Always eager to expose our dogs to new things, and desensitise them to novel situations, we were on the market for a muzzle. Having used Company of Animals products in the past, I was impressed with their ingenuity and ability to develop entirely fresh ideas on old problems. From what I could see, the Baskerville Ultra Dog Muzzle claimed to be no exception. As soon as it arrived, I got to work conditioning my test subject to the muzzle (aka. muzzle training).
A bit of background
Developed by Dr Roger Mugford, leading animal behaviourist, dog trainer and founder of The Company of Animals, the Baskerville Ultra Dog muzzle is reportedly the result of years of research, and decades of hands-on experience working with aggressive dogs. Mugford has worked with more than 50,000 pets, written three books, including his most recent, “The Perfect Dog”, and has developed a variety of products to aid pet owners in their training and rehabilitation, including the ever popular HALTI headcollar.
Mugford specialises in animal aggression, and has regularly spoken out against breed-specific legislation, urging that poor training, lack of control and mismanagement are the root cause behind “dangerous dogs”.
His products have been revolutionary in allowing owners to better manage their pets.
In a previous post, Why You Should Have a Muzzle For Your Dog (Even If It Doesn’t Bite), we explored the different situations in which using a muzzle would be invaluable, and occasionally even necessary (hint: it’s not always about aggression!). It appears that Dr Mugford has the same sentiment, as he believes “muzzles have done more to protect owners and their dogs than legislation”. In addition, he states that anyone who is unsure about how their dog will respond to a new or potentially stressful situation should think about employing the use of a muzzle.
The Company of Animals claims “The Baskerville Ultra is the ultimate dog muzzle! Every aspect of this basket muzzle’s design has been created with the intent to combine maximum safety and comfort for your dog.”
So, let’s see if the Baskerville Ultra Dog Muzzle lives up to its expectations.
Who is the Baskerville Ultra Dog Muzzle aimed at?
The Baskerville Ultra Dog Muzzle is aimed at all owners who wish to better manage their potentially dangerous, nervous or destructive dogs.
A muzzle is a great multipurpose tool that allows you to enjoy spending time with your best friend and involve him in countless experiences without having to put him, or others, in danger. A basket muzzle works well when you’re intending on muzzling your dog for longer periods, such as during car rides or daily walks. If you’re concerned about your pooch hoovering foreign objects at the park without you noticing or chewing up your car seats while you pop into the pharmacy. Muzzles are a literal lifesaver while you work on training, but still need to live in the real world.
And what about short term uses, or situations requiring more durability? We have picks for those too. Think of a basket muzzle as your one size fits all – it can serve many jobs really well, but if there’s a particular task you want the muzzle to suit, it’s worth taking a look at our original muzzle guide to check if there’s an even better fit.
Our experience with the Baskerville
The muzzle itself is made of high-quality thermoplastic rubber (TPR) which is durable and hard wearing, but also malleable and soft. This allows the muzzle to maintain its crucial basket shape, but still bend and give when necessary. In addition, the Baskerville muzzle was safe to use while swimming, as we didn’t have to worry about water logging or degradation.
The nylon arms are lined with neoprene, commonly used in wetsuits and laptop sleeves, which made wearing the muzzle more comfortable and prevented rubbing and fur loss.
There are three points at which you can ensure the security of the Baskerville muzzle on your dog’s face:
The first is the non-optional steel buckle that fastens behind the dog’s ears. The second is a loop that owners are meant to thread their dog’s collar through to help keep the muzzle in place. The third is an optional head strap that attaches to the top of the muzzle and passes between the dog’s eyes. We found this strap to be unnecessary, as the first two methods provide plenty of security, however, owners with flatter faced breeds may find it just that little bit more reassuring.
One of the biggest features that drew us to this muzzle was the generously sized front openings for the nose and bottom jaw. This was a crucial feature for two reasons:
First, it allowed the dog to enjoy being a dog with little interference from the big black device on his nose. He could still sniff, pant, bark, eat and drink without any trouble, making it easy to forget that it was even on in the first place.
Secondly, it made desensitising him to the muzzle super easy, as you could effortlessly pass treats through the large holes. This allowed us to classically condition him to having it on and create positive associations. In addition, the extra room prevented his mouth being restricted and highly sensitive nose getting repeatedly rubbed (which, of course, would have caused negative associations, contrary to what we’re wanting!).
While not deal breakers, there are a few potential flaws we found with the Baskerville Ultra Dog Muzzle.
One was that a handful of owners couldn’t fit their pets ordinary collar through the bottom loop. Our tester dog wears a narrow rolled leather collar which afforded us plenty of space, however, if your dog wears a particularly wide collar, you may need to make other arrangements. We measured the loop to be 2 inches/5 cm long, so keep this in mind.
The traditional buckle that fastens behind your dog’s ears can be a bit awkward, which may cause agitation in you and your pet while you fiddle and fumble. A quick snap would be more convenient but arguably less secure. This was not a deal breaker for us, as security and comfort were our number one priority.
We would have liked to see the inclusion of neoprene at any points of contact between the muzzle and the snout, as there is so little fur here, even on our long-haired test subject, that the skin is vulnerable to rubbing and sores. This isn’t a problem for the majority of users, as most wouldn’t have the muzzle on long enough to cause friction, but for those select situations where dogs are required to be muzzled for many hours of the day, you may want to add your own cushioning, or consider crating, to give your dog a break from the muzzle.
While we sing the praises of the Baskerville’s durability, it is certainly not invincible. The Baskerville Ultra Dog Muzzle should work for most dog owners, but if you need an exceptionally strong muzzle, we’d sooner recommend a wire basket muzzle instead.
Baskerville muzzle size guide
How to choose the correct size muzzle for your dog
What you need:
A soft tape measure OR a piece of string + a ruler/hard tape measure
- Find the length of your dog’s snout: measure from the tip of the nose to the start of the eyes (where it begins to slope upward, around 0.5 inches or 1cm below the eye itself)
- Find the circumference of your dog’s snout: measure from the base of the eyes as before, but go right around the snout this time (closed mouth)
Once you have these values, use them with the size guide below. Below we offer size suggestions for common breeds, which can be a useful starting point but keep in mind that not all dogs within a given breed have the same measurements.
The breed size guides are as follows (press ctrl+f if you’re using windows, or cmd+f for mac, and start typing your breed to help speed up the process):
Baskerville muzzle size 1
Bichon Frisé, Dachshund (Miniature), Dachshund (Standard), Jack Russell, Maltese, Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Poodle (Toy), Sheltie, Shiba Inu, Yorkshire Terrier
Baskerville muzzle size 2
American Cocker Spaniel, Basenji, Bedlington Terrier, Bichon Frisé, Border Terrier, Buhund, Cairn Terrier, Cavalier Spaniel, Fox Terrier, Jack Russell, Lakeland Terrier, Poodle (Miniature), Schnauzer (Miniature), Sheltie, Shiba Inu, West Highland White, Whippet.
Baskerville muzzle size 3
Australian Shepherd, Beagle, Bearded Collie, Border Collie, Brittany Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, Corgi, Keeshond, Poodle (Standard), Rough Collie, Saluki, Schnauzer, Scottish Terrier, Welsh Terrier.
Baskerville muzzle size 4
American Staffordshire, Australian Cattle Dog, Belgian Shepherd, Dalmatian, Elkhound, Flat Coated Retriever, Greyhound, Hungarian Vizsla, Irish Water Spaniel, Kerry Blue Terrier, Pharaoh Hound, Pit Bull, Pointers, Rough Collie, Samoyed, Siberian Husky, Soft Coated Wheaten, Springer Spaniel, Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Baskerville muzzle size 5
Afghan Hound, Airedale, Alaskan Malamute, American Staffordshire, Basset Hound, Bernese Mountain Dog, Borzoi, Boxer, Briard, Bull Terrier, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chow Chow, Dobermann, English Setter, Foxhound, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Gordon Setter, Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever, Lurcher, Maremma Sheepdog, Munsterlander, Old English Sheepdog.
Baskerville muzzle size 6
Bouvier, Bull Mastiff, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Japanese Akita, Mastiff, Newfoundland, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Rottweiler, Schnauzer Giant, St Bernard.
What about competition?
The Italian basket muzzle
- Quicker to put on. It only had one, quick snap, fastener.
In addition, the dog could pant and bark.
- We had to cut out holes in the front in order to pass treats through and relieve his big nose.
- It was significantly narrower, which made the experience less comfortable for the dog
- The hardware was plastic, which is easier to break. This was certainly a worry, as it was the only way of securing the muzzle
- Does not enable eating and drinking
The Baskerville Ultra Dog Muzzle
- Way more secure
- More comfortable
- Higher quality
- More durable
- More adjustable
- Allowed the dog to eat, drink, pant and bark
- It was slightly more expensive
- Slower to secure and adjust
If you’re only on the market for a muzzle for a one-off situation or perhaps something that only takes a few minutes, and would really prefer to spend as little as possible, an Italian basket muzzle should do the job fine. You may even consider a nylon muzzle instead, as they’re cheap, great for emergencies and can fit in small spaces (like a handbag or glove compartment) when you don’t need them.
Note: most nylon muzzles are highly unsuitable for use over 15 minutes or exercise in any capacity
A high-quality Wire basket muzzle would be a step up in terms of durability, but you’d also face a bigger price ticket.
Overall, we personally found the Baskerville Ultra to be the superior choice, as it fits most circumstances and its reasonable price meant significant security, accessibility and comfort for the dog.
Handy tips and safety notes we picked up using the Baskerville Ultra muzzle
- Mark the hole you’ll be using with paint or nail polish to speed up the process of securing the muzzle.
- While we didn’t use the head strap ourselves, we came across a number of people who claimed that extended use led to rubbing and sores on their dog’s face. It may be a good idea to leave it off if you think she’ll be wearing her muzzle for longer than half an hour.
- Consider adding neoprene to the inside of the muzzle at any points where it would rub against your dog’s nose, especially if you plan on muzzling her for more than half an hour.
- The Baskerville Ultra Dog Muzzle is not recommended for severely brachycephalic breeds such as the Boston Terrier, Bulldog, Lhasa Apso, Pekingese and Pug.
- While basket muzzles are better suited to longer term use than many other muzzle types, dogs should not be left unattended with their muzzle on.
The Baskerville Ultra Dog Muzzle is an excellent option if you’re in the market for a new basket muzzle, as we’ve found it to be remarkably high quality, cleverly constructed and well priced.
It was comfortable for the dog, a breeze to condition him to and inconspicuous on his dark face. He was able to eat, drink, pant and bark without any trouble, which meant it was safe to use during exercise and outdoor adventures. The three modes of securing were great reassurance that the muzzle would stay put and the choice of strong stainless steel hardware over plastic fasteners was icing on the cake.
For its price-tag, the Baskerville Ultra easily stands out from its competition. It’s less expensive than the standard wire basket muzzle and much more comfortable, durable and secure than plastic basket muzzles we’ve tried in the past.
I’d happily buy this muzzle again!
If you’d like to give it a try yourself, you can purchase the Baskerville Ultra Dog Muzzle here through Amazon. If you decide to buy, Canine Habit earns a small percentage of the sale as a commission at no extra cost to you.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored review. The Baskerville Ultra Dog Muzzle was purchased for personal use and tested and reviewed without any contact with the Dr Mugford or the Company of Animals. Any comments made and views expressed reflect only the opinions of the writer.
We hope you found this review clear, helpful and honest. Comment below or contact us if you have any questions or concerns.