Muzzle/Noseband for Shamas?

I'm thinking that with the new puppy coming in about 6 weeks, now might be a good time to muzzle-train Shamas. I'm not concerned about potential aggression, but Shamas does get excited and mouthy...I'd like that safety measure in place so he doesn't nip the puppy. Matt is older, and "tells" Shamas if he's getting too excited, or if his mouth gets too close for comfort. A puppy...I'm not so sure?

I'm not sure the best type of muzzle/noseband to use, given the purpose? Would we want a Baskervile? And what size? Or would a simple noseband do the trick? I definitely want to be able to feed treats, and I'd like him free to sniff, and even potentially offer kisses.

If the puppy comes at 12 weeks, we should have a good amount of time to get Shamas used to the hardware.....Appolo is 3 weeks old now
 
I'm a bit new to this, but currently having a 10 week puppy and older dog, I wouldn't be thinking of this as a first choice. It depends on how Shamas reacts, of course, but if puppy is bitey, then Shamas needs to be allowed to use his mouth to teach him appropriate behaviour , this looks a bit full on sometimes ( ie Monty has his whole mouth around Bear's neck, with a paw across his middle)but it's all managed and if anything, Monty comes off much worse from those sharp puppy teeth. ) Monty hasn't always got the softest mouth, he can snatch treats when he gets overexcited, but I think with Bear he's playing it out really well.

All I would say is maybe wait and see how they are together, you might well be pleasantly surprised with how Shamas takes in the responsibility of a young pup, I think adult dogs mostly know how to react differently to a puppy than other adult dogs, regardless of their size.

If he doesn't, then there are all sorts of separation measures you would have to deploy anyway, separate to a muzzle to keep them apart, and start a programme of gentle controlled integration.

By all means train use of a muzzle, but not necessarily for the introduction of a puppy, as you hopefully won't need it.
 

snowbunny

Administrator
I’m in two minds, inasmuch as Shadow would have done serious harm to Luna as a puppy, given the chance. On the one hand, I would totally have Shadow in a muzzle from hereon in with new pups, to ensure that nothing could go horribly wrong, but on the other hand, if there is any chance of that, the last thing you want is for the muzzle go be a crutch that allows you to be less stringent than you should with ensuring the safety of the puppy.
Most adult dogs are good with puppies, but if there is any chance that they won’t be, you just can’t take the chance.
Barriers would always be my first port of call for assessing my dog’s disposition towards the puppy.
 

Jacqui-S

Moderator
Location
Fife, Scotland
I would agree with Natalie and Fiona.
We have a 5 month old and a 9 week old as well as our "adult" dogs right now.
Managing by way of separation and time outs using the crate seems to work best for us so far.
The older puppy plays hard and the smaller one is a bit of a bitey squealer.
It's hard work playing referee. I don't think a muzzle would work as well or be as appropriate for a new puppy but general muzzle training is a good idea.
 

snowbunny

Administrator
I think the thing is, if you have the concern that your dog might hurt the puppy, then you just don't risk your dog being with the puppy in such a way as a muzzle would be necessary. I love Natalie's optimism that it will be OK, and experience from listening to most people who introduce puppies is that that is exactly the case. That even a grumpy dog will be appropriate in its level of telling off an obnoxious puppy. Nearly every time, this is true. I really though that Shadow would be great with a girl puppy. It shocked me that he wasn't. I know that this is very unusual behaviour from an adult dog towards a puppy, and so it is very unlikely that it would happen in your situation. But, also, because I've been through that, I am going to totally listen to any niggly voices in my head when it comes to the "what if"s.

Would I ever think about careful introductions with Luna with a puppy? Not in the slightest. She's a bloody rock star. Of course, I'd want to have situations where she can get away for space, but I don't think for a second that I would have to worry about the safety of the puppy with her. She has never - not once - even growled at another dog. And from someone that welcomes growling, that's not a brag. She's just the sweetest little dog.
But with the twins, yeah, there's always going to be the question. Even if not physical harm, are they going to scare the puppy? That isn't acceptable, either. And that means I need to be incredibly careful about introductions, and I'm not going to just chuck a muzzle on my (muzzle-trained) dogs and let them at it.
 
Thanks for the input everyone. I know I'm probably overthinking things- I know how Shamas is with the cats, he gets excited, and they don't appreciate his exuberance. Then again, they are cats..a puppy might actually LIKE having toys shoved in it's face??

I plan to have the puppy in a playpen in my daughter's room for much of the first two weeks, or in her arms(he's her puppy) and Shamas will be on a leash if in a position to get close. Baby gates are already in my Amazon cart, awaiting my order, to separate the rooms. Their four-footed first meetings will likely be when we walk them at the same time, so they will be busy with the business of walking.

There will of course be plenty of scent-swapping, as the pup will use one of Shamas' old crates, that we've had in storage, and they will pee in the same yard. I've set aside a light leash for him, and a little collar too.

Pup will live in my daughter's room officially, just as Shamas lives in ours. when we are out, the dogs go in their own rooms.

I already know that Shamas' food will need to come up when puppy is out- that's one issue he does have...but Appollo will be fed in his own room. And balls. So no food or toys laying around. He's never bitten, but he does growl and chase off the Matt if he goes near his food or bones. Once he scuffled with Toby over a ball he'd been given. Water, not an issue- He'll take turns on the water bowl. He's also not possessive over his bed- Matt routinely sleeps in his crate, and Shamas just asks me to remove him at bedtime. Any other time he could care less.
 
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