Tips for Teaching Your Dog to Wear Clothes 

By: Nelson Ansah

Dressing up your dog is as fashionable as it is functional. Doggy dress-ups are especially important if you live in an environment with a shifty climate and love going out with your dog.  

As much as you’d love to go on a walk, you’d have to consider how the weather affects your dog. Maybe it’s too cold out, or it’s raining. These conditions are not ideal for your dog, but luckily, there are lots of dog clothes out there you can turn to. 

The only problem is that your dog may not like wearing clothing very much. In fact, most dogs don’t like it. They’d rather run and hide than be forced into extra sets of covers.  

Fortunately, you can teach your dog to like wearing clothes. In this article, we’ll reveal practical techniques to help accustom your dog to wearing clothes and provide tips on choosing the right outfit for your dog. Let’s get to it. 

Start Early  

It’s always easier to get your dog to do something they’ve done before. This means that you’ll have to teach your dog to wear clothes at an early age. 

The ideal time to introduce your dog to dog clothing is during the socialization period. This is usually between 7 to 14 weeks of its birth. At this point, your dog knows next to nothing and is simply learning how to live. If you get it right, your dog may grow to love dog clothing.  

This doesn’t mean you can’t train your adult dog to wear clothes. There are techniques to get your adult dog to love wearing clothes, which you’ll learn next.

Use a Milestone Strategy 

Your dog may not like wearing clothing all at once, especially if it’s an adult dog. It just isn’t used to wearing clothes. However, there’s a workaround to change this.  

  • Your first step here is to pick out your preferred clothing for your dog. Allow the dog to look at the clothing, and then give your dog a treat just for the look. 
  • Once your dog is familiar with the clothing, drape it over your back. If it can stand for a while with the clothing draped over it, give your dog a treat.  
  • Your next move will be to strap the clothing around your dog. You’ll have to be gentle or else you’ll end up freaking your dog out. Once you’re done, treat your dog again for going through the whole process.  

Remember that your dog won’t like wearing clothes the first time. It’s a whole process, and you’ll have to be patient if you want to take that walk with your dog.  

Also, don’t jump in all at once. Put the clothing around your dog for short intervals at first. It’s advisable to give them 10 to 15 seconds in the clothing over different training sessions. You’ll have to treat your dog after each session as a reward. 

Choosing the Right Outfit for Your Dog 

Don’t expect your dog to like every outfit you pick out for it. For instance, your dog may not like antlers, even if you’re aiming for a Christmas look. It’s important to note that choosing the right clothing for your dog goes beyond mere fashion statements. 

Here’s how to pick the right clothes for your dog: 

Easy On, Easy Off 

Ensure that the clothing you pick out is easy to put on and even easier to take off. One way to get this right is to have your dog’s measurements. You don’t want your dog to feel constrained because of its clothes. 

It’s a good idea to avoid clothing that covers your dog’s legs and face. Having to pull the clothing over your dog’s head should be a deal-breaker too. Ultimately, you should be looking at clothing that fastens at the belly and leaves space for the face and feet.  

Consider the Materials  

Picking the right clothing material is pivotal to your dog’s learning to wear clothes. Fabrics that are too heavy tend to be too warm for dogs, while lightweight fabrics tend to give more freedom and leave room for air. 

However, lightweight fabric like cotton may easily get wet in the cold and that’s just bad for your dog. Choose the clothing with the temperature in mind, so your dog doesn’t have a hard time outside.  

Check Reviews 

By reading some online reviews, you can find the best clothing options for your dog. These reviews usually reveal what clothing works for what dog breed, so you know what to go with.  

If you happen to go to a brick and mortar pet store, you can always ask the person in charge for some clothing recommendations too. 

When to Give Up 

Your dog’s comfort should be a priority here. You know your dog best, so you’ll have to be subjective about this one.  

If you think your dog doesn’t like the clothes, take them off. The aim is to get your dog comfortable with wearing dog clothing, but if it’s not working, then it’s not working.  

However, there are several clothing ideas you can try out without completely dressing your dog up. You can try a scarf on its collar, a bandana, or even a bow. It’s all up to you. 

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