UPDATED: October 18, 2020
I get a lot of questions about Summit and Gretel’s dog jackets from Hurtta.
People are excited when they see a quality made gear for active Dachshunds.
I like that you guys are interested in them, and I really do like helping you out, but I find myself answering the same questions about sizing a couple of times every week.
To make sure I don’t forget anything, and so I can leave the link next time someone asks me, I wrote this handy “little” Hurtta sizing guide for Dachshunds.
I say “little” because, as you can see, there is quite a lot of information here. I tried to cover everything I get asked and arrange the information according to the questions.
Disclosure: As Hurtta ambassadors, they’ve provided us jackets to try out over the years, although although I’ve purchased some too. All opinions are truthful and my own.
Also, some of the links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associate or other programs we participate in). As an affiliate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
What Size Hurtta Jacket Should I Get My Dachshund?
I often hear that Hurtta dog jacket sizes are confusing. Why exactly I’ve never been able to figure out.
I think it has to do with the fact that the brand is from Finland. They are probably using European sizing converted to US sizing.
It’s kind of like wearing size 8.5 in shoes but going to buy yourself a pair of Italian-made hiking boots. You’ll usually have to convert your 8.5 US to something like 38 EU.
When people send me questions about size, the first thing they do is tell me what their dog weighs. Then they ask me what Summit and Gretel weigh.
I know they are looking for some kind of reference but a dog’s weight doesn’t tell you what you need to know to select the correct jacket size for your Dahcshund.
A 11 lb dog can vary widely in the measurements that count – neck, back, and chest – even among the same breed.
That being said, another Dachshund is unlikely to take a jacket 3 or 4 sizes larger than Summit and Gretel’s.
If you want to know what size they wear, skip down to the bottom section (but don’t forget to come back up and read about how to measure YOUR dog).
How Do I Measure My Dog?
You will need 3 to 4 measurements to choose the right sized jacket for your Dachshund.
Note: use a fabric, or flexible plastic-coated, measuring tape for this – the kind used for sewing.
Watch this quick video to see how to measure in the right places and then read my descriptions below for more details.
The measurement should be taken at the base of the neck – this being the widest part.
When measuring, place the tape right where your dog’s neck attaches to their shoulders.
Think of it as where a short necklace, or “choker” style necklace, would drape around their neck.
2) Back Length
For this measurement, place one end of the measuring tape at the withers (between the shoulder blades) to the base of the tail while your Dachshund is standing in a normal position.
If your dog is like Gretel, she “noodles”, or collapses/rolls over for belly rubs, as soon as I try to put the tape measure on her.
It’s important to measure your dog’s back length while they are standing in a normal position.
The easiest way to get a straight-line measurement is to use two people.
One person holds on to the dog’s back feet lightly, and holds a treat out in front of them, causing them to stretch forward a little to reach it. The other person does the measuring.
If you are trying to do this solo, try putting peanut butter on a long spoon and holding that spoon in your mouth while you measure.
It sounds silly but you can control your dog’s head this way by raising the spoon up higher, usually resulting in your dog standing, not sitting, to reach it.
Measure multiple times and choose the most common (2 out of 3) or the longest measurement.
If anything, this might result in a measurement that’s a 1/2 or so longer than your dog is when standing in a relaxed position.
However, in my experience, it’s better to have a jacket that is a little longer rather than shorter.
The measurement should be taken at the widest part of the chest, usually right behind the front legs.
This sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well, not necessarily.
The dog in the video above has a pretty uniform chest – similar width beginning to end.
Dachshunds are deep-chested breeds and many have quite a curve where the skin at the back of their ribcage rises to meet their belly.
A fit Dachshund’s chest is usually a little narrower behind the legs, widest just behind that, and then tapers quickly as it extends toward the abdomen.
Personally, I suggest measuring your dog and the TRUE widest part of the chest. That’s not always right behind the front legs.
Note: If you are purchasing a jacket, you can stop reading. However, if you are purchasing something like a suit that has legs, you’ll also want this next measurement too.
4) Front and Back Leg Length
The length should be measured from the bottom of the rib cage, or abdomen, and along the inner side of the leg to the wrist bone (just above where the paw starts to bend).
Your Dachshund’s front and back legs are unlikely to be the same length but are typically 1/2 to 1 inch different from each other.
To be totally safe, use the shorter of the two measurements when selecting a suit that has both front and back legs on it (like the Extreme Overall dog snow suit).
If the jacket you are buying only has front legs on it, obviously use that measurement.
I Have My Dachshund’s Measurements. Now What?
Once you have your dog’s measurements, you will need to consult with the size chart for the specific jacket you want to purchase.
Beware that some third-party vendors use the same size chart for all jackets. They do vary though so I suggest double checking on the Hurtta website.
Some notes on choosing the right size:
Back Length is Important
In my opinion, the back length is most important.
Most Hurtta dog jackets can be made shorter by 1-3 inches (the range varies by model) and not all of them are adjustable.
Be sure to check, especially if your Dachshund is in-between sizes.
I did find, at least with the Extreme Warmer, there is 1/2 to 1 inch leeway if your dog is longer than listed (see notes about Gretel’s size below).
The Chest Measurement is the Second Most Important
Definitely keep in mind the chest measurement though and don’t get a jacket that is way too big. The chest size is adjustable but there are limits.
I think it’s important that the jacket fit as snug as possible around the chest without being restricting.
This is important because, if the jacket gapes around the chest, your dog’s foot or toenail can get caught inside the jacket and trip them.
I do find the size range listed in the chart to be fairly accurate.
However, the chest strap can be tightened to 1/4″ to 1/2″ smaller than even the smallest measurement listed.
The Neck Measurement Isn’t Super Important
I’ve found the neck size on Hurtta dog jackets to be very adjustable.
Therefore, this measurement should be your last consideration.
With the Extreme Warmer, I was able to cinch the neck hole down by about 3-4 inches to fit Summit and Gretel’s neck.
A Note About Jackets With Legs
If you are buying an overall with legs, know that the size chart assumes you have a regular dog with regular sized legs, not one with 2-3 inch legs for the same chest circumference).
I’ve seen a few long and wire hair Dachshunds wear the overalls with, apparently, no issue. It looks to me like their fur keeps the jacket cuffs in place.
We tried a few but the legs were too long for Gretel and wouldn’t stay “pushed up” because she has a slick coat. Her legs kept going back up the sleeve and getting caught.
I’m not saying one won’t work for your slick-coated Dachshund but just keep our experience in mind.
What Size Do Summit and Gretel Wear?
Like I said, a dog’s measurements can vary widely even if they weight the same.
Below is the size charts for the my favorite Hurtta winter dog jacket for Summit and Gretel – the Extreme Warmer.
Summit and Gretel are both about 10.5 lbs but their measurements vary.
Gretel’s measurements are:
- Narrowest part of neck: 10.5 inches
- Chest circumference: 16.25 inches
- Back Length: 13 inches (maybe 13.5 but she is almost always hunching)
Gretel wears a size 12 in the Extreme Warmer (actually, all the Hurtta jackets we own).
As you can see by the charts above, Gretel’s back is actually 1-1.5 inches longer than the recommended back length for a 12. If she were any longer, it wouldn’t work.
It’s on the tight end as it is in the rear (when the flaps are buttoned) but I made the next a bit loser so the jacket could sit further back on her body and buy us a little bit of extra room.
The neck size listed for a 12 is 16″ – way larger than her neck actually is. The neck fits her loosely without sagging if I cinch it most of the way down.
A size 14 would be way to big for her.
Summit’s measurements are:
- Narrowest part of neck: 11 inches
- Chest circumference: 15.5 inches
- Back Length: 14 inches (maybe 14.5 but she is almost always hunching when I measure her)
Summit is in between sizes but she has to wear a 14 to for the length of the jacket to work.
The rear length, and around the neck, are very adjustable on the Extreme Warmer so, although on the larger side for her, it works.
She’s able to hike in it with to tripping, jacket dragging, or chafing issues.
As you can see, the neck does gape on her quite a bit, even at it’s smallest adjustment, but it still keeps her toasty warm and doesn’t bother her.
In fact, she’s not a huge fan of jackets anyway – and often takes a some encouragement to start walking at first – so I think she prefers a loser fit.
Chester was my first Dachshund and the original Adventurewiener (sadly, we had to let him go in 2018).
Summit actually wears a lot of Chester’s old jackets (including his Hurtta Extreme Warmer). She’s skinnier but about as long.
Chester’s measurements were:
- Narrowest part of neck: 13 inches
- Chest circumference: 17 inches
- Back Length: 14 inches (maybe 14.5 but she is almost always hunching when I measure her)
As you can see, Summit and Chester were the same length, their chest measurement varied by over and inch. and Chester’s neck was 2 inches larger.
Although the size 14 Extreme Warmer fit a little more snug on him, they both fit into the same size.
Anyway, I hope all of this helps you find the right size for your pup.