Thursday, October 20, 2011

City Dog: Dog Halloween Costume Guide: Finding Costumes for Bigger Dogs

 When I was younger I used to watch those Halloween-edition TV shows where literally everyone was decked out in Halloween costumes. I used to think it was all made-for-TV...until I moved to Chicago.With the entire city decked out all weekend, it just seems natural to have your dog in costume too. Plus, since we've realized that costumes make our pooches that much more approachable, we have taken to dressing them up every chance we get.
 At the same time, since pitbulls are so muscular, and their chests are so much broader, that it's harder to find dog-specific costumes for them. Here are some things we've learned:

Shop in the Kid's Section:
Most of the dogs' costumes are things that we find in the little kids' section. Mr. B wears the smaller hats, and we find kid-sized fairy wings, headbands and tutus. One mom even told us her daughter had the same ballerina outfit as Miss M.

Use Hats, Headbands, and Bandanas
We wrote here about how we secure the pooches' hats and headbands using elastic. Plus, they seem easier for the pooches to wear than full-out costumes.


If Your Pooch Doesn't Like Costumes...Try Decorative Collars
We love these bow-tie collars from Silly Buddy that can make even the most costume-reluctant pooch look dashing with minimal effort. Miss M even has one that she wears like a bow:
These are some things that worked with our dogs. And we've also written before about how to make your pooch comfortable wearing a costume.
What does everyone else do when it comes to costumes?

25 comments:

Two Crazy Coaches said...

I never get tired of seeing them in costume. Mr. B always looks so happy when he is dressed up! Flash isn't too bad about costumes, but Ollie would rather go without. He doesn't mind his shirt collar and tie though because he doesn't even realize it's on.

Kerri said...

I bet I could pull off a costume on the pooch with relative ease, though I've never tried. We put a coat on him during the winter, and he knows whenever we put the coat on that we're going for an adventure. I bet a sweater-type costume would have a similar effect.

We do toss a bandana on the dog during the fall because otherwise he's too hard to spot while hiking, but sometimes he chews on the ends . . . so I'm guessing too many accessories would be distracting.

houndstooth said...

A lot of times, especially because our dogs are rather uniquely shaped, I just make their costumes. It's a lot of fun to challenge my creative side with coming up with a costume to entertain the folks at the nursing home! Our costumes will be going out tonight, and I haven't practiced with them nearly enough, so we'll see what happens!

Two Grad Students and a Pittie said...

Thanks for writing this! We keep buying extra large items and they dont fit our girl! Were heading to the children's store!

Anne-Kathrine said...

I love their costums :) I only had one dog who loved clothes. My 104 lbs rottweiler. Talk about hard to find stuff that fit him lol. But I did find a skunk outfit that fit him :) He also had a raincoat, a leather bomberjacket :) I hope my future puppy will learn to love cloths too. So fun to do things like that :)

Of Pit Bulls and Patience said...

Your dogs definitely rok the fashion world. Parker and Skye are tough to fit in dog costumes, but I can adjust them (not well) so that they fit. Last Halloween I also bought a tutu and fairy wings made for kids and fit them to Skye. Who knows what we'll do this year...

goosie mama said...

Such a great post - it wouldn't have occurred to me to just pick up kids costumes! As G and I have (secretly) been coveting Miss M's tutu, we're totally going to copy and get one! Thanks for the tip!

In Black and White said...

I haven't really dressed Bilbo up much but I'm planning a Halloween costume this year. I'm intending to make it since I love getting the practice with my sewing machine! However It may be a grand failure so we'll see!

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

I shop the Target dollar bins :) There's usually a lot of kid stuff that will work well on the dogs too, and the seasonal stuff is great for costumes!

Pauley, the Mr. or the Mrs. said...

We also use kids clothing. We buy most of our stuff from Goodwill :)

brooke said...

Since Darwin's basically the size of a human, people costumes are our first thoughts. She does have a small waist though so her hula skirt last year was a large dog's costume. I really want to find her a tutu this year!

Brenda said...

Okay, I'm going to admit to being one that always thought dressing big dogs in costumes was goofy. But your blog has given me a new perspective. .....................................(ugh!!! Lucy just added that row of dots, a few minutes ago she deleted my entire comment. Okay, now I've removed her from the desk top). Anyway, I remember the first time I read how you use costumes to make the dogs more approachable. I just thought that was genius. I mean, how can you maintain the stereotype that a pit bull is a dangerous killer dog when she's dressed as a ballerina? LOL! And by the way, I love that photo of Mr. B in the hat, with the beads. That's great.

Kim @ Yellow Brick Home said...

Seeing Miss M in a bow never gets old. It's too cute! Her sourpuss face against the pink bow melts my heart.

Last year, we dressed Jack as an aviator. He absolutely hated it, but we got a kick out of it!

http://www.yellowbrickhome.com/2010/10/29/happy-howl-o-ween/

Tucker The Crestie said...

It's funny - when I had a larger dog I was not shy about dressing him up on occasion. Now that I have little ones, though, I am more averse to it, and I'm not really sure why. I think it's because I was always a "big dog" person, and until I had one I never really thought little dogs were "real dogs." Especially little dogs in costume. However, this year I really wanted to dress the "kids" up and my sister and mom were going to dress their dogs up, too, so we had a whole theme going, which hasn't panned out very well. The costumes aren't coming together very well at all so I think they'll have to wait till next year. Meanwhile, the fund raiser for the humane society is this Saturday, and not one of the dogs has anything to wear, and I'm going to be out of town on business tomorrow. I think I need to hit the kids section at Target tonight and see if I can pull something off! :)

waldobungie said...

I recently discovered the kids section and it works great for costumes - plus it's so much cheaper than actual dog costumes! The 2T toddler tutu from Target ($6.99) fit Ginger's thin waist perfectly and it's comfortable for her to wear! Also, Martha Stewart does great tutorials on pet costumes (there is a cute one for a doggie dinosaur costume).

mayziegal said...

Okay, I like these tips except that part about hats. I do NOT do hats! They might squish my Most Magnificent ears and you wouldn't want THAT, would you?

Wiggles & Wags,
Mayzie

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

I love that you guys dress up your pooches, I think it is so great!

I... am lazy. That is the long and the short of it. I know it would make for fun photos, I love the "making pitties approachable" angle... I just never do it. So I & my dogs will live vicariously ;)

kissa-bull said...

oh levi looks just so handsome with is collar and miss m looks like a tomboy who is a prissy princess on the inside and lets it out sometimes.as far as mr b well he looks polished and sophisticated the strong silent type lol. i love all their personalities

Two French Bulldogs said...

good ideas cause my chest is so big nothing fits
Benny (& Lily)

Wyatt said...

You 2 always look so adorable in any outfit. We have to keep it simple, cuz we have 'terrier fits' when the costumes come out!

Wyatt and Stanzie

A Wonderful Dogs Life said...

They are so cute. The costume ideas are clever. What will their costumes me this Halloween?

I'm pretty good at mind reading Mom and I'm pretty certain she is going to be shopping for some headbands, ribbons, and something foofy to put on them, Ugh!

Mom and Dad saw a banana split costume they wanted to get for us but it's difficult to find them Emma sized.

We have several doggie costumes Witch, Devil, Angel, Princess, Clown, and some light up reindeer antlers. Oh, and some jingley bell ruffles for our legs. We found the costumes at a one dollar store several years ago and they have held up really well for only $1. I do not recommend getting any of the tutus there. Mom got a tutu for sissy and it came all apart around the waistband the very first time she put it on her.

Hmmm, I wonder what we will dress up as this year....

Emily said...

I've been following your blog for awhile now. I wanted you to know how much some of the tips have made a difference! Currently my boyfriend and I are fostering a gorgeous blue pit. Unfortunately when we take her to adoption events she is very leash reactive, and people don't always understand the difference between reactivity and aggression. Anyway, thanks to your tips we decided to dress our foster up for her past adoption event. She wore a tutu (bought int he kids section,) and a headband with a flower. Even though she didn't find her home that day, she was complimented all day long and was approached all throughout the day-- something that does not usually happen! It made me so pleased that people were able to see her for the sweet girl we know she is.

Two Pitties in the City said...

Emily--What fantastic news! It is so funny how the costumes and gear will be something to draw people to our pooches, that helps us start the conversation. Plus, Miss M especially loves it because she gets that much more attention. I'm also starting to understand how hard leash reactivity is. One of the girls in our SociaBulls group has been stuggling with it for years, and we were so excited to see her progress! She is also going to do an upcoming guest post about living in the city with a leash reactive dog.

Emily said...

I really look forward to that post! It can be tough, especially when you are working to keep up the positive image of the pit bull! Both my pups have problems on and off with leash reactivity as well (although not on the scale as our foster,) and it's always hard to have that dialogue with people. We often find ourselves saying, "Oh, they are really sweet, they just want to meet every dog they see," and so on but I imagine that isn't especially convincing for a lot of people.

Meow Opre said...

Wonderful dog halloween costumes. I was browsing and hope I could add some to my pinterest board dog halloween costumes. Hope it's okay with you. :) Keep up the good writing too!

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