When we decided to move to Europe, we knew we would need a muzzle for our Standard Poodle James. We had been to Europe before and seen dogs on the streets with muzzles attached to their leashes or collars. None of the dogs were wearing their muzzles, but they did always have them. We wanted to make sure we followed the proper laws and rules.
We first went to Petco and PetSmart to see what muzzles they had in stock. None of these muzzles quite fit James. Poodles have long skinny noses and all of the basket style muzzles were for thicker and shorter muzzles. Then the cloth muzzles fit, but they were a little too restricting for long term wear. We weren’t sure if we might be on a two hour train ride that required James to wear a muzzle the entire time.
I went online to do some research and one of the Poodle forum posts recommended a muzzle from Leerburg. They had bought the wire basket muzzle in size H.
I went online to check out the Leerburg website and their many muzzle options. I decided to go with the wire basket muzzle, too. I liked that it was the best for your dog in terms of breathing. Leerburg has lots of great videos – one of them being how to measure your dog for the best muzzle and the other being for how to get your dog used to wearing the muzzle. I measured James and his size for the muzzle was a G.
The wire basket muzzle arrived and WOW. It was huge! And heavy! And heavy-duty! If you need a serious muzzle, this is it. The muzzle fit James. That was good. But it was just so heavy and hard core. I knew James wouldn’t love wearing a muzzle but this was a little too much. I also wanted a muzzle I could attach to his collar or leash when it wasn’t being worn and this muzzle practically needs its own purse! I can see where this would work for many different dogs but even with James being what I call a â€œlinebacker Poodleâ€ (meaning, he is a heavyweight Poodle. Not fat, but strong. He isn’t a ballerina Poodle!) this was just too heavy duty. I will say, if you have a dog that could possibly be aggressive, this is the muzzle you want.
James with the heavy duty wire basket muzzle:
Thankfully, the team at Leerburg was there to help me. I called and explained what I needed and what I had already ordered. The associate talked me through measuring James while on the phone and we talked about a few other options. I ended up ordering a few more muzzles to try: the Jafco plastic muzzle, the Baskerville muzzle and the Synthetic muzzle. Leerburg also has a leather muzzle that I didn’t try – the wire basket muzzle had a lot of leather and I was thinking that it might be too heavy duty.
When the new muzzles arrived we had a clear winner: The Jafco plastic muzzle. And the best part? It has color options and one of the colors is white. So a big mean muzzle wouldn’t look quite so bad on our cream poodle. And it was very lightweight – we knew we would be able to clip this muzzle onto J’s collar or leash. The only downside is you probably don’t want your dog wearing this muzzle all day long. It has plenty of holes for breathing but it could possibly limit heavy breathing. Since James usually wears his muzzle for short periods of time (on buses, street cars, the Metro, etc.) we knew this would be okay.
James with his muzzle in Vienna, Austria, where dogs are required to wear muzzles while on buses, trams (street cars), trains and the underground Metro:
In our travels we have noticed that Vienna, Austria is where the muzzle rules are usually enforced. We always put J’s muzzle on when we get on public transportation. But we also noticed a lot of other dogs don’t wear muzzles. Some do. But not all. Then when we arrived in Italy we put J’s muzzle on to get on a street car. Right away a woman asked “why is he wearing a muzzle???” and then we started to notice people were looking at us oddly when James did wear his muzzle. None of the dogs we saw in Italy were wearing muzzles on public transportation. And in all of our travels in Italy I only saw ONE other dog with a muzzle attached to its leash (it wasn’t wearing the muzzle). We will update you as we visit other countries in Europe.