How to Measure a Dog’s Back Length

How to Measure a Dog’s Back Length

If you’re making a dog coat it is important that you know how to measure a dog’s back length accurately

It might seem straight forward for how to measure a dog’s back length but there are several factors that come into play that can make all the difference to getting a good fit.

Prepare before you start

  • Use a soft measuring tape and follow the natural curve of your dog’s spine.
  • Take your dog for a walk or a good play before measuring so they are less energetic and can concentrate. 
  • Bring treats or a toy to reward them afterwards for their great work!
How to Measure a Dog’s Back Length

Is your dog standing straight?

Measure from the base of the dog’s neck (where the collar sits) to the base of the tail. Make sure your dog is standing on all fours with the head, spine and tail all aligned. If your dog is turning to look at what you’re doing it’s impossible to get the proper length. You just can’t measure the spine when it’s curved. Don’t try to measure while your dog is sitting as it will completely alter the length.

Dogs with curly tails

Does your dog have a curly tail?

If your dog has a tail that curls up a long coat can irritate them, so consider making the coat slightly shorter by about 1/2”. If the dog’s tail goes straight out or down, you can go a little further if you want more coverage.

How to Measure a Dog’s Back Length

How long is the dog’s belly?

Although I don’t typically measure the dog’s belly length for a basic coat, I have found that coats can slip around on the back end if the dog has a really long belly. I will often add elastics that slip around the dog’s hind legs to help keep the coat in place. The other option is to move the belly band further towards the back legs.

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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