Dressing up your furry friend can be both fun and practical, especially if you live somewhere with a colder climate and your pup could use a bit of warmth and comfort. However, you have to understand that your dog may not take to wearing clothes as quickly as you hope. Getting them to wear a jacket, coat or sweater takes quite a bit of time and effort. Of course, there are pups that don’t mind it at all, but many will balk at the sight of clothes and keep trying to wriggle out.
If you live in a cold and chilly environment, it’s a good idea to have your dog adjust to wearing coats and sweaters. Each dog is unique; some will stand still as you pull their sweater over their head, others will keep wiggling out, and most will just run and hide. You may even find that your pup whines or growls while you’re trying to put a coat on!
Fortunately, it’s possible to help your dog make peace with the idea of wearing clothes. Here are five steps to help train your dog:
1. Start With Something Easy
Start with dog clothes that can be easily put on and taken off. Dogs aren’t used to wearing clothes and need to get used to the new feeling. Look for simpler pieces of clothing that can be fastened around the dog’s belly or chest. Steer clear of clothing that pulls over their limbs, since some breeds will find this uncomfortable and frightening.
2. Allow Your Pup a Sniff
Let your pet smell the coat or sweater first. Wearing clothes for the first time may be a bit intimidating for them, especially if they feel forced into it. Put the coat down and let your dog touch and smell it. Once they’ve gotten comfortable with the garment, gently place it on their back as a soft introduction. Eventually, they will get used to the feeling of the fabric and the idea that they will be wearing clothes, reducing the chances of them panicking the next time you put a coat over their head.
3. Condition Them to Associate Clothes With Treats
Is there anything that isn’t made better with treats? Conditioning your pup to associate clothes with treats is a great way to get them excited about sweater time. Make sure you have some of their favourite treats on hand when you pull out their coat. Reward them with treats and praise them if they manage to stand still throughout the whole ordeal. If you notice that they start feeling uneasy or anxious, stop and start all over again. This will help prevent them from associating getting dressed with bad memories.
4. Start Them Young
It’s wise to get your dog used to the idea of wearing clothes as soon as possible. If your pup is still young, you’re at an advantage. Younger dogs have better memory and often find it easier to adjust to new things compared with older ones. While you can teach an old dog new tricks, it’s a lot easier to start them young!
5. Let Them Play!
Give your dog some toys to play with once they’ve got a coat on. You can also let them play with the toy while they are wearing a sweater. This is a great way to distract them from having a new item on their body and will help them associate wearing coats with play and having fun.
Remember—getting your furry friend used to the idea of wearing a coat or sweater is something that needs patience. Consider their needs and make sure that your choice of clothing will only make them feel comfortable. Additionally, never force your dog to wear their coat for an extended period—unless necessary—especially if they are unwilling.
There you have it, 5 Steps For Training Your Dog To Wear Clothes. If you have some further suggestions or ideas, let us know in the comments below!
KEEP IN TOUCH!