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Re: Trouble putting on her muzzle for racing

Posted by:  Rick Hemsing
Posted on:  October 09, 2002 at 19:02:05

In Reply to: Trouble putting on her muzzle for racing
Category:   Behavior Problems
Posted by:  Judy
Posted on:  October 09, 2002 at 16:40:04


: At our first JRTCA trial our puppy did fine with the muzzle and loves racing. At the last trial, she would not let us put the muzzle on. She starting biting and growling. We actually missed the first race. Eventually, we did get it on but it was an ordeal. Any suggestions on how to muzzle our JRT 11 month old puppy?
: Thank you.


Hi Judy -

Yes, this can be a problem with novice racing terriers (and some veterans!). You didn't say what kind of muzzle you are using (i.e., plastic, softie) so here are some pictures of the different kinds of muzzles used in terrier racing.

Here are some possible problems/solutions to your problem:

- you might be using a muzzle that your terrier just doesn't like (it might be too loose or too tight or rub her face in the wrong place). If you think this might be the case, switch to another kind of muzzle or use a muzzle that fits better. Borrow one from a friend.

- The muzzle may be fine but the terrier is not yet as excited about racing as it should (and therefore, it focuses on the muzzle instead). If so, try letting the terrier watch some races. Practice in your yard with a fake tail to build that excitement level. After awhile, you won't need to do this.

- Your terrier might just be a handful. Get someone to help you put the muzzle on before the race. I know a lot of veteran racing terriers who still don't like their muzzles. Ask for advice from fellow racers (make sure you don't wait until you are in front of the starting box to do so). Racers are a competitive lot but are usually very good about helping fellow racers with muzzles and advice.

- Some terriers just don't make good racing dogs (for whatever reason). Some get too excited, some don't care about racing at all. If yours is too excited, try putting the muzzle on away from the track. Face your terrier away from the track. The sight of the tail drives some terriers into a frenzy. Maybe try practicing at home with the muzzle without distractions.

Don't give up! Patience is key!

Thanks and good luck.

Additional Reading: Racing Event