How To Get Your Dog To Like Clothes

Apart from the fact that it’s hard to resist getting our dogs to don the cutest in canine fashion, there are times when dog clothes are actually practical, if not necessary. But as we readily shop for all the puppy clothes our dogs need (and also those that they “need”), they very rarely seem to be as enthusiastic about getting dressed as we are.

Don’t worry, though. Like everything else your pup has learned so far, all it takes is a little bit of training and practice.

1. Start Early

Getting your pup used to anything is easiest when you start them young. But don’t worry if your pup is a bit older. Sure, getting them used to wearing dog clothes might take a little more time, but it definitely isn’t an impossible task.

A Pug dressed from head to toe

A Pug dressed from head to toe. Photo by Валентина Павлова. (CC0)

Dogs need to interact with the clothes before putting them on

Dogs need to interact with the clothes before putting them on. Photo by kennedyfotos.

As you know by now, yours is a very curious and possibly suspicious pup. So don’t get outfits on them right away. It’s important to let them get used to the presence of the clothes first.

Keep the clothes in a place where they can sniff and interact with them. Don’t move on to the next step until they’re already comfortable with having the clothes around.

3. Create Positive Experiences with the Dog Clothes

According to a study review published by the Journal of Veterinary Behavior in 2017, positive reinforcement methods are most effective and beneficial for training dogs. So, create positive experiences around the puppy clothes to make them feel good about wearing them.

If you’re trying to get them comfortable in a dog hoodie or a dog raincoat, praise them after every step of putting it on. If they’re motivated by food, give them plenty of treats. Withhold treats and give them a hard “no!” if they nip at the clothing. Otherwise, keep the treats, praises, and scratches coming so they associate good feelings with being clothed.

A Yorkie getting treats while wearing the Anti Social Puppy Club x Bathing-Pup Dog Hoodie.

A Frenchie playing with the Chucks Sneakers Plush Dog Toy while wearing a “WOOF” Dog Hoodie

Playing with them while they’re clothed will further provide positive experiences. Plus, it will distract them from the clothes until they’re so used to wearing them, they won’t mind it at all.

So, take some of their favorite dog toys out or get entirely new ones just for this purpose to make sure they get really excited over them.

5. Build up to Longer Clothed Times

At this point, all it takes is some getting used to. You can start with just a few minutes at a time before taking them off and praising them for behaving and not shredding the dog clothes to bits.

Then, you can go for longer and longer until getting them dressed is already a regular occurrence.

A Frenchie feeling comfortable and dry outside while wearing the Zigzag Dog Raincoat

Thankfully, once you’ve gone through these steps once, you won’t need to go through them again. When your dog has gotten used to clothing, you won’t have to worry about how they’ll take their future outfits. But, it still helps always to choose the right dog clothes to make sure they’re always comfortable.

***Great Gift Ideas for your Pup***

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