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Dog-Specific Outerwear

During one of my once-a-week trips to town, I plan to hunt around for some brown jeans, etc. as a way to avoid the dog dirt stains that cause me dismay on laundry day. My standard choice lately for true outerware is black. As you can see below, they are well worn.

Dog gloves ratty

This is my current Dog Coat from Black Diamond. On most days it’s plenty warm, if I do good layers underneath. I like that it isn’t bulky. I also like that it’s longer in the back to cover my backside because once my bottom gets cold, it takes a long time to warm up. Even if the coat gets smudged, I find a damp paper towel does wonders. In addition to two perfectly placed and zippered pockets on the sides, it also has a tiny pocket on the upper left sleeve.

Initially, I was completely stumped by this pocket, but Gigi (our trainer) pointed out it’s designed to hold a cell phone. Since she’s outside pretty much all day, every day training dogs, I trust her advice on outerwear. She has the best dog clothes EVER.

But, my old phone wasn’t a flip style, so it did NOT fit into the pocket. Therefore, I took to using this odd little pocket to hold kleenex. (I’m always sniffy when we train outside.) My new phone, indeed, fits, so if I have it with me, I do use the pocket. If not, it’s still a handy place to keep a tissue.

Dog coat 1

If it’s really windy, or if visibility on the road during walks is a concern, then Tom insists I wear my yellow shell (from Columbia) too. It also does wonders for blocking the wind and moisture, and it too has a longer tail to protect my backside, but clearly, the yellow gets grubby (and looks grubby) easily. (I don’t know why the sleeves look so blue in the photo. They are a dark gray to my eyes.) The pocket placement, though, isn’t as comfortable for my personal body build.

Still … even after many years (and I mean MANY), this shell serves me well.

Dog cpat 2

I even have special Dog Gloves. They’ve been through a lot. Most of the rubberized pieces for better grip are torn away, and I recently ripped a hole in one of the fingers. But, I like that they are easily washed. I like how they fit so that I can stay (mostly) warm and still handle small treats, leash clips, etc. I’ll probably sew up the tear and get through this winter, then maybe look for new ones on clearance this spring/summer.

Do tell … what do you wear to stay warm (and relatively clean looking) when you’re out with your critters?


Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Heather - January 29, 2009

Brrrr…. so cold today!

Rox - January 28, 2009

Welcome to the neighborhood, Heather. It can get amazingly cold here. Hang in there. The winds will go away soon.

Heather - January 28, 2009

This winter I’ve been living in my Isis down hooded jacket, ski gloves, heavy wool hat and northface chilkat winter boots… This is my first winter in the foothills and I had to experience the cold, wind & blowing snow to believe it!

KB - January 28, 2009

I wear convertible glove/mittens. If I’m actively training the dogs and handing out lots of treats, I have the mitten part of the glove/mitten flipped back and the half-fingered gloves cover my hands. That way I have dexterity to hand out treats. When my fingers get cold, I stick my fingers in my pockets and touch the chemical handwarmers that I keep there.

I have Raynaud’s syndrome, which causes my body to randomly turn off circulation to my fingers if they’re the slightest bit cold. Despite that problem, my method keeps my fingers warm during dog training.

I’ve given up on having my jackets not look grubby. Now that I have all three colors of Labs, there isn’t any jacket color that hides their fur that inevitably sticks to fleece.

Nancy - January 27, 2009

Airedales? Clean clothes? Bwaaahahahahahahah! Seriously, though, I do try not to wear gloves when they’re about–both of them HATE gloves and will try anything to get them off our hands.

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