Find out how to Prepare Your Canine to Put on a Coat or Sweater


Coats and sweaters could also be vital for chilly weather–but your canine will not robotically like them. This is easy methods to train your canine to put on a coat.

A grey, white and black dog wears a yellow raincoat and looks happy with mountains in the background on a wet day
Photograph: Enna8982/Shutterstock

By Zazie Todd PhD

What’s your favorite factor about winter along with your pets?

A storm final Friday blew many of the leaves off the deciduous timber suddenly. It felt like a sudden change to the season. Now the temperatures are colder, though there’s no signal of any snow within the forecast but. There’s a robust El Niño this season and usually right here on the west coast of BC meaning hotter temperatures and extra precipitation over the winter. 

After we bought Pepper 2.5 years in the past, I found the enjoyment of sweaters and coats for little canines. My earlier canines, Ghost and Bodger, had been each fairly large (okay, very large in Ghost’s case!) and had thick fur coats. They didn’t want sweaters. However as a result of Pepper is small, he now has a bit of wardrobe of coats and sweaters, together with a glittery reflective sweater for at the hours of darkness and a blue honest isle sweater for cool however dry winter days.

He is a really transportable and handleable little canine and I’d guess that he already wore coats and sweaters along with his earlier proprietor; he definitely had a raincoat on the shelter as a result of they gave us it after we adopted him. So getting him out and in of those clothes is kind of simple.

He loves the snow and on condition that he’s a senior canine it’s good to see him bouncing (only a bit) in it. However he’s very quick, so the snow must be fairly shallow. As soon as it’s as much as his chest, that’s an excessive amount of, after which we’ve got to shovel a path for him.

What in case your canine must put on a coat however they aren’t used to it? Listed here are some ideas.

  • If in case you have a pet and dwell in a chilly or moist local weather, get them used to carrying coats and/or sweaters whereas they’re nonetheless younger. The delicate interval for socialization is between 3 and about 12-14 weeks, and it’s necessary to make use of this time to provide puppies constructive experiences with all the things they could come throughout later in life. (Learn extra in regards to the delicate interval right here: The delicate interval for socialization in puppies and kittens).  
  • Select a coat or sweater that’s simple to placed on and take off. In case your canine is used to carrying a harness, decide one thing that fastens in the same means as this might be simpler to your canine to get used to. Don’t begin with a sweater that you need to wrestle over your canine’s head after which wrestle to get their arms into sleeves. As an alternative, decide one thing with straps which might be simple to lock, like a coat with Velcro straps that fasten over the chest and underneath the stomach. (You’ll be able to construct as much as the over-the-head sweaters as soon as your canine is used to one thing simpler).
  • The very first time you introduce a coat or sweater is crucial. Use particular treats (and be beneficiant with them) to assist make it a very nice expertise to your canine.
  • For a lot of canines, should you’ve picked an ‘simple’ coat/sweater and they’re used to carrying a harness, it will likely be comparatively simple for them. However each canine is a person, and a few canines will want extra time and coaching than others, so take note of how your canine is reacting. 
  • In the event you see indicators of stress, corresponding to lip licking, trying away, or growling, decelerate and take a step again. You will have to comply with a gradual plan that breaks it down into completely different phases. Begin with placing the coat on the bottom, let your canine select to strategy it, and feed them a number of treats. The subsequent steps will depend upon the particular fashion of coat, however you possibly can begin with placing it on the pinnacle, then transfer on to additionally placing it on the physique, and eventually to doing all of it up and having them put on it. 
  • Solely transfer on to a harder step when you find yourself positive your canine is proud of the step you’re on. It’s regular to have to maneuver forwards and backwards a bit in a coaching plan, so don’t fear if it is advisable take a step again generally.
  • If placing the coat on entails your canine placing their head by one thing, you can begin by holding it up with the opening going through them and feed them a deal with by it. Don’t transfer it over your canine’s head once they’re not anticipating it; allow them to come and get the deal with. Consider it as being a bit like a contract: you’re providing a deal with if they arrive to get it, and also you’re not going to immediately change the foundations and make it more durable for them by shifting the coat. Step by step change the place you maintain the deal with in order that over time they’re placing their head by the opening. 
  • Take account of the entire expertise. For instance, some canines don’t just like the sound of Velcro so that you may need to get them used to that first. Have the coat on the ground, open the strap to make the Velcro noise after which feed your canine some yummy treats. Do that earlier than you begin to consider placing the coat in your canine in order that they don’t get a sudden shock while you undo the Velcro when the coat is on them.

Some canines don’t really want to put on a coat. In the event that they don’t must, and also you don’t wish to spend the time coaching them, it’s okay for them to not have a coat. In spite of everything, they have already got an exquisite coat of their very own. 

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