“My dog hates wearing clothes”, “She just freezes when I put a jumpsuit on!”, “He looks so unhappy with this jacket…” – sounds familiar?
If so, this article is for you.
I’ll be honest – this has never been a big issue for me. At first Harvey was happy with his clothes but as it got colder we ordered an overall which was something similar to parka – big, fluffy & warm.
Harvey wasn’t excited about that at all - he almost didn't move in it. I knew the size is perfect and that it doesn’t hurt. The problem was - he wasn’t used to be covered fully. It took me a few days to make Harvey to get over it. All was super smooth from then on.
Why to tell this story? I hear so many people saying that it actually is a big issue for them & their iggies. Let’s dive into 5 points that will help your dog to overcome the fear or inconvenience in wearing clothes.
#1. Start with a puppy
…Or as early as possible. Wearing clothes is simply a habit that is easily learnt. Imagine if you start teaching your iggy not to jump on people when he’s 3 months old – it’s quite quick & easy. But it gets more difficult when he’s 3 years old, doesn’t it? Same with clothes, even if it’s warm outside when he’s still a puppy, put bandanas, snoods, summer shirts for him to get used to feel fabrics touching their bodies.
#2. Dress up for a few minutes & give treats
First time you put any clothing on, do that for very short periods: put a vest or jacket on, give a treat, praise, take it off in a minute. Then increase the time wearing it based on how your dog reacts to it. If he feels pretty comfortable, leave it on for 5 – 10 minutes, if he looks lost, scared or freezes, give more treats, praise, start playing with doggo, take vest off.
Your goal is to prove your dog that it’s fun to wear clothes and fun things can happen when human shows a coat!
#3. Take it slow
Depending on age and dog’s personality, this process might take from a day to a few weeks but your doggo will be way happier if he has time to get used to wearing clothes rather than have a jumpsuit put on and kept it for a full day.
Be very patient. Again, act as it was any trick you’d teach your iggy. Don’t rush and let him take his time. Every doggo learns in their own pace.
#4. Consider sleeveless pieces first
Easy to dress, loose fit, soft and sleeveless clothing are best to start with. Long sleeved pieces cover the body more which might cause too much stress. See #3 and remember – one step at a time :)
#5. Make sure the size fits
This is crucial – pay extra attention choosing correct size when purchasing or making clothing for your dog by yourself. Too tight pieces can literally hurt: scratch armpits, strangle neck, you name it… Not even mentioning that while wearing too small clothes, dog feels stress and pain and there’s a high change that from then on clothes will associate with negative experience.
Hope this article inspired you not to give up and use positive reinforcement (treats will save the world and dog-human relationships!). Every dog deserves to be happy, cozy and... WARM!