Greyhounds and muzzles go together like bread and butter. While some owners shy away from using a muzzle, they are a great tool to ensure your hound stays safe during times of play, exploring new surroundings and meeting new friends. It is also important to note that NSW legislation requires the muzzling of Greyhounds in certain situations.
So, what is a muzzle and why do you need one?
What is a Muzzle
A muzzle is a lightweight metal or plastic frame that fits over a Greyhound’s nose and mouth. It prevents a Greyhound from being able to bite or nip while wearing it. Your hound is still able to breathe freely, eat small treats and drink water while a muzzle is being worn. Greyhounds start wearing a muzzle from a young age, so are comfortable having a muzzle put one and removed. They are also comfortable to play, run and walk while wearing a muzzle.
When You Should Use a Muzzle
There are a number of situations when muzzling your Greyhound can be useful. These include:
- In off-leash dog parks (this is mandatory by NSW law unless a Greenhound)
- When meeting new dogs of any breed
- When being introduced to new family members such as children and other family pets
- In new areas your Greyhound hasn’t been before or when adjusting to their new life as a pet
- When playing with other hounds – Greyhounds can nip during play
A muzzle is a great tool to have on hand while getting used to your Greyhound. As all hounds are different, using a muzzle will help to ensure your hound stays safe while getting to learn about their new surroundings and while you get to learn more about your hound.
Muzzling Laws in NSW
As of July 2019, Greyhounds that are life-time registered are not required to wear a muzzle with the exception of off-leash areas, in which case a Greyhound is required to wear a muzzle at all times regardless of if the Greyhound is on or off leash.
Please note, that until the change of ownership has occurred and you have lifetime registered your Greyhound on the NSW Pet Registry your Greyhound legally MUST be muzzled at all times when in public. Continue to use a muzzle until you know your Greyhound is comfortable and capable of being well-mannered around all other dogs. Check local legislation if you are not in NSW.
It is important that all new adopters and foster carers are aware of the muzzling laws within NSW as fines will apply regardless of the ownership status of the Greyhound you are walking.
What If Your Greyhound is a Greenhound?
A Greenhound is a pet or retired racing Greyhound who has successfully completed an approved Greyhound re-training program and passed a required assessment to gain a muzzle exemption. A hound that has qualified as a Greenhound must wear a special green collar and tag that is easily recognisable. Alternatively, an owner must carry a “proof of completion” card to signify your Greyhound is exempt from muzzling rules.
Fines apply for an un-muzzled Greyhound in an off-leash area if the hound has not completed an approved retraining program or the dog is not wearing a green collar or the owner is not carrying a ‘proof of completion’ card.
Speak to the team at Greyhound Rescue
Muzzling rules and regulations can be a bit tricky to remember at first, so make sure you check in with the Greyhound Rescue team. They will be able to answer any questions you have on muzzling laws to ensure you and your hound have a smooth transition into pet life.