I want to stress that Luke is not a scary, aggressive, nasty dog. He is a dog who gets frightened in some very specific situations and my job as his current "person" is to make him and everyone else feel safe and protected in those situations.
Luke desperately needs his nails trimmed and he finds nail trims very frightening. In fact one of the times in the past when he bit was when a man was cutting his nails. I am also working with him to help nail trimming be less scary but we don't have time to fully work through that. His nails need to be trimmed now. So we will be going to the vet later in the week and I want to be at the point where he won't associate the muzzle with a scary trip to the vet or a blood draw or a nail trim. Instead it will be something that he is very used to that will just happen to come with us on our trip.
For the past few weeks I've been working with him by just feeding him yummy treats from his muzzle. He sticks in his snout and chows down. This week we moved to the next step: actually strapping on the muzzle.
Well he thought that was so amazing that he followed me around and sniffed the muzzle a bunch after our practice session hoping for more hot dog to appear. We've been doing this two to three times a day so by the time our vet appointment rolls around on Thursday he will be able to wear the muzzle without any fear or discomfort. Wish us luck!
If you are interested in learning more about muzzle training be sure to check out this blog post: Muzzle Training for Everyone! There are at least 4 other posts about muzzle training that follow this one and it will walk you through the steps of teaching a dog to enjoy muzzling with how to videos included to show the process.