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  • Writer's picturecaissiecanineinstr

Caissie Canine Instruction: How to Pick the Right Dog Sweater/Coat

We begin this week’s “RUFF TAILS” featuring a beautiful 1-year-old German Shepherd/Samoyed mix named Dion.

Hi everyone!!! I love to go on adventures. I let my family know I am ready to play by my high-pitched bark. LOL.

I can walk for miles and will keep walking until you stop. But when I get home, I love to crash!!!

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Dogs are like humans, in that each are so unique in their personalities. It is important to learn and understand your dog’s behaviours, good and bad, in order to develop a great pack bond. When you become a better pack leader it will be easier for your K9 to trust and follow your guidance. For example, if your dog does not want to meet another dog then don’t force him/her to do so. Respect your dog and keep moving. This can be especially true with a senior dog, as they may not want to meet a rambunctious puppy.

Another example, our dog Daisy was a COVID puppy and never met a lot of people when she was young and is a little afraid of people. Our family never forced her to “greet” people, never allowed people to “rush in” to pet her nor did we put her in any uncomfortable positions. As she gets older, she has learned trust and is getting better at trusting people. Our clients have really done a wonderful job of understanding and allowing her to come to them.

As a dog owner, respect your dog’s “wishes” and don’t force them into an uncomfortable situation. Statistics are quite clear regarding dog bites to other dogs and humans alike. Most times this is fear based and most dogs are on leash. It is important as a dog owner, that you make good decisions on behalf of your dog’s personality.

Off-leash dogs when faced with these awkward situations will activate their “fight or flight” option to deal with this interaction, on their own.

It is up to you, as a great pack leader, to help your dog feel safe in every situation. This will strengthen your bond and you will have one happy K9.

Welcome to Doggie Dialogue

Not all dogs need a jacket in the wintertime. Most small breeds will benefit from having a dog jacket/sweater.

Puppies, small dogs, K9’s that have a short-hair or short-legged, and older dogs and/or K9’s with illness, should have winter gear to help them stay warm when temperatures start to drop. These dogs tend to get cold easier. We recommend keeping an eye on your dog when they are wearing a sweater or jacket for signs of discomfort or overheating.

Dogs such as Huskies, Saint Bernards, German Shepherds, Malamutes and Samoyed generally do not need to wear a jacket has their thick coats of fur protect them. These breeds love to play in the snow and enjoy the cold.

When your dog reaches their senior years, they may need to wear a sweater as they age, especially if they have heart or kidney issues.

It is important to get a dog coat/sweater that fits your dog properly. Most pet stores will help “size” your dog. If the coat is too tight it can cause discomfort and chafing. If the coat too big, it can get tangled and caught on something.

It is recommended to measure, not only the length, but your K9’s chest and girth with a tape measure. Another important measurement is your dog’s neck, when sizing for a coat/sweater.

Once you have your dog’s measurements, it is important to look at the material of the K9 coat. We recommend look for a coat that is waterproof, wind blocking, have reflectors and insultation. Also, washable!!!

Jacket-style coats that fasten around your dog’s stomach, chest and shoulders is great for short-legged breeds, has small breeds often brush against the snow.

For dogs that are larger and have a barrel chest, and don’t need their stomach covered, we recommend a blanket-style dog coat.

Remember all K9 coats should be compatible with your dog’s collar and be comfortable to interact with a leash.

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