Dogs in Jumpers


Dog fashion? It's a divisive issue. Some people prefer to leave things as nature intended. Others might point out that after decades of inbreeding pedigree dogs are hardly free from manipulation. Who could object to a woolley jumper for a poor shivering Whippet?


A fascinating example of anthropomorphism can be found in the The Daily Telegraph which quotes Jo Barr, RSPCA spokeswoman, as saying "We're concerned that any pet should be viewed as a fashion accessory... It's quite humiliating and sends out the wrong message about pet care.” Humilating? For whom? Is it acceptable to dress our pets as long as we don’t embarrass them in front of their peer group?


If you are going to indulge steer clear of badly made costumes or novelty items and find a well-fitted tweed coat or a neat knitted sweater in naturally water-repellent wool for your dog. And whatever you do, don’t put him in your handbag... he’ll never hear the end of it from his friends.

For 15 original knitting projects to keep your dog warm this winter, try 'Dogs in Jumpers' by Debbie Humphreys.

This is an extract from Beth Smith's article in the Zoological issue of Selvedge magazine.

ISBN: 9781910496305


Published by Pavilion Books


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  • Fiona Tuck on

    My family in the 1960’s had two pet miniature dachshunds. We had proper snowy winters then (English Midlands) so keeping their low slung little tummies warm was quite important. My Mother, a true example of the wartime ‘Make Do’ generation, cut the sleeves out of any old knitted jumpers, made two holes for the front legs and cut to shape the back ends. The front ends had chic 1960’s polo necks! Result was two groovy happy warm dachsies!

  • Jenny Ross on

    I think it depends on the dog and the circumstances. The first dog I ever put clothing on is my Whippet/Pointer mix who is quite happy to have a sweater and a coat on outside today in the bitter northern Illinois cold. Her companion, a Labrador retriever /shar pei mix, is perfectly content to play in the snow without clothing but then he has more body fat and an undercoat.

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