Using Greyhounds As An Example

by Kathi Lacasse
Proper muzzle fit allows your dog the best opportunity to perform at his peak. Too loose, and it's going to annoy him and possibly block his view. Too tight, and he won't be able to breath. The following, although based on a Greyhound, should help. Just modify based on size: a little less for a Whippet or a little more for a Borzoi or Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Photos Illustrating a Complete Fit on a 63lb Bitch:

1. When pulled forward by the nose piece, the muzzle will not pull over the nose.

2. When lifted up, the dog's nose does not hit the end.

3. Two fingers fit easily under the dog's jaw.

4. When resting naturally, the dog's nose is visible, but not up against the muzzle.

Please keep in mind the width. It needs to be wide enough for the dog to open its mouth comfortably. If the muzzle seems too narrow, try soaking in hot water and then stuffing it with newspaper until the plastic cools.
5. If the dog is still able to get the muzzle off when it appears  "properly" fitted, try adding a throat-latch made from some medical/cloth tape.  This won't restrict the dog's breathing, but will make the muzzle a little bit more secure.

It’s a very good idea to wrap the nose piece of the muzzle with electrical tape (preferably white), this helps to protect the plastic from breaking and therefor prevent the dog from getting cut up. If using the plastic basket style, taping the edges along the nose piece (both ends) as well as the portion that rests on the dog's muzzle (again both ends) and along the cheek area with a medical tape (like elastoplast or elastikon) is a good idea to avoid possible cuts when the dog goes in on the lure at the end.
6. Another example of the two finger rule on a 77lb dog.

You may feel the muzzle is too loose and will interfere with your dogs vision, but remember when their mouth is open, it will take up this extra space. At the same time, a muzzle that's fit too long and loose will  allow the muzzle to be jammed into the dogs eyes at the end of the race when they "go in for the kill."

A lot of process just involves getting a feel for what is right based on your results and the condition of your dog after the race. Bad results aren't always the fault of the muzzle itself, but the way in which the muzzle was fit (or not fit!) on the dog!!!
7. Five different brands of muzzles that are worn by bitches weighing 53-65lbs.
(top left) Old Lupo muzzle: Fits a narrow nose
(top right) "China" muzzle: Soft plastic fits higher up on dog's jaw
(bottom left) Old Colorado muzzle: Fits a short wide nose
(bottom center) Old Halemar: Fits a long narrow nose
(bottom right) New Halemar: Most universally fitting muzzle

8. Just a cute shot of Morgan Whippet (10 years old) hanging out in the Greyhound kennel with friend De Amanda.

A big thank you goes out to Kathi for taking the time to put this article together as well as supply photos as reference.

We do not endorse the below listed items/companies, they are being provided only as sources of the supplies mentioned.

Halemar has a website which is located at: or phone: 1-800-955-9656 and they have available a Whippet sized muzzle.

The NGA sells the Colorado muzzles, they are a very tuff, durable muzzle and available in many sizes:

Horsemen's Tack in Salem, NH also sells a very inexpensive racing muzzle. They can be reached by phone: 603-894-5744.

Both Horsemen's and NGA sell a variety of plastic basket muzzles and replacement straps.

RoundAbout Racing Supplies carries an assortment of muzzles including the plastic and wire styles. They can be found on the internet at:

Swiftsure Designs also is a supplier of plastic and wire muzzles:

Note from Gregg Gammie:
Another technique I have found works well, with dogs which remove their muzzles, is to loop the muzzles ear strap through the dogs collar. This way the collar must also be moved forward enough to get the muzzle over the dogs muzzle or removed entirely. The collar must be fitted so that it rides close behind the dogs ears.