As an owner, it is your duty to abide by the rules of pet ownership and the use of a muzzle should be a conscious and responsible act, especially in cases of potentially dangerous dogs. Here we will talk about when to use the muzzle and in which breeds this accessory is mandatory.
Just as you buy various items for your dog, such as toys, bed, bowl, drinking bowl, collar with tag or leash, the muzzle should be an accessory on this list. This tool, usually frowned upon by many, is used to cover the dog’s entire muzzle, thus preventing it from barking, eating or biting.
When it comes to private spaces of common use and in public places, it is advisable that dogs use a leash. However, in most large cities not only is the use of the leash mandatory, but also the use of the muzzle, especially when dealing with canines classified as PPP.
In this sense, when we speak of a PPP, we refer to dogs whose typology, morphological characteristics, degree of aggressiveness and attack, are a threat both to people’s property and their physical integrity. Therefore, these animals must always remain close to their owners and under no circumstances may they leave their homes without supervision.
It should also be worn by all dogs that display an overtly aggressive temperament or have a history of aggression towards other animals or people. Also, when the municipal authorities require it, either for health or safety reasons. In addition, when travelling on public transport with the animal, provided the dog is not in a carrier, it must wear a muzzle; whether it is on a boat, bus, train or in the underground.
The use of muzzles does not only affect the safety of people and other animals. It is also used by handlers for animal education and it also favours the health of the dog in certain circumstances, since with the muzzle on, the dog will not be able to eat food or things in the street when it goes for a walk, nor will it be able to ingest faeces (a very common activity in many dogs that seriously affects their health).
On the other hand, when the dog is taken to the dog groomer’s or vet’s, to avoid biting someone due to stress or nervousness caused by this particular situation, the use of the muzzle helps to facilitate the task. In addition, thanks to this accessory, the problem of the dog doing inappropriate activities, such as chewing and breaking cushions, furniture, shoes, etc., is avoided.
However, the muzzle should not be used as the only means of managing inappropriate behaviour, so it is advisable to seek the help of a specialist in canine behaviour and follow the guidelines he gives for modifying unwanted behaviour.
Regardless of the dog you have, you must keep in mind as an owner that everything your pet does is your responsibility. Therefore, when it comes to muzzle use, you should keep in mind that if you have a PPP, you should act responsibly and prevent your dog from attacking or biting and becoming a threat to both people and other animals.
Below, we present the dog breeds considered by law as dangerous animals, according to the Royal Decree 287/2002 of Spain, which contains the law on the ownership of these canines. Because of their temperament and level of aggression, they must wear a muzzle whenever they are in public or private spaces. As well as, all genetic crosses with the following breeds must be carried out.
2. American Staffordshire Terrier
3. Dogo Argentino
4. Akita Inu
5. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
7. Brazilian Row
8. Tosa Inu
Similarly, there are some breeds with morphological and anatomical characteristics, which do not belong to the dogs mentioned above or their crosses, but which must also use a muzzle on a mandatory basis in public areas.
In this respect, all dogs weighing 20 kg or more, with a chest width of up to 80 cm and a height at the withers of between 50 and 70 cm should be regarded as dangerous. These animals usually have strong musculature, a robust and athletic appearance, great endurance, agility and physical strength.
Within this group are dogs of great courage, tenacity, vigor and with a strong and aggressive character. They are canines that generally have short hair and a robust cuboid head, with a large and wide skull. Their jaws are powerful and they have puffy cheeks; likewise, they have a wide, deep mouth and a short, muscular and wide neck. They are also characterized by arched ribs, solid chest and muscular back.
With respect to the extremities of these canines, they have an aspect that denotes great musculature and are usually long and straight. Besides, they are dogs with great resistance to pain. Many of them have been involved in attacks on people or other dogs, in which case the veterinarian must issue a certificate indicating the degree of danger to the animal.
According to these characteristics and according to the experts in this field, the following dog breeds are included in the list of potentially dangerous dogs: Neapolitan Mastiff, Doberman, Dogue de Bordeaux, Bull terrier, Bullmastiff, Boxer, Tibetan Dogue, Presa canario (or Dogue canario).
Therefore, as a pet owner or proprietor, if you have any dog belonging to one of these breeds, you have the obligation to get the best muzzle, a comfortable and at the same time resistant model, in order to provide the maximum security possible when you go out to walk your pet.
You must also apply to the municipal authorities for a special tenancy licence, without which registration in the municipal census will not be possible. Also, remember that if your dog has been stolen or lost, you must notify the relevant authorities immediately.