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How to measure a Dog for Costumes, Coats, and Clothes

Twiggy is being measured for her 1st "Doggie Fashion Show"


When measuring dogs for clothes or coats, make sure you "make it fun" for your dog. You do not want to upset your dog.  Be happy, and make sure you are in a good mood and not stressed.  If you are, your dog will notice and not want to be measured; measure her at another time.

One of the most important measurements for dog coats and clothes is the back measurement. The photo below shows how to measure a dogs back.  Measure from the neck (where the head meets the neck) to the tail (do not include the tail, just to the tail.)

Another important measurement would be the neck measurement if you were ordering a hat or scarf for your dog. Take a tape measure and measure around the neck, basically where the collar would lie, with the tape measure against the neck firmly but not tight, as shown in the photo below.

If your dog is going to have a full costume made for her then her legs will need to be measured. Just as in the neck measurement, hold the tape measure firmly but not tight, around her leg as shown in the photo below.



When measuring your dog make sure the tape measure lies flat. Use the exact measurement for your dog and do not "add a little" for fit. Also, you may want to consider the "build" of your dog when ordering garments or looking for a sewing pattern for your dog.  You may have to measure the body or chest of your dog too. Measure around the body/chest just behind the front legs.


Most commercial dog coat/clothes sewing patterns will be represented by the back measurement or length measurement. Since dogs are so different and un proportionate to one another, your best bet is to get a custom made outfit or make one yourself. Their are many "easy to sew" dog coat patterns available at your local fabric stores.


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