This muzzle is the cream of the crop. With strong leather, quality design and biteproofness – the Ray Allen Agitation muzzle is a supremely well crafted muzzle for your dog.
The Ray Allen Muzzle is designed for agitation work, where the dog will strike a ‘decoy’ (a person in the padded get up) with their nose, and it’s important that a bite cannot happen. And, also, that the muzzle is appropriately strong, durable and comfortable for the dog so that they don’t injure themselves.
Whilst this is built for a sports muzzle, its also uniquely appropriate for a bite risk dog.
Because of the consideration and tried and true nature of this muzzle (because the sports world literally put this muzzle through bite tests regularly) it became a uniquely positioned muzzle for me to explore for our more bite risk dogs.
Because I, like you, don’t want to get bitten! So sometimes, I will actually give my training dogs homework before I even get there to muzzle train their dog – and this is one of the muzzles I now recommend for that.
But! Let’s get into it and see why.
What Do The Metrics Mean?
These are all things there important to consider in a well fitted muzzle. If you need a guide on how to accurately fit a muzzle for your dog? This is a wonderful guide!
Value – Not all muzzles are made equal, this metric is to describe how valuable these muzzles are vs others in their price point.
Bite-Proofness – Surprisingly, not all muzzles are biteproof! This is a way to show you how secure the muzzle is if your dog is a bite-risk.
Comfort – Whilst I can’t ask my testers (Aka Indie!) how comfortable it is, I can get an idea of how comfortable it is for him.
Robustness – is the muzzle able to take a hit? Is it brittle? Is your dog likely to chew through it?
Security – Can it be slipped easily? Is it secure? Or is it likely to fail you? High stars means it’s secure!
Weight – Is it heavy? Ideally we want it to be lightweight so that we can intrude upon our dogs in a minimal fashion.
Treat Delivery – It’s important as a part of training that we can deliver treats to our pups!
Mouth Movement – the ability to pant, drink and vomit is critical when looking at muzzles for safety reasons.
Airflow – the ability to breath is … not really an option is it? But some designs can be more restrictive than others.
I love the Ray Allen Agitation muzzle, it’s’ something that is kind of the ultimate level of protection. The leather is strong and resilient. Whilst the ventilation is a little less than I’d like, and the fit is a little tight, for Indie and dogs like Indie, this muzzle is a phenomenal choice if they’re a true bite risk.
Is Your Dog
If you’re looking for a
muzzle for your reactive
dog, this is just your first
step in your journey.
What Do I Love About The Ray Allen Agitation Muzzle
I’m astonised at how tough it is. Seriously, I was expecting because this is leather that it would get super mucky for regular every day use, or tear in places, or require huge amounts of upkeep. But, even on the brushed leather, the muck brushes right off with a suede brush, and it runs clear with water, and hasn’t collected a smell at all. Which I am really quite impressed with!
Other than it’s actual functionality, this muzzle is really attractive to me, and even better, if you want, you can customise it entirely for a little extra. So if you want it pink with purple spots? They can probably do that for you. It costs a little extra, but it will be seriously cool.
We opted for the Blue Line muzzle which is done in support of the police. I opted for this mainly for the aesthetics but also to consider our police K9’s who work so hard!
Ray Allen have been doing this for years and this muzzle shows it. There isn’t a catch, a ridge, a thing that might chafe on this muzzle anywhere. It’s been expertly made for wearability and strength, and it compromises neither.
My test for biteproof-ness is really simple. Can Indie pick up a chuck-it ball (a split one) in any way, shape or form, given time, patience and practice (whilst mediating his stress, of course). Often, this is a lot simpler than you’d think, the baskerville shuffles up his nose, he makes pig noises and can’t see, but he can get it, even basket muzzles, with time and patience he can normally feed it through.
This, theoretically, should show if he could potentially catch an ear, a paw, a piece of clothing or a finger if given very precise circumstances.
This is, so far, the only muzzle that is something I would say is truly biteproof. He finds it very difficult to do to the point that I’ve stopped testing and he’s not successfully picked up the ball. The only way to do that? Is if he can remove the muzzle entirely – and he’s get to slip out of it too.
Steel front bar
One of the things that a lot of ‘softer’ muzzles create issues with, is that they flex, and with this being a leather muzzle, it was liable to do similar – however, because this is an agitation muzzle it has this steel bar at the front giving it phenomenal rigidity and protection from the teeth!
The blue strapping on this muzzle (except the one that goes around the head) is where these steel bars can be found. They’re really robust, and crafted expertly.
What Is An Agitation Muzzle?
This is a slight variation on a typical muzzle, and it’s one that is typically used in bitesports (aka those sports or sessions where dogs are trained to attack), and it’s used to contain a dog and mitigate risk of an actual bite when one isn’t being practiced.
They are typically very reinforced at the front, so a muzzle “punch” can happen, but a bite cannot. They have very full coverage, and usually are strengthened, and strong enough to perform repeatedly.
What Don’t I Love About The Ray Allen Agitation Muzzle
It is limited in it’s audience
it has 7 sizes, which do have good variation, but it is well worth thoroughly measuring your dog to ensure that it is appropriate, and if you do get stuck or you’re unsure, contact their customer service! They’re wonderfully friendly.
It fits quite snug
It does not quite give the fit I would like to see for a long-use muzzle, primarily, i don’t believe it gives quite enough pant-room. Indie can totally chew a treat in it, so I know it’s not over restrictive, but I’m not sure if he could (comfortably) hold a standard sized tennis ball in there which would indicate sufficient pant room for long term use.
Treat delivery is tough
The structure, similar to other more biteproof muzzles, mean that because you can’t fit things in there to allow for a bite to occur, you can struggle to fit treats in there too. It is doable, but it does require patience from you and pup, and it means that the frustration of giving the reward undoes the actual reward for the action they just did well. Which does suck a little, but it’s a really common problem with the more biteproof muzzle options.
Because of the design, the thing it sacrifices to ensure biteproof-ness is airflow. This, to me, means that if I have a dog who is less fit, if the weather is humid, or hot generally, I’ll be less inclined to use this muzzle because of the fact that I think it will impede on my dogs ability to moderate their temperature, and result in an increased risk to heatstroke.
Do I Recommend It
For true bite risk dogs? Yes. This is a fantastic option. This will give unparalleled safety and security that you need to feel like you can contain a risky dog. Yes, it does make training and rewarding hard, but not impossible. It’s not perfect, but it is incredibly safe.
This may not be even your every day muzzle, but this is your safe and sound muzzle.
If you need some more help on this, by all means get in touch! I’m always happy to have quick gear discussions on email.
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Author, Ali Smith
Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.
Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!
Thanks to depositphotos.com for the images!