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Why Do People Dress Their Dogs in Clothing?

Sally Gulbrandsen Feltmaker: Her tutorials and techniques are as individual as she is—unique, experimental and always interesting.

A dog dressed in clothing

A dog dressed in clothing

Do You Think Dogs Look Cute Dressed up in Clothing?

I watched a little dog bouncing happily about in snow today. He was all dressed up in a ‘winter fleece’ and I thought that his owner had been very remiss not to have thought of covering up his little paws, especially with all that slushy snow about! People often say that if you want to keep your body warm you should dress warmly from the feet up! I know that it is possible to buy Wellington boots for dogs but on this day the poor little mite had nothing but his God-given paws!

It's Show Time!  Dressed to Kill

It's Show Time! Dressed to Kill

Dressing Dogs up to Look Just Like children

This article will be written tongue in cheek! I confess that I am a bit of a tease so I insist on having my bit of fun! I am astonished at how many people are willing to spend money and lots of it, on dressing up their dogs to look just like children! For some breeds, it is important and kind to put clothes on the dogs, more especially so in the winter! It definitely makes sense to put a jacket on a Grey Hound, poor thing, such a skinny creature with so little flesh on it and not much fun either! The Chiwawa breed too, oh dear, just another apology for a dog!

One wonder's if dogs are affected psychologically when we dress them up in clothing! If you dress a dog in a camouflage outfit does it behave in the same way as a human being? Will the clothes turn him into some kind of combat monster and will it go all out ‘for the kill’ ? One cannot help but notice that if you put a young boy in a camouflage outfit, he immediately starts to behave differently. Suddenly he is the Aggressor, and it won't be long before he starts running about the house or the garden shooting at imaginary or real people - all the while wielding his toy gun. We have all seen how a dog reacts to a man wearing black clothes so how will a dog behave if you make him wear black doggie clothes!

So what of the Scottie dog all dressed up in a kilt! Will it change his behavior and how soon will it be before you decide to go on a buying spree for some miniature doggy bagpipes! Oh dear, this now begs the question, what does a doggie wear under his kilt? How long will it be before he forgets his bark and are we forever gpomg to be subjected to the strains of Bonnie Prince Charlie being played on bagpipes?

He'a Harley Davidson Biker Pooch

He'a Harley Davidson Biker Pooch

Designer Dogs

Speaking for myself, I’m not ashamed to say, I’m a girl who rather likes a nice outfit. If you force me to wear clothes which I don’t fancy, those which make me feel undignified or ashamed; I am not a happy bunny! Why on earth would a dog feel any different? I never fancied myself in a bikini so why on earth would I want to put one on my dog! It simply makes no sense - so why is it that people still insist on dressing their dog in a bikini along with a matching hat and sunglasses? Do they really think it looks cute or do the dogs just look foolish?

So it’s our entire fault that we have ourselves to blame for this ridiculous situation, when we decided to breed designer dogs just to suit our taste! Here we are - paying the price and oh boy what a price! Even the smallest dog outfit can set you back twenty pounds! Now let me have you ponder that for a while. If we had been able to manage to get the breeding thing right, there might have been no need to spend all that money on doggie clothes. Let’s face it, we really do have only ourselves to blame! Simply said, we bred the wrong dogs to live in the wrong Countries. We should have just stuck to the breeds we knew and kept them all at home. These breeds should have been the ones who had just the right amount of flesh and fur on to keep them warm. So here we have, this huge industry which has been built up worldwide – the one where some people are getting really rich and some of us are getting really poor, just because they want us to keep buying a whole bunch of ridiculous items for our dogs to wear.

He's a Harley Davidson Fan

He's a Harley Davidson Fan

Dogs Wearing Clothing

So here we are stuck with both the designer clothes and some practical clothes too, bought for our poor little pooches. The problem is how do we manage their ever increasing wardrobes! Laundry was never my forte, not sure about you. but I wonder if I can ever bring myself to chuck the doggie clothes into to the laundry basket. I doubt I can bring myself to spend any money or my precious time doing doggie laundry for a four legged friend, no matter how much I love him or her! Do the clothes come with washing instructions and can they be washed along with the regular household washing? Surely this is a health hazard! Should the same washing machine be used? Is there a definitive list of washing instructions for the clothes and how does one go about stain removal? How do you remove urine and poop stains from clothing? How do you remove the dog hair from the washing machine? Is this done before or after you have added the household laundry items to it? How do you stop the washing machine from clogging up with hair? How do you get the doggy odor from your washing machine after you have used it? Oh so many questions! I have a feeling some kind soul is going to help me out here.

I recall as a child once trying to put a sock onto the family dog’s foot ‘just for the fun of it’ and to be totally honest, I still feel ashamed for having done it! He did not appreciate it one bit and poor thing, he tried so hard to get it off whilst my sisters and I laughed at him. So now, the idea of having to ‘teach’ a dog how to wear clothes seems somewhat unkind and somewhat cruel, unless of course it is to keep the dog warm. Letting a dog wear a cone around its head after an operation to prevent it from licking its stitches is one thing! I guarantee though that it does not like it one bit. I know it will not have escaped your notice but it makes a dog feel embarrassed and it will try to hide away! For medical reason alone, this seems reasonable and sensible.

It is true to say that wearing clothes restricts a dog’s movement and destroys his natural ability to camouflage himself. Clothes make the dog stand out a mile, which is one of the reasons why we put a harness on a guide or rescue dog. I have never yet seen one dog begging to wear clothes or correct me if I am wrong!

Dogs are such wonderful companions. They ask so little of us and give so much back! They help teach us and our children responsibility and how to care for others. They even eat the scraps off our tables without complaining - no matter how bad our cooking is! Their love is unconditional. All they need is lots of love, food, water and exercise, not clothes!!! Dogs are so sensitive to our feelings so perhaps it is high time that we took theirs into consideration too, especially when we decide to put them into clothing. It does seem to me that dogs really were not born to wear clothing!

The sight of a dog swimming in its own fur is really quite something!!!

Maud

Maud

Maud

Slurp!

Seems this dog needs a stiff drink!

Seems this dog needs a stiff drink!

Dressing your Dog up in Clothing

© 2013 Sally Gulbrandsen

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