Why does my dog get super calm when we put a sweater on her?

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
2414 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

Read up on thunder shirts. They make them for dogs because they’re calming. 

This is pretty normal. FYI compression shirts have similar effects on people sometimes too. It is part of my post-concussive treatment. 

Post # 4
47 posts
  • Wedding: July 2014

Many dogs (and people too!) experience anxiety and one of the well-proven methods that helps is compression.  There is even a product specifically designed for dogs to wear during thunderstorms to help them relax. 

Sounds like your dog maybe likes the compression of the sweater and feels relaxed.  However, if you are worried, then take it off her and see if her demeanor changes back to the way she was before.  And, you can always call your vet, just in case!


Post # 5
404 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

My male dog gets statue still when you put a sweater on him. You can pose him any way you want and he will not move at all. The second you take the sweater off he runs around like a mad animal. 

My pom on the other hand, will not leave the house without a sweater. 

Post # 8
1581 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@mrspinesol: I remember reading somewhere that this is actually a common coping technique for some people that fall on the autism spectrum; by wrapping themselves in blankets or things like that, it helps to calm them. I also read about it in a fictional book about insane asylums in the early 1900s, where they would swaddle the patient to control and calm them (who knows if it worked, but).

Post # 9
1343 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@mrspinesol:  maybe you can look into getting a thunder shirt used on ebay or something? I’m not sure if that is something you would buy used, but you’re right they are really expensive! 


Post # 10
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

It may be the calming effect of compression as other posters have mentioned.

My boy cat does this, I tried to put him in a harness and tether to go outside.  If I put his harness on he just tips over and lays with his legs in the air.  I am a horrible cat mom for laughing whenever it happens.  He has a Santa costume I put on at Christmas just to get a photo op, and it has a jacket that causes the same thing.  He just tips over and lays there until I take it off.

Post # 12
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

My little dog loves wearing doggie t-shirts and singlets. If she wants to wear one she will sit outside of the cupboard where I keep them and wait patiently for me to notice. She also prefers to choose the top….when I hold up the one she wants she will spin in circles….it’s a little strange but then she is a pretty strange pup.

Post # 13
8518 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2014

@mrspinesol:  I’m sorry, but thats not “calm.” Its called shutting down. Its quite common.

I recommend watching this whole video (and her other videos) but if you just want to see an example, skip to 2:15. That sounds like what you’re describing, no? Like the video says, people make the mistake of thinking that because a dog is still, its calm, when that is not the case.


I’ve also seen Thundershirts mentioned, and I just want to point out that that is NOT the purpose of Thundershirts. It is supposed to help calm them (doesnt do anything for my dogs though) but it is not supposed to make them limp and unresponsive.

I also just read the update where you said she pants when you put it on her. Panting, and yawning, are also signs of stress. Didnt know if you know that or not, so I just thought I’d throw that out there as well.

Post # 16
8518 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2014

@mrspinesol:  I’m just going by what you yourself posted. Just trying to help.

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