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How To Measure A Dog's Height

Milo loves his walk time!! But a crucial aspect to ensuring his comfort during his walks starts with properly fitting accessories like jackets and harnesses. Knowing how to measure a dog height is key to getting the right size of these accessories. Read on to know the step-by-step techniques, tools, and tips to help you master the art of dog height measurement.

How to Measure a Dog Height

Getting your dog's measurements is straightforward, regardless of their size. Whether you have a small breed like French Bulldogs or a larger one like Great Danes, the process remains the same. Here is how to measure a dog height:

1. Gathering the Right Tools

Before starting on the measurement process, it is essential to assemble the necessary tools. A fabric measuring tape is the preferred choice for its flexibility and accuracy. However, if unavailable, a string or standard tape measure can serve as viable alternatives. Additionally, having a notebook and pen at the ready ensures you can record your dog's measurements promptly.

2. Positioning Your Pooch

Measuring a dog's height requires them to stand upright, akin to a human standing at attention. To achieve this, coax your canine companion into a standing position, ensuring all four paws are firmly planted on the ground. Enlisting the assistance of a friend or family member to help keep your dog still and calm can facilitate the process.

3. The Core Technique

The cornerstone of how to measure a dog height lies in determining the distance to the withers, which is the highest point of its shoulder blades behind the base of the dog’s neck. Unlike humans, where height is measured to the top of the skull, for dogs, it's measured to the topmost bony part of the shoulder blade. In dogs with a thin coat, this point may be easily spotted, but in dogs with a thick coat or dogs that are obese, this point may have to be felt and identified with your fingers.

To measure your dog's height to the withers, follow these steps:

  • Use a fabric measuring tape and position it from the floor straight up to the level of the withers.
  • Ensure the tape remains perpendicular to the front legs for an accurate measurement.
  • Maintain your dog's stillness throughout the process, employing positive reinforcement such as treats if necessary.
  • Consider using a spirit level against the wall for added precision, marking the point of contact to facilitate measurements.

4. Additional Measurements

While measuring to the withers provides a fundamental height measurement, understanding supplementary dimensions is equally important. Measuring your dog's full height, length, side length, and girth offers a comprehensive overview of their physical proportions, essential for selecting properly fitting accessories.

Full Height: This measurement indicates the vertical distance from the floor to the highest point on your dog's head or ears while they are standing. It gives you a comprehensive understanding of your dog's overall height.

Length: The length measurement extends from the base of your dog's neck, where it meets the shoulders, all the way to the base of their tail. This measurement helps you understand the longitudinal dimensions of your dog's body, essentially gauging how long they are from neck to tail.

Side Length: This measurement starts from the front of your dog's chest and extends to the end of their body. It is particularly important for garment sizing, as it determines the length of clothing needed to adequately cover your dog's side.

Girth: Girth refers to the circumference of your dog's chest. To measure it, wrap a tape measure around the widest part of your dog's chest, typically just behind their front legs. This measurement is crucial for selecting harnesses, coats, and other clothing items, ensuring they fit snugly and comfortably around your dog's chest area.

5. Tips for Precision and Accuracy

Achieving precise measurements requires attention to detail and a touch of finesse. Here are some additional tips to enhance your measurement process:

  • Ensure the tape measure remains straight and taut throughout the measurement process.
  • Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats to keep your dog calm and cooperative.
  • Consider enlisting the help of a professional or experienced groomer for particularly challenging measurements.
  • Double-check measurements to ensure accuracy, especially when ordering custom-fit accessories or garments.


While a dog height measurement may present challenges, but armed with the right approach and tools, it becomes a manageable task. Remember to remain patient and use positive reinforcement such as treats to keep your dog cooperative throughout the process. By accurately measuring your dog's dimensions, you ensure their comfort and well-being, whether it is selecting the perfect-sized accessory or providing them with a cozy resting space. So, grab your measuring tape and get started on ensuring your furry companion's perfect fit today!