My designs were inspired by my 3 lb Yorkshire Terrier, Jackson (aka J-Dog). Jackson often finds life outside of a warm bed frightening and, well...cold. He is a timid guy and has a delicate build and a thin hair coat to match. Jackson loves the warmth a sweater provides and will speed along the process of getting one on by shoving his little head through the neck hole for you.
As with many of you, my dogs accompany me at home as well as on the go- whenever possible. Being a Large Animal Veterinarian, I am lucky enough to have my pups join me on the road as I meander from appointment to appointment on a daily basis. Seeing as we live in Vermont, warm apparel is a necessity for these little guys up to 6 months of the year. Whereas a larger breed dog may hang his head and feel ashamed at being dressed in a sweater, the smaller breeds truly crave the warmth a sweater or jacket provides.
Years of dressing my dogs in preparation for a day at work has brought to my attention two areas where functionality and durability is lacking in this market. Sadly, I would often have to flip up the backside of Jackson's sweater before letting him outside to potty in order to avoid an 'accident' on the underside of the sweater. This left Jackson with a cold tush and a grimace on his face. The alternative- a toasty tush but a soaking wet, stinky sweater and pup.
Additionally, in an effort to clothe my petite pups on outings were their harnesses were necessary see my article on harness use in small dogs, they would wear a jacket much like a cape. The leash would pull the cape upwards away from the body -allowing cold air in.
Oftentimes, small dog sweaters are not inexpensive but are cheaply made. The materials are not breathable or soft and one season of use leaves them frayed and unsightly. Natural fibers like wool and alpaca offer much more warmth than a synthetic yarn. When cared for properly, they stand to hold-up to use better than synthetics.
So, I learned to knit. I began designing dog sweaters that would solve these problems. The result was so helpful, that I decided to market my designs to the public in the hopes that I could fill a need in the dog apparel market. I hope I have done so and you and your pooch are happy with the products.