Can Clothes Effect a Dog's Behavior?

Category Advice

I have a female Chihuahua. I haven't really dressed her up until recently. It seems that when she is wearing clothes she acts more mellow. She doesn't jump up or play as hard. She still eats and poops normally.


It seems so strange to me that the clothes can make her chill out. She even barks less. She just follows me around and sits close to where I am. Once I take off the clothes she goes back to being more active and mischievous. I have checked the clothes to make sure that they are not binding or harming her in anyway. Has anyone else experienced this?

By Ana

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May 10, 20110 found this helpful

They make a product called "Thunder Vests" that can help calm dogs during stressful times (like thunder storms). My vet recommended one as an option for my dog who freaks out on the 4th of July. Maybe clothes calm your dog the same way.

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December 25, 20160 found this helpful

Its funny because we got our chocolate lab puppy a shirt for christmas and it has mellowed him tremendously. The minute you take it off he goes back to being hell on 4 paws. We like the shirt. Our we being cruel? Its not tight on him at all. Lets us know.

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January 23, 20180 found this helpful

We also have a Chocolate Lab and put a shirt on him, too. He also calms down. He is a very big Lab and none of the products fit him, so I use one of my husband's shirts and it works great!


You are not being cruel, because what you are doing works and causes no harm.

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May 11, 20110 found this helpful

I too have heard of Thunder Vests for dogs, they act to help negate anxiety. I'm not sure the exact science behind them but it does seem that maybe there may be some correlation between dressing your dog and him behaving more!

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May 11, 20110 found this helpful

The clothes might have your dog scared to do anything out of the ordinary.

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May 11, 20110 found this helpful

Well I can see someone else already told you about Thunder vests. I have a Boston Terrier and he too is much calmer when I put a sweater or his winter coat on him in the cold weather. He doesn't mind wearing them, he just seems to cease activity. He'll even fall over on the couch when I'm trying to get him dressed. It's like he's gone boneless!

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December 24, 20120 found this helpful

Any type of clothing for dogs calms them. As to why, you'll probably have to ask an animal trainer. I would simply like to point out that you do not need to pay any extra for a dog clothing item simply because it claims to have a calming effect.


The $5 shirt does just as well as the $50 shirt.

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February 7, 20130 found this helpful

I have a bull mastiff/ amstaff .. He is just a little over a year old. He is huge! I bought him a KU sweeter for Christmas and he calms down almost immediately. Lays down next to me and just chills. The sweater fits him fine, he eats at dinner time, goes out when it's time.. He simply just is calmer. Does anyone know why?

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December 1, 20140 found this helpful

My dog Toro does the exact same thing! I do believe that clothes do effect a dog's behavior.

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December 23, 20160 found this helpful

Our 90 pound lab recently had surgery on his stomach and the vet recommended a tshirt if he scratched at it. Well he did, so we put a large v neck t on him. At first he hesitated to walk but only for a few moments.


He has no problem letting us change it when needed so he must not dislike it. I thought the tshirt was to help prevent injury if he scratched at it, but have found he actually is scratching much less as well. I definitely believe clothes effect their behavior.

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October 12, 20180 found this helpful

Yes my chiauhauh is the same way! It's really weird. I call it his magic cloak! Lol

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December 4, 20180 found this helpful

I just got a mini Schnauzer and we dress him up too and we notice same, he just calm down when he is wearing clothes

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January 4, 20190 found this helpful

I call my chihuahua jumper, her naughty jumper because I put it on her to calm her down. Pleased so many people are doing the same was worried I was being cruel too.

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February 9, 20190 found this helpful

My Chi does the same thing, but I actually think he is pouting. He does not seem to like clothes at all. He even tries to rub them off on the bed or a rug. But I feel so bad for him when he shivers and shakes during the winter when it is extremely cold so I continue to try and put sweaters, nothing binding or too fluffy, or even just tee shirts on to take the chill away.


I start feeling like a bad Mom when I see him pout and just take the clothes off and put him under covers which of course he really loves. Not sure if I need to continue trying to get him use to clothes or just let it go?

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