A question that might have come across in your head as you dress yourself up one fine day: “Should I also make my dog dress up?”, and, more importantly, “Do dogs like wearing clothes?”
Answers to questions of that sort are pretty straightforward – try asking your dog. It is that simple. How you may accomplish that, is entirely up to you.
We are going to give you some insight into whether or not most dogs like wearing clothes, and what you should do in such a case…
Simply put. Nope.
Most dogs do not share the same sense of love we have for clothing items. We tend to anthropomorphize our pets a lot more frequently than we realize. We should not think of them in the same way as we think of human wants and needs. They do not really appreciate human gifts.
However, there are exceptions. Some dogs love wearing nice clothing. you might have seen dog fashion shows and thought to buy an outfit just as cute for your pooch, but, hear me out – EVERY dog is INDIVIDUAL.
Each dog has their own preferences. Some might enjoy the attention and the treats, some might love the warmth and cozyness of an added layer, and others might be revolted by it entirely.
Why Do Dogs Not Like Wearing Clothes?
It is something that is ingrained in most animals since before we were around to domesticate them. In the wild, most pack animals have a leader, how the leader is chosen is based on how dominant he can be. We can look back at the ancestral origins of dogs – wolfs, in order to better understand the hesitancy dogs might feel while getting dressed.
In a pack, the dominant wolf stands over another, quite literally positioning himself on top of the other and touching, as a means to convey dominance or scolding. Something that fits tightly around the back and midriff, might evoke feelings of the same nature in dogs, even now.
So while we intend only comfort, protection (from the elements – eg. beach walks or wet and windy days), or cuteness, our pets might be taking it as a sign of dominance, something they are not entirely accustomed to anymore in a domesticated household.
It should not come as a shock to you if your dog starts to itch, or paw at the costume, or inevitably get it so out of shape that removing it is the only option left.
What Do I Do If My Dog Is Not Comfortable?
If your dog is not giving you the happy signals, he is not wagging his tail, he is not looking at you expectantly as you bring the costume closer and closer to him, do not go ahead with it. Regardless of your good intent, if something brings your best friend worry, it is best to avoid it.
If dogs show you that they are more than willing to try something on, they will likely not stop thumping their tail, bobbing up and down, jumping to reach you and that new piece of material that you are holding. These are all signs your dog is happy to oblige and wear new clothes.
Why Do Some Dogs Enjoy Wearing Clothes?
Training. Positive feedback. Proper introduction to new things. These are all important before you get your dog to try something they are inherently inclined to dislike doing. On a cold day, dog breeds that have a thin coat and little protection from the elements, would prefer the added warmth of a cozy sweater or jacket, much to their surprise, even.
Any clothing item must be comfortable, loose enough to provide adequate movement without restricting any blood flow or even causing itchiness. Dogs can be sensitive, too. Show dogs are often carried on the runway due to this reason, as well.
Dogs that experience anxiety, which can be due to many reasons. Fireworks and loud noises are among the few cases that especially get a dog worked up, and clothing items like ThunderShirt, can provide them with comfort and help ease their anxiety in those situations.
How Do I Get My Dog Interested In Clothing?
Attention is what our pet dogs crave more than even their most favourite treats. Believe it or not, your dog is willing to go to quite some lengths to get your attention and love. Keep in mind clothing the likes of a ThunderShirt, while loved by many dogs, is not loved by all.
You may also like to carry your pooch, if they are carrying-friendly, so to speak. Most dogs cannot physically walk in the dresses (read: show dogs), so they need to be carried around to maintain their cuteness and display worthiness.
As mentioned above, dogs will feel the elements and appreciate the help they will receive in the form of additional clothing.
If your dog has had surgery or is required to wear a cone or a non-chew device, it might benefit them to wear clothes that cover wound sites or even skin issues.
Keep a wary eye on your dog if he/she has a tendency to rip clothing and textile items just for the fun of it.
Your dog needs to feel happy, loved, and appreciated by you. They thrive on attention and love. If you make the dress wearing action associated with treats and lots of love from you, (much like giving them treats upon obeying a command while training), they will surely learn to obey you and make you happy.
Your love and attention will be the treat that your dog will simply associate with new clothing and he/she will then become ecstatic seeing you bringing them a new dress.
It is kind of like brainwashing them to think the clothing will bring them love from you. But always remember to watch out for cues as to what your dog would like YOU to do for THEM.