Saturday, February 7, 2015

Product Review: Baskerville Ultra Muzzle

The Baskerville Ultra Muzzle is a basket-style muzzle by The Company of Animals, makers of the Halti head collar. It is made from flexible rubber, and is designed to allow the dog to eat, drink, pant, bark, and even play with certain kinds of toys. This muzzle comes in black and pastel blue, and is available in six sizes to fit almost any dog.
Photo by Erin Koski

Muzzles are pretty awesome, and I'm glad there are groups like the Muzzle Up Project dedicated to normalizing and encouraging their use. A lot of people see a dog in a muzzle and immediately assume that it is unsafe to be around that dog. The reality is that a muzzled dog is often much safer to be around than an unknown dog with nothing on its face. When I see a muzzle on a dog in public, I am delighted to see that someone is taking the responsibility to protect both their dog and the public.

Just because my dog doesn't routinely need to wear a muzzle right now, it doesn't mean that he won't need this skill at some point in the future. Like crate training, muzzle training is a proactive way to reduce stress in unforeseen situations. Someday I might need to prevent him from eating things off the ground. Someday we might need to evacuate in close quarters with many strangers. I already know that Brisbane needs to be muzzled for certain veterinary procedures. He might as well think this whole face cage thing is awesome.

To be fair, I do sometimes use a muzzle purely for the "yikes!" factor. When Brisbane is wearing his Baskerville Ultra Muzzle, people that would normally shout "It's okay, he's friendly!" suddenly gather up their off-leash out-of-control dog while apologizing.

Photo by Erin Koski
The Baskerville Ultra Muzzle is basically the best muzzle ever. The holes are wide enough that I can easily feed Brisbane lots and lots of treats. The adjustable strap has a zillion little holes and is super long so it will fit around tiny heads and giant heads. There is a loop on the bottom for attaching the muzzle to the dog's regular collar for extra security. The Baskerville Ultra Muzzle also comes with a removable top strap that runs between the dog's eyes, but ours was missing from the package.

The basket itself is somewhat flexible, but not enough to allow the dog to bite. It is very strong and mostly holds its shape. For a custom fit, it can be dunked in hot water, shaped, and then cooled off. Over at The Muzzle Up Project, I've seen some cute fleece and felt cozies made for the top for extra comfort.

Pros: Comfortable! Highly adjustable and very secure. Difficult to escape. Designed to be comfortable enough for extended wear. Easy to feed treats for training. Dogs can still toss and carry toys like ropes and stuffies. Did I mention comfortable?

Cons: A lot of dogs don't like the strap that goes between the eyes, fortunately that part is removable.

Bottom Line: Brisbane hates having stuff on his face, but is totally chill when wearing the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle. This is partly the result of training, and partly because this muzzle really is comfortable enough to not bother my special snowflake dog.

Is your dog trained to wear a muzzle?

1 comment:

  1. I've a Labrador cross breed, and I purchased the size 5 Baskerville ultra muzzle but it rides up over his eyes,then bought size 4 but he is unable to open his mouth and can't drink take treats or pant. I really need an inbetween size any ideas would be helpful thanks Lesley