There are many reasons you may need to put clothes on your dog. You might want to:
- protect him from bad weather
- stop him from licking an incision after surgery, or scratching due to skin problems,
- reduce fur from getting everywhere during the shedding period or when visiting relatives or friends,
- or for memorable purposes such as for Barkday Day party and twinning for a photoshoot.
Here are three simple and easy steps to get your dog comfortable in that chic outfit you have for him!
#1 Avoid clothes that cover your dog’s head, paws, and legs
Start small! Begin by fitting your dog with relaxing and casual clothes, such as a simple sleeveless shirt, as opposed to a more complicated outfit, like a onesie or pants. Some dogs may not like having something over their heads, their legs or paws, so, choose a comfortable and simple outfit to introduce the concept of clothes to your dog. You do not want your dog to feel stressed from the get-go. Do not feel discouraged on your first attempt, especially if you didn’t start early.
#2 Let your dog sniff the clothes before putting on
Let your dog examine and smell it first. Praise your dog for showing interest in the clothes and give him/her a yummy treat for doing so! Through rewarding, you will begin to create a positive association with the clothing. If your dog is toy-driven, do it with his/her favourite toy instead.
Do it step-by-step. Start by taking the clothing and gently touch the sides of your dog’s body with it. Reward him/her with treats and praise. Then, try draping the clothing over his/her back. If your dog is willing to stand still while you do this, you can slowly proceed to fastening the clothing in place while continuing to offer praise and treats. After you have succeeded, give them a toy to play or a yummy treat while wearing the clothes.
However, if you notice that your dog is getting stressed or uncomfortable, take a break and try again later. This will keep the dog from having a bad association with getting dressed. It is just like training them to sit, stay, and eat, it takes time. So, be patient and have fun with it!
#3 Gradually increase the duration of your dog in the clothes by five minutes a day
In the following days or weeks, slowly increase the duration (if your dog tolerates it) until he/she has successfully worn it for at least two hours. With this, your dog should not have any issues with wearing clothes throughout the day!
Taking things one step at a time at the comfortable pace of your dog (and with plenty of rewards) will make this fitting experience a positive one! Besides helping to strengthen your bond with your dog, it also builds his/her confidence and gets him/her used to new things and environments! Do share this article with friends who may have issues with their dogs trying new stuffs.