Tips For Getting Your Dog To Get Used To Wearing Clothes

We understand that getting your dog to wear clothes can be challenging. You start chasing your dog all over the house, and just when you finally got him to wear that sweater, it takes him three to four seconds to take it off his body.

For some dogs, wearing clothes is not a big deal, and they manage it really well, but other dogs need motivation and training to get them to wear anything. During this season, as dog owners, we want to protect them and keep their bodies warm enough to handle the cold weather, so it is essential to get your dog used to wearing clothes during the winter.

In our other blog posts, we mentioned the best dog winter jackets for cold weather and the top 10 dog boots for winter. Now, we feel it is time to tell you some tips for getting your dog used to wearing clothes not just in this season but whenever you think your pal must wear a garment.

Let’s first start talking about three points that are going to be helpful in the process of getting your dog to get used to wearing clothes.

  • Start as early as possible.

If you just got your puppy or own a young dog, it will be really easy to get him used to wearing clothes. The earlier we get our pups to do or don’t do something, the easier that is for them to become a habit and not a challenge or punishment, as Mikkel Becker from Vetstreet mentions.

  • Make sure you got the right size for your dog.

Most dog clothes brands like Gentle Paw, have a size chart where you can base to get the appropriate size for your pal. It is important to correctly measure your dog's back length and chest area to buy the correct size; otherwise, your dog might feel anxious and stressed while wearing small clothes and associate clothes with a negative experience.

  • Keep clothes simple.

In our last blog article, we mentioned the breeds that need protection from cold weather, and we have learned some breeds don’t need to wear a jacket. However, for the ones that need to, we also need to understand that the natural characteristics of a dog, make him don´t need to wear clothes daily. To make this experience easier, you need to keep your dog's clothes simple and buy something like the Gentle Paw over-the-head Hilo Dog Raincoat will ease things for you and him and slowly get him used to wearing something more elaborate.

Now that we have those first points and assuming you have checked that you have the right size and the right clothes for your dog, let us tell you what to do to get your dog used to wearing clothes.

  1. Treats are your best allies. 

According to preventivevet, treats work well most of the time as a reward that a dog is willing to work for. The key here is to know how to use them, as sometimes treats could be seen as a bribe, not as a reward. Put the treat on your fingertips and close your fingers over it, then put that hand near your dog’s nose and make him follow it to the garment. After you have gotten him to see the garment, the next step should be to introduce the clothing.

  1. Introduce the clothing.

Now that you have gotten your dog's attention is time to introduce the clothing and what it is for. 

Keep the treat on your fingertips and slowly pick up the garment you want your dog to wear. You can mention the name of the garment (sweater, jacket or boots) so that your dog starts to associate that name in later trainings; remember to keep your voice tone happy and sweet, as the point is to make him familiarize himself the clothes with something that is going to be good for him. Now, you can release the treat for him but try to keep his attention on the clothing.

  1. The training.

Here is where it can start to get challenging, but we assure you that you will get your pal to pass this training successfully. 

Take another treat and keep it on your fingertips, just as we previously mentioned. Show him the treat and place your hand through the clothes’ head hole so you can lure him to slide his head through it, and get the treat as you move your hand back. You got it! He got his head in, now is time for the reward, and while you let him enjoy the treat, secure the jacket's straps under your dog’s chest, buckle them on the slides or simply fix the clothes properly. Whenever you are done, don’t forget to congratulate your dog and show him some love.

  1. Make it fun, not stressful (training sessions).

A lot of times, we forget they are not used to doing the things that we do. We spend the day wearing clothes, which is normal for us, but this is different for our pups. 

Now that you know how to lure your dog and train him, let’s talk about the training session and length of time. The spruce pets mention setting aside some time on specific days to work on your dog’s training. Also, keep in mind that training sessions should be short in length and not last more than 15 minutes, as dogs get easily distracted, bored, and can get stressed during the activity.

  1. Take it slow, patience is the key.

Training a dog to do something new is complicated, and even when sometimes it might seem that he got it right away, this is something that if you don’t do with him regularly, he will easily forget or lose the practice. On the other hand, there are times when it seems that you will never get your pal to do it, don’t forget that practice and patience are the key, and with time your dog will get used to it and even enjoy wearing his jacket; because he will know it will protect him from cold or other weather conditions.

There are different types of training, and it is important to know what training is best for your dog and the activity or behaviour you are trying to teach him. 

If you need more help and tips for getting your dog to get used to wearing clothes, we recommend watching the Teaching Your Dog To Wear A Sweater YouTube video from Dog Training Nation; you can watch how to introduce a garment to your dog and train him with treats to start wearing clothes.

We are sure that after you read and follow these tips for getting your dog to get used to wearing clothes, your dog will be happy to wear whatever garment you think will be appropriate for him. Also, if you need some good treat ideas for your pup, check out our 10 DIY Homemade Dog Treats Ideas they are de-li-cious!

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