Crochet Dog Sweater - Free Step by Step Tutorial

Keep scrolling for the Free Crochet Dog Sweater Tutorial

I never thought I would be making my dogs crochet sweaters, but here I am! My two dogs are cockapoos and once full grown are between a small/medium sized breed.

Milo is 10 months and for the most part fully grown. I have a hard time even finding a harness for him because he is between sizes in most doggy wear.

I knew I wanted to make him a crochet dog sweater but I figured I would make one custom fit for him. I have found dog sweaters in stores but again, he is usually between sizes and I didn't want one too small or too big for him.

This crochet dog sweater tutorial that I have typed up is just a basic crochet dog sweater. You can embellish it or spruce it up however you'd like.

This dog sweater is made by first crocheting the collar. The collar is ribbed and worked in rows before joining to create the collar of the sweater. Then it is working in rounds to fit the chest and legs then finish up in rows to make the back portion of the sweater.

I will show you step by step how to measure your dog and what stitches to use in order to get the perfect fit for your dog. There is only a couple of easy measurements to ensure the sweater will fit your dog correctly and you can try it on your dog after each step to ensure you are on the right track.

This isn't an exact pattern, more of an explanation of how to make the dog sweater and I give examples where I can to help make sense of things. Don't hesitate to ask questions if you have any!

I hope you find this tutorial helpful in making your puppers a crochet sweater! I would absolutely love if you shared with me your finished dog sweaters on your precious pup! Tag me on instagram @mariasbluecrayon or you can share with me in my facebook group Maria's Yarn Friends.

Happy Crocheting!


Crochet Dog Sweater Tutorial

Worsted weight yarn
I/5.5mm hook
Stitch Markers
Tape Measure
Scissors & Tapestry needle to finish off yarn ends
Dog that you are making the sweater for


Knowledge of basic stitches, working in the round and rows, and increasing is necessary to complete this project.

The beginning chains will not count as a stitch.

This tutorial is a lot of explanation and guiding you in order to crochet a sweater for your dog.  I will include examples where applicable.

Since this tutorial is step by step and made to fit your pet, you can theoretically use any yarn you'd like along with the appropriate hook size.

This dog sweater is a pullover sweater, so your dog should be comfortable with things going over their head and then putting their paws through the sweater.

Gauge is not important in this tutorial because you will be fitting and measuring as you go. However, if you are a tight crocheter, you will want to make sure your stitches are loose enough for so fabric is stretchy and not tight.

Step 1: Making the collar for the sweater

The collar is made in short rows then joined so it can be worn around the neck.

To figure out how long you need to start your chain, measure your dogs neck from behind their ear to where their neck meets their body. This will be the height of the collar. 

(You can make the collar shorter if you'd like, I simply folded the collar down for my dogs but also have the option to fold it up like a turtle neck).

Once your chain is long enough, single crochet into the 2nd chain from hook and across, turn.
Chain 1, single crochet in back loop only all the way across, turn.

Repeat the last row until it fits around your dogs neck or is the size of their collar. I added a few extra rows (about an inch) so it will be comfortable around my dog's neck.

Join the last row to the first row to form a loop to complete the collar. Join by single crocheting or slip stitching the two rows together. Turn your work 90 degrees and single crochet along the side of the collar (one single crochet for each row). Join to the first single crochet. DO NOT FASTEN OFF.

Slip the collar over your dogs head to make sure it fits comfortably.

Step 2: Measure your dog's chest and start the body of the dog sweater

We will begin to work in rounds using half double crochets to make the body of the sweater.

For this step, you will need to measure your dog's chest. Using a tape measure, wrap it around their chest under their armpits and around their back. Measure loosely, you probably won't want the sweater to be too tight fitting.

Since my dogs are really fluffy, I took into account that their floof would need some room to breath.

We will start to increase the following rounds until the sweater matches the measurement of your dog's chest measurement.
Example: Milo's chest measurement was 21" so I made increases in the next rounds until the sweater measured 21" around.

I didn't want to increase too abruptly so I increased after every 3 half double crochets.

For Milo, I only had to do two rows of increases (increasing only after every 3 half double crochets) until I got his chest measurement (or close to it).

For Penny, after increasing just one round (increasing only after every 3 half double crochets), I only needed one more inch for the sweater to be the same measurement as her chest measurement. Doing another row of increases every 3 half double crochets would have been way too much. 

I did a little easy math to figure out just how much I needed to increase for the next row so I didn't go overboard and make the sweater too large for her.

I laid down my tape measurer to my work and measured how many stitches across equaled one inch. That turned out to be 4 stitches.

I knew I needed only 4 more stitches to make the sweater one inch larger. So in the next round, I only made a total of 4 increases in the round - spacing them out as equally as possible.

Once your sweater matches the chest measurement of your dog, try it on your dog to see approximately how much more length you need until it reaches your dog's legs.

Continue to work half double crochets in the round (just one in each) and trying it on your dog every so often until you see that it reaches your dog's legs.

Step 3: Making leg holes for the dog sweater

Once the sweater reaches the legs, you will want to make the leg holes. (The sweater looks short on my dog, but Penny has a lot of fluff so her legs do start there underneath all that fur.)

To make leg holes, you will want to put the sweater on your dog and put stitch markers on the inside and outside of each leg. 

OR you can measure the space between your dogs legs in the front and the width of your dogs leg.

If you used stitch markers, you will simply continue onto the next row and half double crochet until you get to a stitch marker that marks where their leg begins. Count the number of stitches until the next stitch marker and chain that number of stitches and skip all those stitches to leave space for their leg. Half double crochet into the stitch immediately after and keep half double crocheting and do the same for the next leg hole.

If you used a measuring tape, you will continue onto the next row and half double crochet until it measures the space between your dogs front legs (Penny's was a bit over 3"). Then you will work on the first leg hole.

Chain until it equals their leg width measurement. (Penny's was ~2") Skip the same amount of stitches and then half double crochet into the stitch after to create the leg opening.

Continue to half double crochet around until you have the amount of stitches left you need for the second leg hole. Chain the amount of stitches left and join to the first half double crochet.

Try the sweater on your dog and make sure it fits them well through the chest and their leg holes are big enough to get their paws in and out.

Step 4: Finishing the body of the dog sweater

All the "difficult" parts are over and now we just need to add length to the sweater.

Continue to half double crochet around (one in each stitch) until the sweater reaches somewhere around your dog's rib cage.

I made Milo's (male) stop at about the middle of his ribcage to give him plenty of room to use the bathroom without soiling the sweater.

I was able to make Penny's (female) a bit longer without worrying about her getting her sweater soiled.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

We will now work on lengthening the back of the sweater.

Attach yarn to where it lines up to the outside of the left leg hole and half double crochet until you reach where the outside of the second left hole lines up. Turn your work.

Continue to work in rows until the back of the sweater is long enough to cover your dog's back.

To add a bit of ribbing detail at the very end of the sweater, alternate front post and back post double crochets for 2-3 rows.

I hope this tutorial is helpful! This is my first time going through steps and explaining how to make a crochet item versus a concrete pattern so I hope it wasn't too confusing. Please feel free to ask any questions!