I have neglected to post about my decision to start muzzling Probert when he is with "the pack" because so many people react so negatively to it, but I'm ready so here it is. I have posted a few photos of Probert in his "hat" (we don't use the "m" word) on my personal Facebook page and have gotten some very mixed reactions. I understand that it is sometimes difficult to see a dog in a muzzle because it makes them "look mean" or for any other reason. For the first month after I bought Probert's muzzle, I couldn't even put it on him for any amount of time, but I finally dove in and now I am very used to seeing it on him and know that underneath, he is still my sweet little guy.
Probert has a history of redirecting in stressful situations (in the yard, something outside the fence usually) and biting Wrigley. He has done Wrigley some serious damage and in the interest of preventing that from happening (on the occasion when it does happen) and also in not isolating Probert from the pack, I bought him a muzzle. Since buying it several months ago, there have been two incidents when it has prevented him from doing any damage when attempting to bite Wrigley and the rest of the time, it allows him to interact with the pack like a normal dog and without my worrying about what "could" happen - so it's doing its job.
So, despite the "scary" exterior appearance of the muzzle, I have to say that it's one of the better decisions I have made for the health and happiness of all of my dogs. In the interest of looking a little less "scary" (and preventing further wall-gouging and painful leg-bashing from the heavy metal one) I just ordered Probert a new JAFCO clear flexi vinyl muzzle, so we'll see how that one works when it gets here. If anyone is interested, I will be happy to report back! In the meantime, please don't be too quick to judge a dog (or his person) by his hat!