Proper fit for much of our merchandise. It is important to carefully measure your dog to ensure that the products you get are a good size for your pets. Below are the rules for measuring your pets for various products. Before you begin measuring, please keep a few things in mind. First, you must measure your dog, not his hair. If your dog has a long or thick coat, it is important to work the tape measure down into the hair to measure your dog's actual body. Measuring the hair may make some items too big, and collars and harnesses will slide off. Two, it is important to use the proper tools. A cloth tape measure is the only accurate way to get a measurement. In a pinch, you can use a piece of string, and mark the measurements, then use a regular tape measure, but this can be inaccurate. For items that are custom or personalized, this inaccuracy means that your item will be the wrong size, and will not be exchanged or returned.
Whelping Boxes should be large enough for your bitch and the puppies to have adequate room. Boxes that are too small will mean that your bitch lays on her puppies more, but boxes that are too large will allow newborn puppies to spread out more, and make it harder for them to stay warm. The measurement is from your bitch's nose, straight back to her hips, and add 12" for the length, and exact measurement or add up to 12" for the width. If you are using rails you want to add 10" - 12" to each measurement.
Daily Collars are the collars that your dog would wear on a daily basis. These are the collars that you keep your dog's ID tags on. For these collars, you simply measure around the base of your dog's neck and add 10% to the measurement.
Training Collars are collars that are worn at the top of the dog's neck, and only under supervision. These collars, including choke and pinch collars, are measured differently. To measure for these collars, you measure at the TOP of the neck. For toggle and pinch collars, which are snapped or clipped around the neck, you need to add 2" - 3" to the measurement, but for regular choke collars, you must add 5" - 6", to allow the collar to slide over the head.
Daily Harnesses, like daily collars, are harnesses that are designed to be worn full time. These harnesses are often called walking harnesses. To measure for these harnesses, you must measure around the dog's girth, just behind the front legs, and add 10%.
Mushing and Utility Harnesses have various other measurements, as these are more specialized and fit differently. Each product page will tell you the exact measurements you need for your dog. Measurement A, is a measurement from the center of the withers, in a straight line, to the top of the breastbone. This measurement should be taken on one side only then doubled. Trying to take it around will distort it and cause an inaccurate measurement. Measurement B is from the top of the breastbone to the midpoint between the front legs. Measurement C, is from the midpoint between the front legs, up one side of the dog, and straight back to the tail set. This is only measured on one size, you do not double this measurement. Measurement D is from the midpoint between the front legs, straight back to the stifle joint. Again, this is only measured on one size. Measurement E is from the midpoint between the front legs straight back to the last rib. Measurement F is identical to the Daily Harness measurement. All the way around the girth, behind the front legs, and add 10%. (Measurements A - E are exact measurements)
Muzzles require 2 measurements for proper fit. Measurement A, is the measurement around the dog's muzzle, right below the stop. you must add 2" - 3" to allow your dog to pant and drink. Measurement B is a straight line measurement from your dog's stop to the end of his nose. You should add 1/2" - 1" to this measurement, to prevent the end of the muzzle from injuring the nose.
Apparel may need a girth or length measurement. As with the Daily Harnesses, the girth measurement is around the dog's body, just behind the front legs, adding 10%. Spine length is measured from the withers to the tail set. This is an exact measurement.
Dog Boots will need length and width measurements. The easiest way to get these measurements is to dampen your dog's paw and make him stand on a piece of paper, leaving the paw print on the paper and measuring that. The problem with measuring the paw is that as a dog stands and bears weight, his toes will spread a bit. Measuring the paw does not allow you to catch this toe spread and will give you a boot that is too small. Measurement A is from the back of the main pad to the end of the longest toenail. Measurement B is across the paw at the widest point.
Cages, Crates, and Houses allow some wiggle room, but there are some tips to keep in mind. First, you want enough room for your dog to stand up, lie down, and turn around, but you don't necessarily want too much room. When you are crating puppies, too much room in the crate actually hinders housetraining, since it allows your puppy to use one end as a bathroom and one as his sleeping quarters. You do not want your dog house too large either, as a larger area is harder for your dog's body heat to keep warm. However, for an adult dog, who is properly crate trained, who is simply kept in a crate while home alone, or in a vehicle, you can have a larger crate simply for your dog's comfort. Measurement A is a straight line from your dog's withers to the ground, following his front legs. Measurement B is a straight line measurement from the sternum straight back to the rear of his hip joint. You should add 4" - 6" to each measurement for an adult dog's crate or for a mild climate dog house, and 2' - 3" for a puppy's crate or a cold weather dog house.
Cuddle-Style Beds are designed for your dog to cuddle up in a ball. The measurement is a straight line from your dog's sternum straight back to the rear of the hip, and add 2" - 3".
Lounging-Style Beds are designed for dogs that like to sprawl out and get comfortable. You need to measure from the end of your pet's nose to the rear of the hip, and add 5" - 6".
If you have any questions or concerns about measuring, feel free to ask. If you live locally you are more than welcome to bring your dog for measurement help. If you do not live locally, you can keep track of our travels to shows and events. We are always more than happy to help measure your pets. If you wish, we can take videos of us measuring our dogs and send them to you for assistance. Please Note: As long as your product is not a custom product, if you purchase the wrong size, we can exchange it with no problem for the proper size.