5 Tips for Training Your Dog to Wear Winter Gear
January 02, 2023
When you think of winter, you think of snow, hot cocoa, and Christmas! Winter is some people’s favorite season, and for good reason too – there is something so magical about nature resetting itself before spring.
We know that winter means coats, scarves, boots, and layers – but that’s not just for humans. Your furry friend might need a little extra help navigating their way through the coldest months of the year, especially if you live in a super cold place.
Luckily for us, and them, winter gear is readily available for your precious pooch. From coats and jerseys to boots and hoodies – dogs can have it all these days. The tricky part is training them to wear their new winter gear.
Below are five great tips for making that process easier for them and you:
1. Start Early
If possible, start this training at an early age – preferably when your pooch is still a little pup. There will be massive resistance at first, but it means that when they’re older, they will already be used to wearing winter clothes before venturing outdoors.
Winter gear protects your pup’s paws from the ice, snow, and salt on the roads during the coldest months. Jerseys, coats, and raincoats get used to keep them dry and warm.
2. Ease Them Into It
Training your new buddy to wear winter gear is a process and not one that happens overnight. Ease them into it by taking things slow. Start by having them wear one boot at a time - that way, they will get used to each new addition.
As funny as it may be making them wear all four at once, you want them to be comfortable – the viral video can wait. Jerseys are the easiest item to get used to, largely because they generally don’t get in the way of their daily activities.
3. Buy Quality Gear
Like humans, the quality of the items dogs wear can affect their well-being and health. Stay away from cheap and tacky gear that can lead to scratching and skin disorders. Choose the best boots for dogs and premium quality clothing.
Spending a little extra can save you hundreds of dollars on vet bills later.
4. Positive Reinforcement
As with any canine training process, positive reinforcement can be the difference between success and having a sad dog. Dogs don’t speak English, but they do understand the tone and a few key phrases.
Through the use of positive reinforcement during the training process, you can give your furry friend the confidence they need to succeed. Your dog won’t understand what’s happening at first, but they will always be keen for a pat on the head or a nutritious treat!
As you know, dogs weren't meant to wear clothing or shoes in the wild. There isn’t a Doggy Gap in the wild; it was just them, their fur, and the harsh elements. Times have changed drastically since then, and dogs live in harsh environments with more snow than ever.
Remember to exercise patience during the training process - clothes and footwear will be foreign to them at first and depending on how strong their personality is – it could end up taking a while before they get used to their gear.