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How to Fit a Boston Terrier for Clothing

Nancy grew up on a farm where severe winters were common and shares her experiences owning a Boston Terrier in a cold and wet climate.

A proper fitting dog coat for this Boston Terrier.

A proper fitting dog coat for this Boston Terrier.

The Importance of Boston Terrier Clothes That Fit Well

Small dogs, as well as some larger dog breeds, need pet clothing during the winter months because they have trouble keeping their body temperature up during cold weather. When temperatures drop, your dog may need a little extra help keeping warm. To help you get the most bang for your buck, and ensure a delightful experience for both you and your dog, keep reading to find valuable tips on how to get just the right fit for your Boston Terrier.

When choosing a new coat for your Boston Terrier, it is important that the coat or other clothing item fit properly in order for your pet to stay comfortable, look cute, and for the clothing to carry out the intended function.

Buying clothes for pets and dressing them up can be a fun experience for both the pet owner as well as the pet. Because dogs such as the Boston terrier are especially active, it is very important to make sure that the coats or other types of clothing that you purchase for them fit properly and are comfortable for the dog to wear.

When pet coats do not fit properly, the clothing item may restrict breathing, movement, or create sore spots on your dog's skin. In addition to those troubling circumstances, purchasing off-the-rack pet clothing only to find that it does not fit properly can become very expensive, not to mention frustrating for both you and your dog.

Dog Clothing Size Chart

This table offers a general guideline to dog clothing sizes. As with clothing for people, sizes will vary by manufacturer. This guide is very general.

Clothing SizeDog Weight In Pounds

Extra Small

3 to 7 pounds

Small

7 to 15 pounds

Medium

15 to 25 pounds

Large

25 to 35 pounds

Extra Large

35 pounds and up

Juneau, our patient model is relaxing with her blanket after the photo shoot. It takes a lot of energy for a Boston Terrier to stand still for so long!

Juneau, our patient model is relaxing with her blanket after the photo shoot. It takes a lot of energy for a Boston Terrier to stand still for so long!

Why You Should Measure Your Boston Terrier

Juneau will be the model for this article. She is a very small dog who weighs just 12 pounds. As you'll see from the pictures, this breed of dog is highly muscled through the neck and shoulders. Her waist is very trim, and her hindquarters are well muscled.

Because Juneau lives in a rainy climate, she needed a raincoat that fit her correctly. The pink, hounds tooth checked coat she is wearing is reminiscent of the women's clothing styles made popular by Jackie Kennedy, when her husband, John, was in office years ago.

This raincoat features a collar that can be turned up to protect the neck and head from the elements, or turned down as needed. The coat also features a belt with a Velcro fastener that is adjustable and a belt loop to tuck in the end. The coat covers her hindquarters and bottom, which helps to keep her dry.

Common problems in fitting pet clothing to dogs like Juneau include the neck being too tight, resulting in restricted breathing and movement, sizing issues which resulted in the off the rack clothing being too long for the length of the dog's back, and being too big in the waist area.

So before going out to purchase new clothing for this type of dog, it is a good idea to take some measurements. As you can see from the sizing chart at the left, most dog sizes are based on the weight of the dog. This can be problematic when you have a dog such as a Boston terrier, that is compact, yet muscular.

Here we will show you how to measure your dog to get the best fit.

In this picture, Juneau is modeling a pink, hounds tooth checked raincoat. This coat fits Juneau perfectly. As you can see from the picture, this coat gives Juneau plenty of room in the neck. It fits snugly across her shoulders in the waist is neither too tight nor too loose. This coat has a collar that turns up to help to keep the rain off of her head and ears, and the length down her back covers her hindquarters and tail so that the rain stays off her bottom as well. Juneau is able to move freely in this coat and does not experience any painful rubbing from the material.

How to Measure Your Dog

What You Will Need

  • Your Dog
  • A Cloth or Plastic Tape Measure

It is best to use an inexpensive cloth or plastic tape measure. These tape measures can be found in the fabric department of almost any department store. You may also find them in the weight loss section of a sporting goods store, as they are used for taking measurements when going on a reducing diet as well.

How to measure your dog's neck.

How to measure your dog's neck.

Measure the Circumference of the Dog's Neck

The first measurement we will take is around her neck. As you look at the picture above, you will see arrows indicating where you should measure your dog. It is important to measure your dog's neck at the widest part of its neck. Be sure to keep the measuring tape snug, but loose enough that you can fit a finger between the tape measure and the dog's neck. When you measure the neck, place your dog on a flat surface, and have the dog stand up, looking straight ahead. It may help to have another person stand in front of the dog while you are doing the measuring.

Measure your dog from an inch forward of  the point of shoulder to about an inch past the doc of the tail.

Measure your dog from an inch forward of the point of shoulder to about an inch past the doc of the tail.

Measure the Length of the Boston Terrier's Spine

The second measurement we will take is the length of Juneau's spine from the base of her neck to the back of her haunch. As you can see, Juneau's raincoat is long enough that it fully covers her haunches. This length allows her to have full freedom of movement and does not interfere with potty time. However, it provides complete coverage of her hindquarters so that the rain does not get her bottom wet.

Again, while taking this measurement, make sure he or she is standing up and looking straight ahead. Measure from just ahead of the point of the shoulders, to an inch or so past the dock of the tail.

Boston terrier dogs typically have deep chest cavities. This helps them take in large amounts of oxygen for the fast bursts of speed they are known for when they "Zoom."

Boston terrier dogs typically have deep chest cavities. This helps them take in large amounts of oxygen for the fast bursts of speed they are known for when they "Zoom."

Measure the Chest Girth of Your Dog

The third measurement we will take is that of Juneau's chest. As you will see, the arrows indicate that you should measure your dog's chest in the largest area of girth or the thickest part of their chest. When doing this, be sure to measure the circumference of their chest while they are standing up and relaxed. Do not pull the tape measure too tight. You want the tape measure to be a little snug but loose enough that you can easily fit a finger between your dog and the tape measure.

Boston terrier dogs are known for having wide chests.

Boston terrier dogs are known for having wide chests.

Measure the Breadth of the Dog's Chest

The fourth measurement we will take is the breadth of your dog's chest, which means that you will place the tape measure from the point of your dog's shoulder on your left and span the width across your dog's chest at the widest part. When measuring the dog's chest width, be sure to account for the extra width these dog's powerful shoulder muscles add to the width of their chest.

Boston terriers are known for their trim waistlines.

Boston terriers are known for their trim waistlines.

Measure the Dog's Flank or Waistline

The last measurement we will take is that of your dog's waistline. Measuring the waistline is different for male dogs than it is for female dogs.

To measure a female, you will want to measure her at the narrowest part of her waist. Again, it is important to keep the tape measure snug, but not too tight.

When measuring a male dog, you will want to measure his waste an inch or so in front of his sheath. It is important when fitting male dogs that any waistband does not interfere with their potty routine, or rub against the sheath area causing soreness.

Now You Can Find the Best Fitting Clothes

Now that you have measured your dog, you have the information you need to help you to find better fitting off-the-rack clothing for your dog. In addition, you may want to think about having clothing altered by someone you know who is handy with a sewing machine, or better yet, find patterns and have some items made up especially for your treasured pet.

Having the right fit will ensure warmth and comfort for your Boston terrier for many years to come.

Boston terriers need a little extra warmth in the wintertime. This dog is dressed in her Seattle Seahawk's football jersey to root them on at the 2012 playoffs.

Boston terriers need a little extra warmth in the wintertime. This dog is dressed in her Seattle Seahawk's football jersey to root them on at the 2012 playoffs.

Does Your Boston Terrier Zoom?

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2013 Nancy Owens

Comments

Nancy Owens (author) from USA on December 29, 2013:

Hi Deborah-Diane ! It does apply to all sizes. My daughter's dog has such a thick neck and chest that it is hard to get a good fit sometimes. And she was so patient while doing her modeling for this. Had to laugh when we were done she hopped up on the couch like she had just run marathon or something. Thank you for stopping by!

Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on December 28, 2013:

This was a cute article and very informative. It applies to clothing for other dogs, too!

Nancy Owens (author) from USA on December 20, 2013:

I hope things are going well with your Chihuahua, Moonlake. Sorry for taking so long to respond. Unfortunately, another project I worked on took up most of my time. Thank you for your kind words and I hope you are having a most excellent holiday season.

moonlake from America on November 12, 2013:

I don't have a Boston Terrier but I do have a Chihuahua and for the first time I have had to dress a dog. He was afraid of Velcro so that was a real problem getting him use to the sound. He is extra small I have a hard time finding clothes that fit him. Your article helps a lot. We had 21 here today so we put a sweater on him and a jacket. Voted up.

Nancy Owens (author) from USA on April 08, 2013:

I think it makes dogs feel special to get dressed up. Like Bouncer, Juneau seems to love the attention of having the kids dress her and afterward, she zooms around the house and makes sure she visits everyone to "show" them her outfit.

Nancy Owens (author) from USA on April 08, 2013:

Hi Flourish! I'm not sure how it got mixed up, but I didn't make the coat Juneau is modeling. My daughter actually bought it off the rack in Cannon Beach, Oregon. But it does fit like it was made for her. I wish I could claim that one as my seamstress ability! At Halloween every year Juneau dresses up like a bumble bee. Her favorite part of the night is answering the door. She adores little kids, and has a ball greeting all the trick-or-treaters.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on April 07, 2013:

My grandson's Boston terrier loves to wear clothes, even in summer--and we live in a warm climate. I think he likes the attention of being dressed up by my grandson or his finance! While we do have a couple of months cold weather, our winters are generally mild in comparison with northern climes. Bouncer (the Boston terrier) really enjoys his sweaters when the wind is chill.

Voted Up++

Jaye

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 07, 2013:

Juneau is a marvelous model and you an equally gifted seamstress. I can only imagine what Halloween looks like at your house!

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