Does a dog muzzle make a dog mean?
No. But you can expect that it might be a little frustrating if your dog has never worn a muzzle before.
Every once in a while we run into a person or two that thinks that a muzzle is cruel or makes their dog mean. We’ve gotten letters and emails from many dog people claiming to be professionals stating that the use of a muzzle is inhumane. In what way is it really inhumane? If your dog doesn’t know how to control it’s mouth in public than it might be a good idea to restrain it. We do the same thing with our leash. If your dog doesn’t know that he needs to listen and come back under given circumstances than he wears a leash. If your dog doesn’t understand that the house is not a his potty pad, than you will probably find some other kind of useful restraint like a kennel, crate, or designated area until he proves that he is reliable.
How is wearing a muzzle different from wearing a collar or leash?
In many cases when a dog becomes confrontational with their owner, the dog has learned that he needs to work a little to get what he wants. I like to say that the owner accidently trained their dog not to listen. In those cases you are going to see some kind of physical acknowledgment that there is something out of the ordinary that the dog may disagree with. The first time you put a leash on a dog that has never worn a leash before you are going to move from a level of not understanding leash pressure, to hopefully teaching your dog that pulling on the leash actually requires a specific response from your pooch. The first time your dog wears a sweater (oh, Chicago weather) they may contest. The first time you put a muzzle on your dog they may also contest. If your dog has been making a habit of responding in an aggressive way when working through difficult situations than you are likely to see the aggression. If the muzzle is new to your dog, or if the leash is new, or if the doggie sweater is new you will have to teach your dog how to work through that new stress.
Below is a video Nero doing a demonstration of drive and control.