How to Measure Your Dog for Clothes Correctly

dog with a sweater on

People are increasingly purchasing clothing for their pets in addition to harnesses and collars. It's critical to understand how to correctly measure your dog for these goods so that they are both comfortable and fashionable. A tape measure, particularly a 'dressmaker/fabric' tape measure used for sewing tasks, as well as your dog are required.

How to Get Your Dog's Measurements

There are three main areas to measure on your dog: top line back, neck girth, and chest girth.

Measure from where your dog's neck meets his shoulders (typically where the collar rests) to the base of the tail when they are standing to acquire an accurate measurement for their top line back. If your dog is male, pay attention to the style of jackets and sweaters. If the region that would be covering their belly does not have a cut out or cut away, you may need to size down so that your dog does not urinate on his new garments. If your dog is in between sizes, go with the larger one.

The measurements around your dog's neck and chest are known as neck girth and chest girth, respectively. The neck girth measurement should be obtained around the area where your dog's collar rests. Use the same 'two finger' criterion as with collars: two fingers should comfortably fit beneath the tape measure. Choose the larger size if your dog is in between sizes. Your dog's chest girth should be measured around the widest area of his chest. This is typically found behind the front legs. Choose the larger size if your dog is in between sizes.


If you're measuring your dog for a harness, be sure to read the manufacturer's specifications carefully. Some goods specify which dog sizes they suit, while others specify the product's dimensions. Harnesses might be intimidating at first. There are so many various types and styles to choose from. They can be quite beneficial for some dog breeds and temperaments.

Brachycephalic breeds, or those with pushed-in faces, have a short neck and hence no collar. These breeds are well-suited to harnesses. They provide you more control and are less likely to slide off. Other dogs, even if they are generally well behaved and trained, may not always have ideal leash manners. Harnesses allow you to control your dog without having to worry about them choking, and some styles of harnesses can even inhibit pulling.


You might be shocked to hear that there are options other than the traditional buckle type collars. There are three types of collars: martingale, chain, and prong collars. Certain trainers frequently employ chain and prong as a form of 'correction.' However, as the area of veterinary medicine advances, more study into animal behavior suggests that unpleasant corrections are not only unneeded for an animal to acquire a new behavior, but they can also be detrimental. Martingale are gradually gaining popularity as a 'alternative' collar.

A martingale collar's basic design consists of two loops. One loop is significantly larger than the other, and it is this loop that goes over your dog's head. The smaller loop is where your dog's leash is attached. When your dog tugs on the leash, the smaller loop becomes taut, tightening the bigger loop and prevents it from falling off your dog's head. Martingale collars are often known as "humane choke collars" for this reason.

The two-finger rule still applies when fitting your dog with a martingale collar. You should be able to put two fingers easily beneath the collar when it is slack. These collars are gradually gaining popularity among owners of larger, more powerful dogs, yet they were designed specifically for sighthounds. Greyhounds, whippets, and silky windhounds are so sleek and aerodynamic that even a correctly fitted buckle collar may easily fall off their necks. Martingale collars are becoming increasingly popular among dog owners in general, but they are absolutely necessary for sighthounds.