Where The Heck Are the Withers (and why should I care)?

Withers Position When Measuring For a Dog Coat

Knowing where the withers are on a dog is imperative to getting the right fit for your dog clothes. But you may well be asking, “where the heck are the Withers?” so I’m here to tell you...

There are a few key points that come into play when measuring your dog. Last week I asked whether Chest Size Mattered and explained how chest shape factors into making dog clothes. This week I’m asking where the heck are the Withers and why should you care.

Just like getting the chest size right, determining the withers position will make all the difference for how comfortable your dog will be and how much they will enjoy wearing what you make them.

Withers Position on a Great Dane Side View

So where are the withers you ask…

Well, let’s take look at a side view of a dog. Draw a virtual line straight up from behind the dog’s front legs to the spine. Do you feel a flat ridge there? That is your dog’s scapula, which in the dog world is known as the “Withers”.

Skeletal View Showing Withers Position on a Great Dane Side View

Let's take a look at the skeletal structure

Like our shoulders, this is where the pivoting function happens to allow the front legs to bend and move back and forth as dogs jump, walk, or run, and even as they lie down for a nap. As you can imagine you want to have a lot of room around this area, so the dog has a free range of motion. And just about every piece of clothing you will ever make for your dog will wrap around the front legs in some manner. So, getting the withers position is key!

Withers Position When Measuring For a Dog Coat

How does that look on a dog coat?

Now, let’s look at the side view of the Cozy Coat. This is a nice, simple pattern which wraps around the neck and chest on the dog. Following that same virtual line, you can see that the coat wraps around the chest right behind the front legs. Now you can see how knowing the Withers position factors in. When you know where the Withers are then you know where the coat needs to wrap around the dog and how much space to leave so the dog's legs can move easily. And customizing that position is a simple process.

Get a Step-By-Step Guide and Workbook

Do you need help measuring your dog? Download my 4 Steps to Fit Your Dog Guide and Workbook and I’ll walk you through the step by step process to take all the measurements you need to make a simple dog coat your dog will love!

There's even a video you can watch that shows you exactly how to do it!

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My Vision for Transformation

My vision is not only to teach you the steps to making a dog coat but, more importantly, provide the opportunity for you to experience the creativity and pride that comes from making dog wear from scratch. It's not about the fabric or the needles or threads. It’s about magically transforming those components into functional dog wear.

My hope is to inspire and encourage you on your transformational journey so that you can master the art of dog wear design.

I'd love to hear what size you dog fits into or if you have any questions I can help you with. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions about deciding how to pick your dog coat pattern size.  

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