How to Measure Your Dog: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Measure Your Dog: A Step-by-Step Guide

How do you measure a dog’s size? Shoulder height, withers, neck circumference, and back length are important specifications for dog coats, leashes, and surgical bodies.

For this, it may be necessary to measure the size of your dog or one of the body parts. The instructions on this page will certainly help you how to measure your dog correctly and where to put the measuring tape.

The Shoulder Height

A dog’s height is generally measured from the floor to the shoulder. One, therefore, speaks of the shoulder height of the animal.


This measure is an important point of reference, especially in breeding. In the breed standards, this measurement is called the withers. For “home use” the measure is mainly interesting for dog clothing.

In order to get a correct result, your dog should stand still and straight. Then use the measuring tape to measure from the floor to the highest elevation of the shoulder blade.


Just make a list of all the measurements of your pet as soon as it is fully grown .

So you always have all measurements to hand. It is best to always try on harnesses, collars, and dog clothing.

Measure The Right Dog Collar

A very important measurement is neck circumference. It is not only necessary for clothing but is particularly important when buying a collar.

The measurement is also required to adjust some dog harnesses.

To measure the neck circumference, wrap the measuring tape loosely around the end of the neck.

The collar should never fit all the way around the neck. About two fingers should still fit between the neck and collar.

However, it must not be too loose either, otherwise, the dog can easily free itself from it.

With a young dog, remember that he is still growing. Therefore, check the fit of the collar regularly.

Back length, The Measurement For Dog Coats

In addition to the shoulder height, the back length of the animal is also important for dog clothing.

You also measure your back while standing. Measure from the shoulder blade to the base of the tail.

This measurement is especially important for any dog ​​coat or sweater. They must be long enough to optimally protect the back from cold or wet.

The back length is also important for special surgical bodies. These bodysuits have recently been popularly used in place of the uncomfortable funnel post-surgery or injury.

The body ensures that the dog does not lick the wound and thus aggravates the injury. After the body has fit well, it is important to choose the right size. Then the dog is not restricted in its freedom of movement.

Measure the Dog’s Chest Circumference

Chest circumference and waist are important for the harness and dog clothing.

The chest circumference is measured about a hand width behind the front legs. To do this, place the tape measure around the dog’s chest.

Use a soft tailor’s tape measure. The metal tape measures used by DIYers are not ideal for these measurements. The result will be inaccurate.

Do the same for the waist as you did for the bust. The waist is measured about a hand’s breadth in front of the hind legs.

When buying clothing, you should always make sure that you allow enough leeway here so that the sweater or coat is not too tight on the dog’s body.

The Largest and Smallest Dogs

Great Dane, Landseer, Leonberger, and Irish Wolfhound have one thing in common. They are among the largest of their kind. These dogs can reach a shoulder height of up to 100 centimeters, in exceptional cases even more.

With a shoulder height of 1,035 meters, the Great Dane Freddy is currently the tallest dog in the world.

The former world record holder Zeus achieved a total of 1.12 meters. Zeus also belonged to the Great Dane race, but unfortunately, he has already passed away.

In contrast, the smallest dog breed in the world – the Chihuahua – looks extremely fragile and almost like a toy. The current record holder is Chihuahua Dame Miracle Milly. She is just 9.65 centimeters high.

Between these extremes, there are dogs of every imaginable size and length. Did you know that a dog’s age also depends on its size? Small dogs tend to get older than their larger counterparts.

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