Should American Pitbulls Be Muzzled? How To Decide

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American Pitbulls are frequently thought of as aggressive dogs; however, that isn’t everyone’s experience. Many of us have had incredible experiences with our Pitbulls and known them to be incredibly affectionate, gentle creatures, but the stereotypes persist.

Fortunately, there’s a middle ground, not all Pitbulls need to be muzzled, but some definitely should be to protect themselves and the community. 

Should your american pitbull be muzzled?

American Pitbulls shouldn’t be muzzled if not necessary. Muzzles are useful only when the Pitbull is reactive, or you think it could be targeted. Some places require American Pitbulls to be muzzled in public. By muzzling your dog when appropriate, you’re keeping you, your dog, and the public safe. 

Now I’ll go over whether or not muzzling your Pitbull is necessary, places where they’re required by law to be muzzled, and how to muzzle your dog properly. 

It’s Important To Muzzle Your American Pitbull When Necessary

For the safety of your American Pitbull and others, it’s wise to muzzle it in various situations. These situations can include vet visits, grooming appointments, and other stressful situations.

It’s especially important to muzzle your American Pitbull for one main reason: many parts of the world consider this breed dangerous.

The consequences for an American Pitbull biting someone will be far higher than any other dog breed. While another breed of dog may be quarantined, an American Pitbull is likely to be put down.

A dog biting isn’t uncommon. After all, dogs don’t have words to communicate. It isn’t that big of a deal if a Golden Retriever nips a neighborhood kid once, but if an American Pitbull does it, you’ll be in a lot more trouble and likely have to get rid of your dog.

The best way to prevent this is to have your American Pitbull wear a muzzle. That way, the only way your dog can be accused of being aggressive and biting someone is if the person removed the muzzle. 

Muzzle Your American Pitbull During Vet Visits and Emergencies

You may have heard the phrase, “there’s nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal.” When thinking about muzzling your dog, this is a phrase to keep in mind. 

Although your pup may be the most perfectly behaved pooch at home, it can begin to act out as soon as it goes through any pain. That’s why the vet’s office is one of the most common places for dog bites to occur. 

Often, the dog will start to become distressed, and the owner will reach out to try and comfort the dog. A cornered or injured animal is no longer in its right mind and starts acting based on instinct, resulting in a bite, even to the hand that feeds it. 

In these situations, muzzling can be a fantastic option. Everyone stays safe—the vet, you, and your dog. 

One thing to keep in mind—that specifically applies to American Pitbulls—is that these dogs often have trauma. If you rescued your American Pitbull, there’s a pretty decent chance that it was involved in some violence. Such trauma may make the dog more likely to lash out when restrained or in stressful situations like going to the vet. 

Another thing to remember is situations where a severe injury has occurred. If your dog breaks a leg, it’s going to be in so much pain that it won’t know how to determine whether the hands coming toward it are there to hurt or to help. That’s why it’s always best to have a muzzle on hand, just in case. You never know when you’ll need one. 

Have Your Dog Wear a Muzzle During Grooming Appointments

muzzled pitbull

Grooming appointments are also another hotspot when it comes to dog bites. Your dog is maneuvered and placed on a high table with many unfamiliar tools all around them. For a naturally nervous dog, this can be an incredibly nerve-wracking experience. 

Not all groomers will automatically put a muzzle on your American Pitbull. But if they don’t, you should request it. As I previously stated, you’re far more likely to be punished to the full extent of the law for a dog bite if the dog is an American Pitbull. Although it may seem mean, this is the best way to protect your dog.

Muzzle Your Dog When It’s Introduced to Unfamiliar People and Situations

If you know that your dog is nervous around new people or when they’re in new surroundings, it may be a good idea to muzzle them. 

Remember, muzzling your dog is about more than just protecting the people around you from being bitten. It’s about protecting your dog. If your dog bites someone, it will likely be reported to the police. Dog bit legislation varies from country to country and even state to state. 

Where I live, if a dog bites someone, they must undergo rabies quarantine where a police officer frequently monitors them. If they bite someone more than three times, you are legally obligated to put them down. 

However, if the dog involved is an American Pitbull, the consequences can be even more severe, and they won’t always give you more than one chance. 

That’s why it’s so important to muzzle your American Pitbull if you think there’s a chance of a bite occurring. You don’t want to lose your dog because of an accident. 

Which Muzzle Should I Use?

You can use two main muzzles: basket muzzles and soft muzzles. Basket muzzles look like a cage and are made of wire or rubber, while soft muzzles are made from nylon or mesh. Generally speaking, basket muzzles are more comfortable and safer for your American Pitbull.

When you’re looking to purchase a muzzle for your dog, you may initially be turned off by the cage-like appearance of the basket muzzle. After all, it doesn’t look very nice, and it won’t do much to convince people that the muzzle is just a precaution and that your American Pitbull isn’t a rabid beast. However, for most dogs, basket muzzles are more comfortable and safer than soft muzzles. 

Basket muzzles are typically made from wire or reinforced rubber material and are molded into a cage held over your dog’s muzzle with a strap going behind their head. They may look quite a bit scarier than soft muzzles, but most dogs respond very well to them for a few reasons: 

  • Basket muzzles fit loosely. Your dog can still open its mouth to pant and can drink water through the muzzle. It’s a far more relaxed fit. Basket muzzles are also better for dogs that have shorter snouts, like many American Pitbulls. You can get breed-specific basket muzzles or even have them custom-made to fit your dog perfectly. 
  • Soft muzzles fully strap your dog’s mouth shut. They also make your dog unable to pant, drink water, or eat anything. While this is okay for short-term situations, it could become dangerous in long-term situations, as your dog cannot regulate its body temperature. The tight fit is also more likely to stress your dog out and make them resistant to wearing the muzzle.

Recommended Muzzle for American Pitbulls

The best muzzles for American Pitbulls are the ones specially made to be highly adjustable. American Pitbulls have shorter and broader faces than most dogs, so to get an appropriate fit, you’ll need to find a muzzle that can be remolded and adjusted.

One of the most highly rated basket muzzles on the market right now is the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle.

It comes in two colors, black and tan; it can blend in with your dog’s fur as best possible and six sizes, ranging from sizes for toy breeds to a muzzle big enough for a Great Dane.

There are two main things I want to highlight regarding this muzzle: 

  • It’s highly adjustable. Yes, it comes in six different sizes, but it’s specially made to be remolded even more than that. If your Pitbulls face is just a bit too wide for the way the muzzle naturally sits, you can remold it. All you’ll need to do is take the muzzle and place it in some hot water until the muzzle becomes soft. Then you’ll be able to bend and reshape the muzzle. This allows you to get a great, almost custom fit. 
  • It has an additional security strap that can be attached to your dog’s collar. Due to their shorter faces, Pitbulls can also have an easier time getting muzzles off than other dog breeds. Fortunately, this muzzle has an additional security strap. Although very few customers have reported using it, it seems that the muzzle is very secure even without the strap. 

Conclusion

Although most American Pitbulls are loving and affectionate pets, that doesn’t take away the fact that they’re known to be dangerous. Wearing a muzzle won’t just protect the people around you. It’ll also protect your American Pitbull from deadly consequences if a bite does occur. 

Generally speaking, basket muzzles are the best option for American Pitbulls as they’re loose-fitting and won’t cause any issues with breathing or overheating. 

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