Dee from Applause Your Paws Dog Training demonstrates how to desensitize your dog to a muzzle by using a hand-feeding ritual with your dog on a daily basis for a week. The objective is to have your dog work for its food instead of feeding him from a bowl. In other words, you will reward him his daily food if he does what he's told. First, fill the bowl with however much you feed the dog in one day. The first 3 days will be used to get the dog accustomed to eating the food from your hand. If he refuses, you will wait until the next feeding time. Each of the three days, the sessions will consist of you hand-feeding him his meal for obeying your commands. After 3 days of him getting used to the hand-feeding, you can begin introducing the muzzle to the dog. Start by just placing the muzzle on his face without buckling it. Immediately remove it and offer him a kibble. Repeat process until you have given him his meal's worth. The process will allow him to associate the muzzle with his food so that it is no longer a negative object to him. At day 4 or 5, you will clip the muzzle on his face, keeping it on for a few seconds and then removing it. Offer him a kibble and repeat process until meal is hand-fed. At day 7, the dog should be accustomed to the muzzle and you can proceed with other types of behavioral training.
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