I think it’s fair to say that nobody likes to put a muzzle on their dog. But when my golden retriever Nino wouldn’t stop licking a recent wound after an injury, I had to look into getting one for him.
It wasn’t easy! I had to roam the internet for ages before I found a comfortable one. Not every muzzle is comfortable for every type of dog, and I suspect that some are not comfortable for any!
After looking and looking for hours, I wrapped my head around what a good muzzle should be like. In this article, I’ve decided to share my top 5 picks for golden retriever muzzles. You’ll find different ones for different needs—but they are all sure to be durable, size-appropriate, and most importantly comfortable!
The Top 5 Best Muzzles For Golden Retrievers
Here are the top 5 muzzles for golden retrievers that I’ll be sharing with you in this article;
How To Choose The Right Muzzle For Your Golden Retriever
Before I move on to discussing the specifics of these 5 muzzles, I want to take a closer look at choosing a muzzle. Finding a muzzle that fits your dog is a great start, but that’s not where it ends!
In making your decision for a new dog muzzle, you should pay special attention to materials, to the muzzle’d durability, to its adjustability and comfort. That’s why I’ve put together this little guide
Before we jump on to the best muzzles, there’s a couple of things you need to know about them that will inform your decision. Here’s how to choose the right muzzle for your dogs:
Types of muzzles
There are a few different types of muzzles out there. Chances are, the one that comes to find for you is the basket muzzle: a cage-like accessory that goes all around the dog’s snout. But nowadays, there are quite a few other options, including different materials, different fits, and different functions. Here are the main types of muzzles:
- These ones are typically made out of rigid rubber. They form a sort of cage around the dog’s mouth which prevents it from biting. Though they may not look comfortable, they are actually one of the best options for dogs because they let them breathe and pant completely freely and open their mouths at will. Depending on the type that you get, some might even be able to let your dog eat; though never bite anything.
- These look more comfortable than basket muzzles but be careful: they often end up causing chafing. Made up of fabric, usually, nylon combined with cotton or neoprene, these muzzles wrap around the snout and neck. For a better option, you may want to look into leather, which tends to cause less discomfort in the long-term. Generally, you’ll want to be careful with those as they can be easy to take off without an overhead strap.
- Let’s face it, these ones don’t do much. They will prevent your dog from opening their mouth wide, but will still let them do just about anything else, including eating, drinking and nipping with their front teeth. You can easily find them for quite cheap, though they are not always made out of the most durable materials.
Another thing to consider when getting a muzzle is the material that it is made of. All muzzles claim to be comfortable for dogs (after all, you’d never buy them otherwise, right?) but this is far from the truth. To choose a good muzzle for your dog, you need to have a good look at the materials used. Here are some of the most common ones:
If you can find a good quality leather dog muzzle within your budget, this can be a great choice. In general, leather tends to be very comfortable for dogs, doesn’t cause chafing, and is remarkably durable as well. While leather straps can be adjusted, however, this can be more time- consuming than adjusting a velcro or clip strap.
A lot of soft muzzles these days are made out of nylon. It’s hard to generalize, but let’s just say that nylon is rarely the most durable of materials. If you are looking for a soft muzzle, I recommend that you look for one in which the nylon is particularly strong, has double-stitching, or is reinforced with another durable material like neoprene.
A lot of basket muzzles are made out of rubber, which is pretty much ideal for them. Rubber is very durable and resistant. It’s not necessarily the most comfortable material for dogs, but the point of a basket muzzle is that the dog isn’t in direct contact with the rubber. Don’t be intimidated by the harsh look of this material; it’s actually pretty good at what it does.
Some soft muzzles are reinforced with cotton for extra comfort. This definitely prevents chafing in the short-term but isn’t necessarily a comfortable long-term solution. If your dog needs to be wearing a muzzle for long hours at a time, it may not be the best option.
I’m proud to say that all the muzzles that I’ve selected for this list are safe and durable. However, there’s also a lot of dog muzzles out there that won’t last you long. One of the main things to watch out for is how safe the muzzle is.
Let’s face it: dogs don’t love their muzzles. So if you’re getting one that’s easy to take off, get ready for your dog to try and destroy it.
The secret, then, is to look for a muzzle that is either very secure (like a basket muzzle), or can be attached to a collar or overhead strap (most soft muzzles on the list can). This will ensure that it can’t be taken off by your dog, and likely won’t be chewed off!
Not all muzzles are comfortable or even simply appropriate for all dogs. That’s part of the reason why I created this list: I know how difficult it can be to find a muzzle that’s suitable for a specific kind of dog. In general, it’s a lot easier to find a muzzle for dogs with long snouts, as opposed to muzzles that are appropriate for those with flat faces.
Finding a muzzle that’s appropriate for a golden retriever isn’t too hard: you mainly want to look for a seller that has a few size options. Generally, the muzzle manufacturer will provide a sizing guide which you can use to measure your dog and make sure that the muzzle will fit.
Let me start off by clearing one thing: muzzles shouldn’t be worn for extended periods of time regularly. They may be okay for a couple of hours out of the day when your dog is going out. They could even be okay to wear for days at a time in exceptional cases like an injury.
But don’t expect to keep a muzzle on your dog for most of the days, most days. That simply won’t do. Now that we’ve cleared that, let’s talk about what makes a muzzle comfortable.
The first thing that you want to look for is a muzzle that lets your dog breathe and pant normally. Luckily, all of the ones on this list do that. You also want to find a muzzle that won’t chafe. Basket muzzles are good at preventing chafing, and so are soft ones with extra padding.
The main thing to avoid is muzzles that cover up the whole snout. Not only can they make it difficult for dogs to breathe, but it can also make them overheat, especially in the summer months. Muzzles should be either unobtrusive like an occlusion muzzle, breathable like a basket muzzle, or have special air holes built-in like Barkless Leather Dog Muzzle.
The 5 Best Muzzles for golden retrievers
This is my top pick for the best muzzle for a golden retriever. My favorite thing about it is probably that it doesn’t look like a muzzle. With its subtle black straps and colorful lining, it is more of a fashion accessory for dogs. And it really delivers in terms of quality.
With secure, thick and durable clippable straps, it stays safely in place while being easy for you to put on and remove. The soft neoprene padding is perfect against chafing, making it one of the best options for soft golden retrievers muzzles.
- Adjustable: GoodBoy provides a measuring guide that lets you assess what fit is best for your dog. There are 4 sizes available (golden retrievers are generally an M or an L). The straps are also adjustable with velcro so that you can get the perfect fit.
- Comfortable: This muzzle has special neoprene padding which helps against chafing, making it comfortable even for extended wear.
- Subtle: This muzzle doesn’t look like a muzzle. It has subtle, understated black straps and is available with either pink or blue lining.
- Not Restrictive: Lets dogs breathe, pant and drink normally. secure: strong straps secure the muzzle safely into place.
Best For: playful dogs
Price Level: $$
- Lets dogs breathe, pant and drink prevents eating and biting
- 4 available sizes
- Doesn’t look like a typical muzzle
- Available in blue and pink easy to adjust
- A slightly higher price point than other contenders
I would put this muzzle right up at the top when it comes to strength. It’s a little more expensive than the others on the list, but well worth it if you need to get the job done.
Baskerville’s ultra muzzle is a classic that has had a long time to prove its merit. At first glance, it looks like a typical dog muzzle, and may even look somewhat uncomfortable.
But don’t be fooled, this is actually a light yet durable muzzle which your dog may easily forget they’re wearing.
It lets your dog breathe, pant and even drink or eat while preventing any form of biting. As such, it’s very well-adapted for dogs who need to wear a muzzle at all times.
- Comfortable: doesn’t restrict breathing or panting durable: very solid rubber material with solid straps
- Adjustable: comes in 6 sizes and can even be adjusted for an individual dog through heat shaping. secure: easy to adjust and can be combined with a dog collar for extra safety.
Best for: long-term wear and low budgets
Price Level: $
- Lets dogs breathe and pant freely, as well as eat and drink 6 available sizes
- Very affordable
- Very large and powerful retrievers might be able to break it
Here you’ll get a good well-priced muzzle that will do the job for most retrievers. As mentioned though, if you’re suffering a severe chewer, then you may need a stronger muzzle. See more via the button below.
This is another soft dog muzzle…that doesn’t really look like one! Made of a soft, nylon material with soft, cotton padding around the nose, it’s meant to be comfortable and unobtrusive.
I recommend it for a dog who only needs a minimal muzzle: this one will leave them free to breathe, pant, eat and even drink, but it may not prevent biting completely.
If this is your main concern, then I’d recommend that you check out another option on the list.
- Adjustable: This muzzle comes in 6 colors and has a neck strap that is easy to adjust. secure: durable straps and an optional head strap make it secure.
- Stylish: The muzzle comes in 3 colors: red, blue and black. It is minimal and will not necessarily be noticed at first sight.
- Comfortable: Cotton lining around the nose area prevents chafing.
Best for: Those looking for a minimalist muzzle
Price Level: $$
- Lets dogs breathe, pant, eat and drink available in 6 sizes
- Available in 3 colors
- Dogs may still be able to nip with their front teeth
This muzzle can be taken off by your dog when worn without the optional head strap, which is why it’s not recommended for wearing over long periods of time. This is because there’s a chance of your dog nipping with this mouth guard on. I would recommend that you only buy if your dog has reasonable behavior for the most part.
This is a stylish muzzle made of genuine leather. Light and breathable, it is also a surprisingly sturdy accessory that can last you for years. I like this one because it lets your dog pant and drink normally while keeping it cool with special holes.
This makes it ideal for dogs to wear in the summertime, or for long-term use. The only thing to be aware of is that dogs can generally nip with their front teeth, even when wearing it.
- Adjustable: This one was created especially with long-snout dogs in mind. It has adjustable leather straps on the neck and snout. Additional holes can be punched in for an optimal fit
- Secure: cannot easily be taken off by the dog, even when worn without a collar durable: made of genuine leather for extra durability
- Comfortable: well-thought-out for dogs with long snouts, it has holes for extra breathability, and doesn’t chafe or cover the eyes.
Best for: stylish dogs, dogs wearing a muzzle in the summertime.
Price Level: $$
- Stylish leather
- Lets dogs breathe, pant and drink adjustable straps
Easy to destroy when not worn by the dog
This is a breathable genuine leather muzzle. The dog can still nip with his front teeth while wearing it.
This is a very simple, yet effective soft nylon occlusion muzzle. It’s comfortable for dogs to wear and doesn’t hinder their movements much, but does prevent them from biting or eating.
It looks a little similar to number 3 on the list, but there are a few small differences that you’ll see in the bullets. I really like this one for its minimal look which doesn’t stand out as a muzzle.
- Adjustable: comes with a few adjustable loops for extra comfort simple design: minimalist, subtle look
- Comfortable: doesn’t restrict breathing or panting
Best for: low budgets and those looking for a subtle look
- Allows panting and breathing prevents chewing, biting, eating
- Nylon isn’t the most durable of materials
This is a soft comfortable nylon occlusion muzzle. It prevents a dog from biting and eating completely but does hinder movement a little.
FAQ: a few additional questions on dog muzzles
Q: How do I measure my dog for a muzzle?
A: Generally, you should measure the diameter of your dog’s neck, the diameter of their snout, and the length of their snout. With that information, you can refer to the manufacturer’s sizing guide to establish which muzzle will fit your dog well.
Q: How long can a dog wear a muzzle?
A: Typically, dogs shouldn’t wear a muzzle for more than an hour at a time. Of course, if the muzzle is worn because of injury, it can stay on for a bit longer. But if you are simply using it to train your dog, don’t forget to take it off after half an hour! read more on training your dog to use a muzzle here.
Q: Is it cruel to use a dog muzzle?
A: Using a dog muzzle is sometimes necessary. In some cases, it helps to protect your dog and those around it. In other cases, a muzzle is not required and using one to prevent a dog from barking or picking things up off the ground amounts to animal cruelty. My personal recommendation would be never to use a dog muzzle unless it’s absolutely unavoidable.
Deciding to put a muzzle on your golden retriever is never easy, but sometimes it’s simply necessary. Whether you need it for training, for safety or to help heal an injury, your first considerations should be the comfort of your dog.