How to Measure your Dog

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Me and Toby the Goldendoodle Male

Me and Toby the Goldendoodle

There is a lot of confusion when it come to how to measure your dog.. so I thought it would be nice to provide some instructions on how to measure your dog for crates, collars,  clothes and coats (like the Doodle needs one). They have a built in coat but for Doodles who live in Alaska.. I get it…
For example a lot of people just assume that you would measure the height of a dog from the top of their head to the floor when actually it’s from the top of the front shoulders to the floor.

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What you need:

It helps to have everything you need ready before you start:

1)  A seamstress’ or tailor’s type tape measure is best, but if you don’t have one you can use a ribbon or a piece of string and a yardstick or ruler — mark the measurement on the ribbon, and then use the yardstick or ruler to measure it. You can also use a metal measuring tape or a yardstick.

2) A level surface with adjoining blank wall

3) A piece of paper, pencil and tape unless you don’t mind writing on the wall.

4) A carpenter’s level or something straight like a yardstick. You could even use a book if that’s all you have on hand.

 

How to Measure your Dogs Height

Instructional video to help measure a dog’s height

 

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How does one accurately measure a dog? The height in all breeds is taken with the dog standing on a level surface, his front feet should be under the shoulder blades, his hind feet should both me facing forward and aligned.

The vertical line below the arrow illustrates the line dropped from the point of shoulder to the floor that gives the true height of the dog.

How to you measure your dog if you don’t have a wicket? (Official wickets cost several hundred dollars.) Well, it’s a little like measuring your kids as they grow, but in the case of dogs, it pays to be a bit more accurate.  It’s also nice to have a helper unless your dog is perfectly trained to hold a stand-stay. Have your helper position the dog so it is in the above position, with the dog’s head level. Place the carpenter’s level across the withers (the ridge between the shoulder blades), letting it rest on the bone, one end at the wall.

Move the ends of the level until the bubble is exactly in the center of the level indicator, then use your pencil to mark the wall or a piece of paper taped to the wall, mark underneath the level where it touches the wall.

Move your dog away from the wall and measure the distance from the mark to the floor.

If you have been careful – and honest – you now have an accurate measurement of your dog’s height. Other methods, such as running a tape measure from the shoulder to the floor can cause inaccurate measurements. Believe me I’ve tried doing it that way myself  and one attempt would read 21 inches and the next 22 so this method seems to work much better especially if you have a carpenters level on hand.

countrybrook-martingale-collar-3For a Collar

Most collars are intended to fit around the middle of your dog’s neck. Place a tape measure right above your dog’s shoulder blades at the back of her neck. Bring the tape measure forward to the point of her breastbone and around her neck. Pull the tape measure so that it is snug, but not tight. Add two inches to this measurement. If the measurement is between two different collar sizes, purchase the larger size. Some specialty collars require different measurements. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for measuring your dog when purchasing these collars.

Coats and Clothes

kodiak-dog-coat-blue-plaid-1Measure your dog’s chest size as you would for a harness. Measure her topline (the outline of the dog from the withers to the tail set) by placing the measuring tape at the base of her neck at the top of her withers (the ridge between the shoulder blades) and bringing it along her spine to the base of her tail.

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Predicting a Puppy’s Height

A little bit about predicting how big your Puppy will get…

Almost the first question anyone asks when thinking about adopting or buying a puppy is – how big will he get? This is an important question to ask before you take the puppy home.

You can get a good idea of how tall your puppy will be if you know the heights of one or both of her parents. You can average them, keeping in mind that the mother’s size will affect your pup’s eventual stature more than the father’s will. That’s not always a hard and fast rule, though, because genes from generations back can pop up in any pup to engineer a body size that is much smaller or much larger than her parents. And birth size doesn’t count for much, either; even the runt of the litter can end up taller than her littermates.

Puppies grow quickly within the first six months of their lives, gaining most of their height during that time. They continue to get just a bit bigger over the next six to 14 months and should be close to, if not at, their adult height by the time they are a year old. This is because their growth plates start to close around the six-month mark and should be fully closed after a year to 14 months. A fairly accurate calculation you can do to predict an adult height for your puppy is to multiply her height at six months by 100 and divide that answer by 75. For example, a puppy who is 8 inches at the shoulder when she is 6 months old should be between 10.5 and 11 inches at the shoulder when she is finished growing.

The amount of loose skin your puppy has can sometimes be an indicator of how tall she’ll grow to be. A pup usually grows enough to fill up her outfit, although the loose-skin theory is yet another gauge that can be skewed by breed.

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Try Puppyweights.com to help figure out your puppy’s adult size and weight.

Measuring Your Dog for a Crate

Obtain your dog’s height by measuring from the point of her withers to the floor (use the instructions above). Measure your dog’s length by placing your tape measure at the point of her breast bone and pulling it to the point of the bony protrusions below the base of her tail. You want your dog to be able to stand and sit with it’s head erect and for her to be able to lie down in a fully extended position with about 2 extra inches in all directions (at least). If you’re shipping your dog by plane, you are required that their head not be able to touch the top of the crate while standing or sitting. They also must be able to turn around.

 

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Click above image to view full size!

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Hope this helps!

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