Dog coat fit. How should they fit?

dog coat fit

How should a dog coat fit?

Dog coat fit. You’ve decided your dog needs a dog coat.  But how do you get the right fit? 
That’s not as simple to answer as you might think.  Dog clothes are a lot like people clothes. People clothes fulfill different needs; function, comfort, style, identification, climate………..   Dogs’ clothes do the same! No matter what function they are performing, however, dog coat sizing is important.

Your dog wants to be comfortable

The dog coat has to feel good to your dog if they are going to wear it instead of shred it.  They hate tight clothes just like we do (if we’re being honest).  Back in the day, tight jeans were the trend.  Problem is that you couldn’t bend, sit or move very easily, although we wore them anyway because it was cool! But secretly, we couldn’t WAIT to put those comfy pants back on.
Dogs, not feeling the need to be fashion conscious, don’t put up with the discomfort. They insist on a coat that isn’t binding and doesn’t restrict movement.  A dog will run away, refuse to move with the coat on, or chew it to get it off rather than deal. So a good fit is important.

How do you get a good fit?

Coats for dogs come in lots of different styles, so measurement practices vary.  The most important thing is that the coat is proportionate to your dog.  And serves the function it needs to. 
Usually, the maker will have a set of standards they use to make a coat.  You’ll want to use the specific standards of your intended maker to get the proportions right. If they don’t have them posted or you aren’t sure if you are getting it right, contacting the company can be a great idea.
Dog coat fit


A good place to start is length (A in the diagram below) since the coat proportions generally are based on length. A coat that is too short or too long is likely to have fastenings or other features in the wrong place.  
A couple inches in front of the tail might not be a problem.  Or you may want a few extra inches if you are considering a coat to keep that hind end dry and warm. However, you should specify actual length plus or minus to be clear.


In order to feel good, the neck (B in the diagram) needs to have enough room but not too much. A couple of fingers should fit between your dog and the neck of the coat.  If the neck is too bit, the coat will hang low over the shoulders and get in the way of movement.

Chest or girth

Chest or girth (C in diagram) is the third measurement that is important.If the coat won’t fit over the ribcage or just barely closes, your dog won’t want to move (remember tight jeans?) if you can even get the coat to stay on. Again, you should allow at least a couple of fingers between your dog and the coat for movement.

Other considerations

The shoulders should have enough clearance that your dog can walk, run, jump, etc., with ease. Measurements for special features like a hood, pajamas, etc., need to be considered on a case by case basis.  The key is to make sure that the garment, whatever it is, does not restrict your dog.
There are lots of options for dog coats out there.  You may be able to find a great fitting coat that is readily available.  Or you might need to consider having a custom dog coat made for your dog.  Whatever you decide to do, you will have more success in helping your dog if you watch fit carefully.
dog coats

I make custom dog coats. This is the system I use. If you’re looking for a quality dog coat for your canine friend, go to my website, Made by De to find out more.

You can also read another post I wrote about dog coats; Dog Coats; can they help my athletic dog?

 Christmas is coming.  Have you considered a gift certificate for a last minute gift idea? Read my post!

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