basket Muzzle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very well ventilated
  • Full coverage leather straps
  • Prevents biting and chewing
Price: $61.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
JYHY Short Snout Dog Muzzle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Full-coverage, breathable mask
  • Prevents biting and chewing
  • Available with eye holes or just a screen
Price: $12.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Viper Delta Wire Basket Dog Muzzle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Competitively priced to non-metal options
  • Prevents biting and chewing
  • Made in Europe
Price: $32.28 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Crazy Felix Nylon Dog Muzzle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very flexible and breathable
  • Small opening allows for feeding treats
  • Easy-on design
Price: $13.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Redline K-9 Leather Agitation Dog Muzzle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very heavy duty
  • Excellent padding
  • Handmade in USA
Price: $95.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. The Company of Animals Baskerville Ultra Dog Muzzle

    Pros:
    • Rugged components
    • Can be heat shaped to your dog's muzzle
    • Dogs can pant, drink, and eat with it on
    Cons:
    • Adjustment can be a little finicky
    • Even with heat-shaping, may cut into dogs with wide heads
    • Unless you use the collar loop, dogs can pull it off from the bottom

    Possibly the most popular option on the market, the Baskervill Ultra muzzle is the upgraded version of the traditional basket muzzle the company offers. The most important distinction between the two of them is the material the basket itself is made from, which can be heated and perfectly formed to your particular dog.

    The basket is also the more modern style with openings at the top and bottom for easy feeding and drinking. There are no hard plastic straps beyond the basket, which can make this more comfortable.

    This also means the basket is relatively short, which means that dogs can get their claws into the bottom of it and pull it off that way, so the collar loop really must be used to make it as effective as possible. Still, the straps are neoprene-lined and when the loop is used, this is a very secure option, particularly with the optional overhead strap.

    There are six sizes available, as well as your choice of black or tan colors. This is the one we have for my blue nose pit, which we use when my wife walks him because he’s very protective of her. It took awhile for him to adjust to it and he absolutely will pull it off if we don’t use the collar loop, but for the most part, we’ve been happy with it and feel it’s robust enough for a powerful dog.

    Barkless makes an alternative option which is made of silicone. The straps are thicker, which may or not be a good thing depending on your needs.

  2. 2. Goodboy Gentle Muzzle Guard for Dogs

    Pros:
    • Prevents biting and chewing
    • May be a better option for smaller breeds
    • Thick neoprene padding
    Cons:
    • Collar strap is bulky
    • Restricts eating
    • Dogs can easily open Velcro closure

    When it comes to small dog muzzles, a loop muzzle may be a better choice. While basket muzzles do allow more freedom of movement and can let dogs eat, they are rarely small enough to prevent smaller dogs from barking. Loop muzzles are meant to fit snugly at the base of the dog’s snout to restrict movement, which will curb barking, nipping, and unwanted chewing.

    These are a good option for dogs with barking or chewing issues, as well as the curb aggressive behavior. Putting them on can also be much easier, as this is a simple loop with a necklatch. You need to make two adjustments, one at the neck and one at the loop, to secure this on your dog.

    The loop itself features thick padding, which is necessary because for these to work properly, they need to be quite tight. Some dog owners fit them somewhat loosely, which defeats their intended purpose. Still, it’s understandable that some people are hesitant to overtighten, so keep this in mind when deciding.

    The Velcro on the loop is meant primarily to elimnate flapping excess straps, but can also be used as a final adjustment. The placement of the end of the Velcro over the top is convenient for use but can also mean that most dogs who aren’t used to it will be able to separate the Velcro sides with nose swipes.

    A cheaper alternative to this is the Trixie Loop Muzzle, but there’s less padding and no collar loop.

  3. 3. CollarDirect Leather Pitbull Dog Muzzle

    Pros:
    • Custom fit for dogs with short muzzles and wide heads
    • Handmade leather construction
    • Collar loop
    Cons:
    • Looks a little over-the-top
    • Restricts drinking and eating
    • Rivets can rip off with a persistant dog

    While basket muzzles are a great choice for a number of reasons, many owners of dogs with block heads know that the inflexible muzzle can interfere with a dog’s jaw and therefore not fit as snugly as needed. This option from CollarDirect, who make a number of leather and nylon muzzles, offer this custom-made muzzle for combination stocky muzzles and broad heads.

    These are tailor fit to dogs with a snout 14 inches in circumference and three inches long, which should cover most pitbull and pitbull-adjacent breeds. These are training muzzles, which means they really won’t allow your dog to eat or drink while they wear them, and therefore shouldn’t be worn all day. There’s also no padding on the leather, so using these for short bursts is best.

    The strap at the neck is adjustable to fine-tune it for your dog, and there’s a collar loop on the top that will keep it in place. Otherwise, this is a full-coverage muzzle which includes a straps across the jaw to ensure your dog can’t slip out of it from the bottom.

    These are relatively thin leather, so it’s a good idea to keep this away from your dog when they aren’t wearing it, lest they chew it up. A very strong and determined dog may also be able to tear the rivets out at the junctions, though this should be very, very rare.

    They also make a model for dogs with longer muzzles, a model for dogs with shorter muzzles, as well as a leather basket muzzle, if you prefer.

  4. 4. Jorvet Nylon Muzzle

    Pros:
    • Simple to use
    • Great for short term use
    • Works for a wide variety of breeds
    Cons:
    • Somewhat pricey for what they are
    • Not nearly as robust as other options
    • Restricts eating and drinking

    Those who have ever seen their dog muzzled at the vet knows about these simple and easy-to-deploy muzzles. They’re made of tough nylon and are meant to just slide quickly on for short bursts to help your dog get through something without nipping.

    Made of waterproof nylon, these would make a good choice for grooming and when using dog nail clippers. My senior shar pei mix hates having his nails done and will nip, not so much out of aggression, but due to anxiety. Quickly slipping this on makes the process easier on both of us.

    Of course, being entirely made of nylon, this won’t put up with much abuse. They’re also not secure enough for use with other dogs or for long periods of time. Slide one of these on at the vet or for a quick round of training and that’s about it. The upside is that without the additional straps, you don’t have to spend any time dialing it in for a long use session.

    These are really aimed at clinicians, so you can’t choose your color. The following sizes are available:

    • XX-Small – 3.5 inches, dogs under five pounds
    • X-Small – 4.5 inches, 5-10 pounds
    • Small – 5.25 inches, 10-25 pounds
    • Medium – 6 inches, 25-40 pounds
    • Large – 6.5 inches, 40-70 pounds
    • X-Large – 8 inches, 70-100 pounds
    • 2X-Large – 10 inches, 100-150 pounds
    • 3X-Large – 11 inches, 100-120 pounds
    • 4X-Large – 12 inches, 120-150 pounds (out of stock at time of this writing)

    An alternative option is the Four Paws Quick Fit Dog Muzzle.

  5. 5. Birdwell Enterprises Plastic Dog Muzzle

    Pros:
    • Fully plastic coated
    • Dishwasher safe
    • Multiple color options
    Cons:
    • Only two sizes available
    • May not work on broad-head breeds
    • Measure your dog carefully - tend to run large

    While most basket muzzles feature leather or nylon straps, this one is fully plastic coated except for the metal buckles. That means the entire muzzle can be put in a dishwasher for super-easy cleaning.

    Nylon dog gear eventually attracts a fair amount of debris and can start to smell with time. The option to easily clean this after every use will keep the muzzle looking (and smelling) new. The straps are, at their core, still nylon and offer the expected flexibility, much like the Kurgo Muck Collar we put on our best dog collars list.

    Otherwise, this is a fairly standard basket muzzle made in the USA by a small family company. There are two sizes – medium for dogs 35 pounds to 55 pounds and large for dogs 56 pounds and up – available in your choice of the following colors: black, blue, gold, pink, purple, and red.

    Your dog should be able to eat, drink, and pant wearing these, so longer sessions is no problem. There are no additional straps, even a collar loop, so your dog will need to be comfortable wearing a muzzle or they could slip it off with enough effort.

  6. 6. Alfie Pet Paxton Adjustable Quick Fit Plastic Muzzle

    Pros:
    • Prevents biting and chewing
    • Easy-on function
    • Quick to adjust
    Cons:
    • Restricts eating and drinking
    • Not meant for broad-headed breeds
    • No headstrap or collar loop

    Combining features from other options on this list, this offering from Alfie Pet is meant as a quick-use, but full-coverage muzzle. It brings together the single-strap function that makes it easy to use and a basket to prevent biting or chewing.

    This is a good option for the vet, or any other area where your dog is likely to encounter other unknown dogs, but isn’t as good for all-day use as other options on this list. The hard plastic may put up with a bit more abuse than nylon options and the extended bottom may make up for the lack of a collar loop.

    I would best categorize this as a back-up, or just-in-case muzzle – it’s not overbuilt like some options, but it’s not entirely barebones, either. Keep this on hand for unexpected circumstances where you need to be absolutely sure your dog won’t get anxious and bite.

    This is available in four sizes:

    • X-Small – Neck girth 8-10 inches, top of nose length 1.5 inches, bottom 2.25 inches, circumference 7 inches
    • Small – Neck girth 10-13 inches, top of nose length 2 inches, bottom 3 inches, circumference 8.5 inches
    • Large – Neck girth 17-22 inches, top of nose length 3 inches, bottom 5.5 inches, circumference 13.5 inches
    • X-Large – Neck girth 18-24 inches, top of nose length 3 inches, bottom 6 inches, circumference 14.5 inches
  7. 7. Dean and Tyler Wire Basket Muzzle

    Pros:
    • Very well ventilated
    • Full coverage leather straps
    • Prevents biting and chewing
    Cons:
    • Restricts eating
    • Expensive
    • Customized fit means searching for the right option

    Dean and Tyler make high-end dog products, including the Plated Perfection dog collar that appears on our best luxury dog collars list. They also make these custom-fit dog muzzles that combine full-coverage leather straps with a durable and highly breathable wire basket for enhanced protection.

    A padded nose piece on the top creates a comfortable and relatively soft fit for this metal offering, which prioritizes panting and drinking but restricts biting and chewing. This is a good all-day option, meant to be taken off for meal times but otherwise comfortable and roomy enough for extended play.

    There are three adjustment points for neck girth, headstrap and muzzle tightness. The headstrap includes a collar loop to keep it all in place.

    Rather than general sizing, these are made with specific breeds in mind, roughly tailored to the general size. That means that some mixes might have trouble finding the exact right option. At time of this writing, these examples are available, which should cover a good spread of pups:

    Alternatively, they make the Freedom Muzzle, which is less restrictive, but also less custom-fit for your dog.

  8. 8. JYHY Short Snout Dog Muzzle

    Pros:
    • Full-coverage, breathable mask
    • Prevents biting and chewing
    • Available with eye holes or just a screen
    Cons:
    • Some dogs will not tolerate having their face covered
    • No padding
    • Though eating is possible, it might be challenging

    Dogs with very short snouts require special muzzles since most models are designed to fit around a longer snout. For our flatter-faced friends, these mesh mask-style muzzles can do the job.

    The full coverage means that biting and chewing will be restricted, preventing injury to either you, other dogs, or your furniture. Mesh construction  means that drinking and ventilation are no problem, so these can be worn for relatively long periods of time. It is possible for your dog to eat while wearing this muzzle, but the narrow opening for the nose means it will be a fairly slow process. Based on some pugs I’ve met, that might not necessarily be a downside.

    This particular model comes in gray or orange, in either full-mesh or eyehole configuration. That may take some trial and error to determine which works best for your dog. If the eyeholes don’t line up, full-mesh is the way to go, but your dog may not approve of having something over the entire face. Or maybe you want to choose based on whether you want your dog to look like a pilot or a fencer.

    This comes in four sizes, all measured by head circumference:

    • Small – 9-12 inches
    • Medium – 11-17 inches
    • Large – 15-25 inches
    • X-Large – 18-25 inches

    Canine Friendly also makes a full-mesh muzzle, if you prefer.

  9. 9. Viper Delta Wire Basket Dog Muzzle

    Pros:
    • Competitively priced to non-metal options
    • Prevents biting and chewing
    • Made in Europe with high-quality components
    Cons:
    • Restricts eating
    • Measure dog carefully as there are a wide variety of sizes and fits
    • Adjustment not as finite as other options

    As an alternative to the Dean and Tyler approach, you could consider this offering from Delta. Rather than offer muzzles aimed at certain breeds, this metal wire basket muzzle comes in 14 different sizes to encourage the best fit.

    The unique design of the basket forms a double layer of wire to prevent biting and chewing, but is extremely breathable. Dogs will easily be able to drink wearing these, as well as pant freely. With the padded nose piece, long wear sessions should be no problem.

    Three notched straps allow you to tighten this as needed for your dog. Where other options, particularly those with nylon straps, allow for infinite adjustment, this works more like a belt. The advantage is that this is much less likely to slip once set.

    The fourteen sizes are as follows, based on the length and circumference of your dog’s snout:

    • Size 3 – Length 3 inches, circumference 10.5 inches
      Size 3+ – Length 3.5 inches, circumference 11 inches
      Size 4 – Length 3.25 inches, circumference 12.25 inches
      Size 5 – Length 3.5 inches, circumference 13.25 inches
      Size 5+ – Length 4.25 inches, circumference 14 inches
      Size B1 – Length 1.5 inches, circumference 12.5 inches
      Size B2 – Length 2inches, circumference 13 inches
      Size B3 – Length 2 inches, circumference 13.75 inches
      Size 6 – Length 4 inches, circumference 14 inches
      Size R1 – Length 3.25 inches, circumference 14.5 inches
      Size R2 – Length 3.25 inches, circumference 15.25 inches
      Size R3 – Length 3.25 inches, circumference 16 inches
      Size GD – Length 4.25 inches, circumference 18.5 inches
      Size STB – Length 4.75 inches, circumference 19 inches
  10. 10. Crazy Felix Nylon Dog Muzzle

    Pros:
    • Very flexible and breathable
    • Small opening allows for feeding treats
    • Easy-on design
    Cons:
    • Some dogs will learn to bend the opening part down
    • Possibly too long for some dogs
    • Not built to put up with much abuse

    While most dogs will probably have the issue that their snouts are a touch too short for the muzzle, some dogs have the opposite problem. For dogs with very long snouts, this very breathable, very flexible option may be the way to go.

    This is a lightweight dog muzzle made entirely of nylon mesh, which means that wearing it all day should be no problem. The lip in front allows you to administer treats if you’re training your dog on socialization. Drinking water is also no problem at all.

    Due to the nature of this particular muzzle, it’s not a great choice for high-stress environments with other unfamiliar dogs. In fact, the best use for this may be to prevent your dog from licking everyone, if that’s a concern for you.

    This is available in five sizes in your choice of black, grey, or orange:

    • X-Small – 5.9 inches to 7.5 inches circumference
    • Small – 7 inches to 8.6 inches circumference
    • Medium – 8.6 inches to 10.2 inches circumference
    • Large – 10.2 inches to 12.2 inches circumference
    • X-Large – 12.5 inches to 14.5 inches circumference

    Another option from Mayerzon includes a full mask with a headstrap, if preferred.

  11. 11. Redline K-9 Leather Agitation Dog Muzzle

    Pros:
    • Very heavy duty with steel reinforced nose piece
    • Excellent padding
    • Handmade in USA
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Restricts eating and drinking
    • Very limited size options

    If you want a dog muzzle designed to put up with abuse, you might consider this Redline K-9 option designed for agitation, military, and police work. Agitation work included bite training and other intensive exercises aimed at creating guard and protection dogs. In short, these muzzles are made for dogs whose job it is to bite on command, so they are up to tall asks.

    The entire piece is made from very durable latigo leather, while the nose piece is reinforced with steel to prevent collapse of any kind. The thick leather straps also resist collapse and keep their form.

    A thick pad protects your dog’s nose from the muzzle and makes this relatively comfortable, considering what it’s designed for. If you’ve been disappointed by other muzzles and your dog is on the larger side, this will almost certainly meet your demand. That said, it is quite expensive and better for short bursts rather than all-day use, so you’ll really have to require the extra features to make it worth it.

    It’s available in four sizes:

    • Small – Length 4 inches, circumference 11 inches
    • Medium – Length 4 inches, circumference 12 inches
    • Large – Length 4 inches, circumference 13 inches
    • X-Large – Length 4 inches, circumference 14 inches

    They also offer another style, if you prefer.

When is the right time to use a dog muzzle?

As the owner of a very expressive blue nose pitbull, there's a paradoxical relationship with putting a muzzle on your dog. Especially in the case of pitbull owners, putting a muzzle on your dog can be the responsible move, but also invite increased scrutinty.

Non-dog people and those who own naturally very chilled out dogs may think that your dog is vicious because they're wearing a muzzle, yet if you forego the muzzle and your dog gets a little excited, they'll still think it's vicious and believe you're irresponsible for not muzzling them.

As many pitbull owners can attest, an individual dog's behavior comes from people encouraging habits, be they bad or good. Pitbulls are disproportionately affected because they're bright, curious, and protective of their people - habits which can easily be mutated into dangerous behavior. Due to those traits, they can get overwhelmed easily in new situations, which lead them to sound a lot scarier than they are.

Nevertheless, this is true of any dog, regardless of breed. Unless your dog is entirely disinterested in the world at large, there will be situations where muzzling is the best choice for both dog and owner.

The American Kennel Club offers five key situations wherin muzzle use is a good idea. These include:

  • Emergencies
  • Biting in your dog's history
  • Threatening situations
  • During grooming
  • When required by law

Essentially, if your dog could be agitated and processing a number of new stimuli, a muzzle is probably a good idea. Just as with training collars, better to use one and not need it than the alternative. One errant bite, no matter the reason, could be your dog's last.

How should a dog muzzle fit? How tight should a dog muzzle be?

It's almost impossible to answer in a general way what size dog muzzle you'll need. Thanks to the many, many different crossbreeds and various other genetic variances, what works for one dog may not work for another.

Style and manufacterer of the muzzle also have a major impact on fit, since, as with clothing, every process is different. For our list, we've indicated the sizing information when available. You will absolutely need to measure your dog to make the best selection possible, and a soft tape measure makes this easy.

Some general guidance is to make sure the frame of basket muzzles do not reach the dog's eyes. When tightening for final fit, straps should allow you to put two fingers flat against your dog, but no more than that. You want a snug fit, but not an overly tight one.

You can watch this video for sizing the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle, our first pick, or read more about measuring and fitting your muzzle from Leerburg Dog Training.

How can I train my dog to wear a muzzle?

Muzzles are, of course, not a natural thing for your dog to understand right out of the gate. Like anything else, it will require patience and training. It may also require trial and error before you find the right muzzle that fits correctly and your dog doesn't mind, yet offers the features you most need.

VCA Hospitals recommends being sure that your dog is relaxed and in a safe environment before beginning training. You first need to get them used to the muzzle in general, so let them investigate it multiple times before trying to put it on. Then you can graudate to holding it as though you're about to put it on, but then stopping, reinforcing this with treats.

Next, try putting it on for a few seconds once a day, again reinforcing with treats. Slowly work up to wearing it for longer stretches before fastening it. Eventually, you'll get to fastening it, tightening it properly, and then wearing it daily and for walks. Only after all of this should you attempt to use it in a real-world situation.

Zak George offers a good primer on muzzle training for even more background.

See Also:

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