Dog Fashion as an Extension of Personal Style

Introduction

Since the beginning of time, mankind has always domesticated wild animals. Some of these animals have been well domesticated while some have not. A dog has formed a very close association with mankind. Dogs have often been described as a man’s companion. Initially, domesticated dogs were used for hunting and are still used for that purpose even at present but to a lesser extent. It has been shown that dogs are quite intelligent and can be easily trained.

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The ease with which a dog can be trained has made it to be very close to humans. The friendship between dogs and human beings has seen both parties benefit. Man has taken several steps to take care of this unique friend, for example, police dogs usually have some kind of body gears to protect their from bodies from being hurt, especially when on outdoor missions. Dogs that are kept as pets are often shown much compassion as they are viewed, as part of the owner.

One of how pet dogs are treated well is by being clothed. Although this is a controversial practice, as will be seen in this paper, it can be argued, that dog fashion is an extension of a personal style. Dogs have been integrated into the life of human beings and have strong bonds making them be treated as part of a family. Out of the love that dog owners have for their dogs, they have gone to the extent of buying them clothes. This literature review will prove that dog fashion is just an extension of a personal style.

Methodology

To undertake this research internet sources were used. Five current sources were picked up for the literature review. The article ranged from a newspaper article, web pages to a scholarly article. The articles tackled the topic from a variety of perspectives. The summaries of the articles are highlighted below.

Article 1

“RSPCA,” RSPCA says people, who dress up their dogs, could be prosecuted. The Telegraph, 2009. Web.

Summary

This article strongly presented the opinion of RSPCA regarding dogs being dressed by their owners. It is claimed that forcing animals to wear clothes is cruel and harmful to their health. The article shows that dog clothes are taken seriously as top designers have engaged in the business, while others have organized dog show fashions: “Top fashion designers, including Vivienne Westwood and Ben de Lisi, have also created dog designs, while the London store Harrods has an annual fashion show called Pet-a-Porter” (RSPCA 1).

It was argued that though there were some instances where clothes were necessary for dogs, clothes are generally not good for dogs. It was argued that during winter, dogs needed clothes, especially small dogs, which stay indoors most of the time. Views aired have criticized dog dressing and termed the practice as going overboard:

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To see a little dog dressed up in boots, I think, is a little over the top. You can buy anything fashion-wise for your dog. I have an extreme love of the dog, but I don’t like to see them dressed up like little human beings. I don’t think they like it either. It’s unnatural. (RSPCA 1)

It was argued that pet owners ought to ensure that they take care of their pets and ensure that they have normal behavior. It was argued that overdressing dogs may hamper their normal behavior, thus becoming a violation of the law. It was sadly expressed that people have taken to dogs simply because they are viewed to be fashionable. The trend of taking up dogs because they are fashionable was said to be triggered by “the rise in celebrities with ‘handbag dogs’” (RSPCA 1). It is strongly argued in the article that it has become a common trend for people to take up dogs as pets basically because dogs have become fashionable and as such these dogs have been subjected to what human beings think is best for them (the dogs) and not what is best the dogs.

Evaluation

I found this article to be very basic in supporting the thesis statement for this paper. The argument is clear; people are taking up dogs not actually as pets but rather because it has become a fashion. Celebrities have enhanced this habit of making dogs fashionable. Dressing dogs is not done for the comfort of the dogs but rather for the comfort of the owner. Simply, put the owners admire their dogs dressed. This article shows, basically why people tend to dress their dogs; it is their personality that they extend.

Article 2

Gregorich, Jenny. Why Do People Buy Clothes for Their Canines? Ezine Mark, 2010. Web.

Summary

Gregorich presented an argument in favor of dog clothes and generally argued that it is for the benefit of the dog and not for the owner, as the first article above has argued. The first argument that the author presented was that the small breed of dogs needs to be protected against the harsh environment for example during the winter: “Dogs with small coats often shiver during the winters, and without adequate clothing to keep them warm they are likely to fall sick” (Gregorich 1). The author further argued that this is not a new habit as clothes have been used by the military to keep the dogs safe when in a bad environment.

The second reason forwarded is that clothes are a way of showing love to the best friends of man. The author believed that buying clothes for dogs would make them feel special. Dog owners are cautioned to buy their dogs dresses that feel comfortable on them. The author furthermore argued that dog owners should buy clothes that their dogs will be proud to wear. The author argued that a dog wearing the right clothes will feel proud.

The author believed that clothes make dogs confident “Wearing clothes for dogs certainly helps them garner attention from curious onlookers” (Gregorich 1). Wearing of clothes by dogs was also associated with being friendly “Wearing dog clothes makes them appear friendly and approachable, especially to children” (Gregorich 1). The clothes were finally associated with shaping the character of a dog.

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Evaluation

This was an article from a web page and I do not agree with many of the opinions expressed in the article. I picked this article to express plainly to what extent efforts have been made to justify that dog clothes are for the right of the dogs and not the owner. Most of the arguments that the author made do not sound realistic, and I felt that they were just meant to justify the habit of dog fashion.

The author argued that clothes could make dogs confident and friendly. I believe that clothes have nothing to do with the confidence and friendliness of a dog; these are characters acquired upon training a dog. I do believe, that the issue of dogs feeling proud does not arise.

Dogs are naturally meant to be without any clothes. How can one prove that dogs feel ashamed when they do not have clothes? I believe this article shows the true stand of the owner who dresses their dogs. Dressing dogs are not actually for the benefit of the dogs but for the joy of the owners. The owners feel that their dogs look cool with clothes on. The dog owners identify more with the dogs when they have their clothes on. Therefore it is just right to say that dog fashion is just an extension of personal style.

Article 3

Dog Clothes. Dog Clothes. I love India, n.d. Web.

Summary

This article expresses similar opinions as those expressed by Gregorich in the immediate above article. Some reasonable arguments are made in this article. It suggested that humans like the world of fantasy and that dogs of late are taking to that trend. The article gave suggestions indicating that dogs are at peace wearing beautiful clothes. The article gives several cautions that owners should take when clothing their dogs.

It is advisable that very attractive clothing should be avoided to discourage the dog from chewing the cloth. Clothes should be comfortable on the dog, for instance, “the distance between the cuts for the paws should be comfortable for your dog” (Dog Clothes 1). The article goes too lengthy to describe the kind of clothes which should be worn by dogs when on outdoor activities, for instance, hunting. Strong arguments are made favoring dog clothes as a way of protecting them, especially when they are out in the woods “Clothes for active dogs are designed especially to keep them from getting scratches and cuts in the woods by the sharp bushes and splintering brambles” (Do Clothes 1).

In the article, it is expressed that a dog’s “coats, vests, boots, and hats should not be very tight but should remain securely in place while the dog is on the hunt or a hike with you” (Dog Clothes 1). In general, the article expresses in a clear way that clothes should be used to protect the dog from cold and a harsh environment.

Evaluation

This article sheds light on how and when dogs should be dressed. The arguments made in the article are mostly reasonable except the first remark made, which claimed that dogs have a keen interest in fashion: “even dogs take on some of the spirits of their owners and like to wear clean beautiful outfits sometimes” (Dog Clothes 1). Otherwise, the article presented concise arguments that still favored our topic statement.

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Examining properly the reasons that are given for dressing a dog, it becomes clear that people do not dress dogs for those reasons. The article exclusively associates dog dressing with bad weather and environmental conditions. In a real sense most dog owners do not go out in the woods to hunt nor do they expose themselves to chilly weather conditions. As a matter, the dogs are taken out when it is most appropriate to walk them around.

When dogs have walked around, in most cases, they are taken around safe environments, safe for both the owner and the dog. The description given by the article above applies to police and military dogs, which are often exposed to challenging environmental conditions. Dogs that are kept as pets are dressed because the owners want to.

Article 4

Foderaro, Lisa. In More Office Cubicles, the Dog Has Its Day, 2009. The New York Times. Web.

It is an article that appeared in the New Times. In this article, the author brings to reality the close bond that has been formed between human beings and dogs which are kept as pets. Foderaro describes how dogs are part of the life of their owners. The relation is so close that at times dogs have been described as a partner who cannot be left behind:

Employees say they bring their dogs to work simply because they hate to leave them home alone, and they are more than willing to sacrifice coffee breaks for trips to the fire hydrant. Once at the office, they say, dogs help relieve stress (it is difficult to feel tense when something is licking your knee) and provide a measure of security for people who keep late hours. (Foderaro 1)

The author presented various views about what employees at various capacities thought of coming to the workplace with their dogs. Most of them were excited and believed that it was a great thing to do. The employees argued that leaving dogs at only makes them (the owners) feel bad “Employees say they bring their dogs to work simply, because they hate to leave them home alone, and they are more than willing to sacrifice coffee breaks for trips to the fire hydrant” (Foderaro 1).

It is evident that people close associations with dogs that at times they act as therapy “When you’re crazy, and you want to kill somebody, and she comes over and puts her paw up, whatever you were aggravated about completely disappears” (Foderaro 1). The author recorded the story of a dog that even came to the office when the owner was sick.

Evaluation

I picked up this article because it is shown, how people treat dogs. Apart from the fact that “office dogs” might infringe on the rights of other employees at the work place, there is nothing wrong with dogs being in offices as long as they maintain office etiquette.

Dog owners who take their dogs to the office have various personal reasons for that. It is clear from the above article that it is not the dogs that need to be at the office but rather the owners who want to see them at their offices.

On the surface, this article does not relate directly to the topic statement but examined closely one gets to understand that dog owners, in most instances, treat dogs for their interests. It is worth noting that as much as a dog might enjoy being in an office if the owner changes his/her mind and believes that he/she does not feel good seeing the pet around, then the pet will not have a say but stay where the owner will see it fit. The argument is simple, dog dressing just like dogs accompanying their owners to the offices, is mainly in the interest of the owners.

Article 5

Planck, Max. Human-like social skills in dogs? The trend in Cognitive Science, 2005. Web.

The author explained the origin of the close relationship between dogs and human beings. He claimed that dogs are “skilled at reading human social and communicative behavior” (Planck 1). The author claimed that this behavior of easily adapting to human behavior makes dogs be easily trained to carry out some tasks. It has made it possible for dogs to coexist with human beings everywhere. The author quoted researches carried out to show that dogs over time have evolved skills that have to enable them to read human behavior. The researches quoted have shown that dogs intuitively know what human being communicate to then even if they do not use words.

Dogs have been noted to accurately read simple symbols and act on them decisively. The author explained that dogs unlike other animals can cope well with other animals. The convergence of human behavior and that of dogs was associated with the enculturation of the human culture to that of dogs. The authors argued that “the ability to read human social behavior should develop over a dog’s lifetime and should vary depending on the amount of exposure a dog has had to humans” (Planck 1). Furthermore, the author indicated that: “Taken together, these comparative findings suggest that the unusual social skills of dogs arose as a result of domestication and represent a case of convergent evolution with humans” (Planck 1).

Evaluation

I picked this article specifically because of the scientific explanation that it offers. According to the article, dogs can cope well with human beings because of the skills that these dogs possess. The skills possessed by the dogs make it easier for them to be trained to behave in a way that humans admire.

Training an animal to behave in a way that a person admires is simply domesticating an animal. This ability to be easily domesticated has made the dog a favorite animal as it becomes so easy to walk around with it, take it to your workplace, and even cloth it the way you feel is good. This article simply shows that dogs are easily domesticated and trainable, and thus because of this they have been used as a way of expressing personal styles for those who own them. It should be noted that because of the flexibility of the dogs, they may not object to dog dressing but rather may adapt to wearing clothes due to their flexibility in adapting to new ways.

Conclusion

The five articles reviewed above have shown that dogs are highly flexible. They can adapt due to the skills and traits that they possess. Some of the reasons, which have been forwarded in some of the articles for dogs, being dressed do not make much sense and they can be just be viewed as a way that humans use to justify this practice. It is worth noting that in most cases dressing of dogs is not done for protection as most of the dogs are owned as pets and spend most of their time in safe environments. Thus when dogs adapt to wearing dresses, it is not because they are proud but rather because they have adapted and learned that it is the way of its master.

Works Cited

Dog Clothes”. Dog Clothes. I love India, n.d. Web.

Foderaro, Lisa. In More Office Cubicles, the Dog Has Its Day, 2009. The New York Times. Web.

Gregorich, Jenny. Why Do People Buy Clothes for Their Canines? Ezine Mark, 2010. Web.

Planck, Max. Human-like social skills in dogs? Trend in Cognitive Science, 2005. Web.

“RSPCA”. RSPCA says people who dress up their dogs could be prosecuted. The Telegraph, 2009. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, January 13). Dog Fashion as an Extension of Personal Style. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/dog-fashion-as-an-extension-of-personal-style/

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"Dog Fashion as an Extension of Personal Style." StudyCorgi, 13 Jan. 2021, studycorgi.com/dog-fashion-as-an-extension-of-personal-style/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Dog Fashion as an Extension of Personal Style." January 13, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/dog-fashion-as-an-extension-of-personal-style/.


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StudyCorgi. "Dog Fashion as an Extension of Personal Style." January 13, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/dog-fashion-as-an-extension-of-personal-style/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Dog Fashion as an Extension of Personal Style." January 13, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/dog-fashion-as-an-extension-of-personal-style/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Dog Fashion as an Extension of Personal Style'. 13 January.

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