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Free Dog Sweater Pattern (Easy Knit Striped Coat)

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS THAT SUPPORT HANDY LITTLE ME CONTENT AND FREE PATTERNS.

This free dog sweater pattern has three sizes, so you can make something that will fit your dog’s breed.

Small dogs love their knitted sweaters; not only do they look really cute, but it stops them from shivering in the cold weather.

Obviously, if you have a really large dog, you must measure the largest size to see if it will fit.

Make your dog a cozy knit for the colder months they will love!

Scroll down to view the free pattern, or grab your printer-friendly, ad-free PDF here.

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Our best friend Billy wearing his striped sweater.

Free Dog Sweater Knitting Pattern

Grab your inexpensive, ad-free, PDF printable pattern here.

Grab 12 dog sweater patterns in my discounted bundle here!

Notes

Skill Level – Easy (advanced beginners)

  • This striped dog sweater knits up quickly, and the simple design makes for a relaxing and enjoyable knit.
  • Your pet (fur kid or pup) will love wearing this sweater for extra warmth on cold days.
  • Cozy sweaters are perfect for early morning winter walks or a trip to the dog park.
  • You can make this easy-knit dog sweater for dogs of all sizes, and the small size may even fit a cat (if they wear a cat sweater, that is!).
  • Remember to measure your dog to check which size will make the perfect fit (including the chest circumference).
  • You can use straight or circular needles to knit this sweater, but it is knit flat (back and forth) on the needles, not in the round.

*Please note there is a small amount of crocheting needed for the edging of the sweater. This is to give the edges a more finished look. But it is not absolutely necessary, so if you can’t crochet, don’t worry!

Copyright

  • Please do not copy, sell, redistribute, or republish this free knit pattern. 
  • If you wish to share this pattern, link to the pattern page only.
  • You may sell items produced using this pattern to support your furry friend.
  • Do NOT use the copyrighted photos for your product listing.
  • For the copyright T&C, please read my Terms of Use.

Gauge

23 sts and 30 rows = 10 cm/4″ square over stocking stitch using double knitting/DK yarn on 4 mm (US 6) needles.

Size / Dog’s Measurements >

There are three different sizes to make for your four-legged friends, including small size dogs (like small Yorkies), medium size dogs, and large size dogs.

Measure the back length and chest size (at the widest part)…

  • Length (excluding collar) – small 29 cm / medium 34 cm / large 44 cm
  • (Small-12” Medium- 14” Large- 17.5” inches)
  • Chest (at widest part) – small 35 cm / medium 41 cm / large 44 cm
  • (Small – 14” Medium – 16” Large – 17.5” inches)

The Supplies You Need

Yarn

Needles

Notions

  • Tape measure
  • Darning needle
  • Scissors
  • Stitch markers
  • Stitch holder
dog-sweater-knitting-pattern

Dog Coat Abbreviations

Knitting Abbreviations And Terms (US And UK)

  • Alt – alternate
  • Beg – beginning
  • CO – Cast on
  • Cont – continue
  • Dec – decrease by knitting the next 2 stitches together
  • Foll – following
  • Inc – increase by knitting into the front and back of the next stitch
  • K – knit
  • LHN – left-hand needle
  • M1 – make a stitch by picking up yarn before the next stitch and knitting into the the back of the made loop.
  • P – purl
  • PM – Place marker
  • Rem – remaining
  • RHN – right-hand needle
  • S1 – slip next stitch
  • Stockinette (stocking stitch) st-st – row 1 knit, row 2 purl
  • Sts – stitches
  • RS – right side
  • WS – wrong side

Crochet Abbreviations

Free Dog Sweater Knitting Pattern

Free Knitting Pattern Instructions

Start at the collar edge

  • Using 4 mm needles and Yarn A, cast on 68 (80:88) sts.
  • Row 1: (RS of the collar, WS of coat) *k1, p1; rep from * to end.
  • Row 2: (WS of the collar, rs of coat) *k1, p1; rep from * to end.
  • Repeating 1st and 2nd rows form 1×1 rib.
  • Cont in rib until collar measures 11 (11.5:11.5) cm (or 4.3” / 4.5”:4.5”) inches ending with RS of the collar facing for next row.
  • Next row (RS of the collar, WS of coat) rib 11 (15:17), m1k, rib to end. 69 (81:89) sts.

Divide for back and belly >

  • Row 1: (RS of coat) k 57 (65:71) sts for the back of the sweater, and work on these stitches only.
  • Leave rem 12 (16:18) sts on a holder for the belly.
  • Row 2: Purl.
  • Row 3: (Lead hole row) (RS) k 26 (30:32), k1, sl 1, pass k1 over sl 1, * sl 1, pass next st on RHN over the stitch just slipped; rep from * 4 (4:6) times. Slip last st on RHN back to LHN. Turn (WS facing). Cast on 6 (6:8) sts. Cast on 1 more stitch, bringing yarn between the needles from back to front before putting the stitch onto LHN. Turn (RS facing). K1 and pass next st on RHN over the k1 just worked. Knit to end. 57 (65:71) sts.
  • Row 4: Purl.
  • Break Yarn A and join Yarn B.
  • Next row (RS) knit.
  • Next row (WS) purl.
  • Repeating last 2 rows forms stocking stitch.
  • Work 2 more rows in st-st.
  • Break Yarn B and join Yarn C.
  • Beg with a knit row work 4 rows st-st.
  • Break Yarn C and join Yarn D.
  • Beg with a knit row work 4 rows in st st.
  • Breaking and joining yarns as required, cont. in st-st working the stripe sequence:
  • 4 rows Yarn A.
  • 4 rows Yarn B.
  • 4 rows Yarn C.
  • 4 rows Yarn D.
  • Until back of coat measures: approx. 26 (31:41) cm or 10” (12”/ 16”) inches (from the start of st-st, ending after the 4th row of a stripe and rs facing for next row.
  • Break the current yarn and join Yarn A.
  • Row 1: (RS) knit.
  • Row 2: *p1, k1; rep from * to last st, p1.
  • Row 3: k1, *p1, k1: rep from * to end.
  • 2nd and 3rd rows form 1 x 1 rib.
  • Cont in rib until rib measures 5 cm, or 2” inches ending with RS facing for next row.
  • Cast off in rib.
  • Pm at each end of the back between 9th and 10th (9th and 10th: 12th and 13th) rows, between 34th and 35th (42nd and 43rd: 49th and 50th) rows and between 45th and 46th (54th and 55th: 60th and 61st) rows.
  • Sew ends not required for seaming into their own color.

Belly/Underside >

  • With RS facing, join Yarn C to 12 (16:18) sts left on a holder.
  • Beg with a knit row work 6 rows st-st.
  • Row 7: (RS) k1, m1k, knit to last 1 st, m1k, k1. 14 (18:20) sts.
  • Work 2 rows st-st.
  • Row 10: (WS) p1, m1p, purl to last st, m1p, p1. 16 (20:22) sts.
  • Cont in st-st, inc 1 st at each end of 13th, 16th, 19th, 23rd, 27th and 31st rows. 28 (32:34) sts.
  • Cont in st-st until the 36th (46th: 52nd) row has been completed from the start of st-st (belly measures approximately 12 (15:17) cm, or 5”(6:7) inches ending with RS facing for next row.
  • Break Yarn C and join Yarn A.
  • Row1: (RS) knit.
  • Row 2: *k1, p1: rep from * to end.
  • Repeating 2nd-row forms 1×1 rib.
  • Cont in rib until rib measures 5 cm or 2 inches ending with RS facing for next row.
  • Cast off in rib.
  • Pm at each end of the belly between 9th and 10th (9th and 10th: 12th and 13th) rows and 34th and 35th (42nd and 43rd: 49th and 50th) rows.

Lead hole edging >

  • Using a 4 mm/G-6 crochet hook and Yarn A, with RS facing, work 1 round of edging all round lead hole as follows:
  • Inserting hook into the center of each stitch, work 1 dc into each cast-off stitch of the hole, work 1 dc at the side edge of the hole, work 1 dc into each cast-on stitch of the hole, work 1 dc between at side edge of the hole, 1 Sl-st into the first-stitch round. Fasten off.

Back edging >

  • Using a 4 mm/G-6 crochet hook and Yarn A, with RS facing, work 1 row of edging along each side edge as follows:
  • Inserting hook into the center of row edge stitch, work 1 sl-st into each row edge stitch of the 3cm/2 inches of rib, and work 1 dc into 3 out of every 4-row edge stitches of the st-st stripes.
  • The collar does not have crochet edging.

Belly edging >

  • Using a 4 mm/G-6 crochet hook and Yarn C, with RS facing, work 1 row of edging along each side edge as follows:
  • Inserting hook into the center of row edge stitch, work 1 dc into 3 out of every 4-row edge stitches of the st-st.
  • The rib and the collar do not have crochet edging.

Making up the sweater

  • Pin the sweater to the measurements given, opening out the rib of the collar and at the tail and belly.
  • Press following the instructions on the skein/ball band, or cover with damp cloths and leave until dry.
  • Stocking stitch has a natural tendency to curl towards the wrong side at the sides.
  • Adding the crochet edging and blocking the sweater as instructed will help to minimize this, but some yarns will maintain the curl more than others.
  • With RS of the collar (WS of the sweater) facing, using mattress stitch and Yarn A, join the collar seam for 5.5 (6:6) cm or 2.1”(2.5:2.5) inches, taking one stitch into the seam at each side so that the 1×1 rib is continuous all the way around.
  • Reverse the sweater.
  • With RS of the sweater (WS of collar) facing, using mattress stitch and yarn a, continue to join the collar seam to the end of the 1×1 rib, again taking one stitch into the seam at each side.
  • Fasten off Yarn A.
  • Using mattress stitch and Yarn C, join the belly and back seam from the top of the 1×1 rib of the collar to the marker between the 9th and 10th (9th and 10th: 12th and 13th) rows (joining the 9th (9th and 12th) rows ends the seam), taking the crochet edging into the seam at each side.
  • Fasten off Yarn C.
  • For the leg openings – Leave the seam open between the markers at the 9th and 10th (9th and 10th: 12th and 13th) rows and at the 34th and 35th (42nd and 43rd: 49th and 50th) rows.
  • Using mattress stitch and Yarn C, join the belly and back seam, starting at the markers at the 34th and 35th (42nd and 43rd: 49th and 50th) rows (joining the 35th(43rd: 50th) rows starts the seam) and ending at the last row of the belly rib, matching the belly to the back row for row.
  • Take the crochet edging into the seam at each side along the stocking stitch and half a stitch at the side edge for the belly rib.
  • Join the other side edge of the belly to the other side edge of the back to match.
  • Fold collar in half to RS of the sweater.

Grab The Ad-Free Printable PDF Pattern Here

An Easy Dog Sweater To Make

This is an easy pattern for those of you who are at the advanced beginner level, and the techniques you will need to know are casting on, casting off, knitting, purling, and slipping stitches.

You can make this sweater for a small dog, medium-sized dog, or large dog; the measurements are listed in the pattern information.

You can knit with the stripes or without, using one block color if you prefer.

There is also a bit of crochet knowledge needed for the edging of the sweater, but if you do not know how to crochet, you don’t have to add that.

The Yarn I Used For The Dog Sweater Pattern

I made the dog sweater using DK – double knitting yarn; this is light worsted/8 ply yarn.

I used 4 different colored yarns in an acrylic blend.

Any DK/light worsted/8 ply yarn will be okay for this pattern.

What kind of yarn is good for dogs?

When selecting yarn for projects intended for dogs, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and comfort.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing yarn for dog-related items:

  1. Natural Fibers: Opt for yarn made from natural fibers such as cotton, wool, or bamboo. These materials are generally soft, breathable, and less likely to cause irritation or discomfort to a dog’s skin.
  2. Non-Toxic: Ensure that the yarn is free from harmful chemicals or dyes that could be toxic to dogs if ingested. Look for yarn labeled as non-toxic and safe for pets.
  3. Washable: Choose a yarn that is machine washable and easy to clean. Dog-related items, such as sweaters, blankets, or toys, may need frequent washing due to dirt, hair, or other messes.
  4. Durable: Select yarn that is durable and able to withstand the wear and tear associated with dog activities. Dogs may chew on toys or pull on sweaters, so a sturdy yarn will help ensure longevity.
  5. Avoid Loosely Spun Yarns: Yarns with a loose or fluffy texture may shed fibers, which can pose a choking hazard if ingested by dogs. Opt for yarns with a tighter twist to minimize shedding.
  6. Consider Allergies: Some dogs may have sensitivities or allergies to certain fibers. If your dog has known allergies, avoid using yarn made from allergenic materials such as wool.
  7. Softness: Choose a yarn with a soft texture to ensure your dog’s comfort, especially for items like blankets or beds where they will be in direct contact with the yarn.
  8. Weight and Thickness: Consider the weight and thickness of the yarn based on the intended use of the item. For example, thicker yarn may be more suitable for blankets or beds, while thinner yarn may be better for sweaters or toys.

By considering these factors, you can select a yarn that is safe, comfortable, and suitable for your dog’s needs.

Always supervise your dog when they are interacting with yarn-related items to prevent accidents or ingestion of yarn fibers.

dog sweater pattern

More Dog Sweaters

For more free dog sweater knitting patterns, you may be interested in this post, which features a roundup of 17 fall dog sweaters – 17 Beautiful Fall Dog Sweater Knitting Patterns

You may also like these free patterns for dog sweaters modeled by my own furry babe, Jason:

dog jumper knit with DK yarn
This is a great pattern for dog lovers; it is a cozy sweater knit on straight needles and has a simple construction. Dog Sweater Knitting Pattern Straight Needles

Share your work with us…

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If you enjoyed making the dog sweater, I’d love to see yours on Instagram, be sure to tag me @handylittleme. 

Join The Handy Facebook group to connect with more makers.

I’d love to see your work! 

Dog Sweater Knitting Pattern

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31 Comments

  1. For row 3 in the 2nd section are we supposed to cast off after slipping the stitches over? If not how exactly are you supposed to do it?

    1. Hello, in the divide for back and belly – row 3 – you ‘(lead hole row) (rs) k26 (30:32), k1, sl 1, pass k1 over sl 1, * sl 1, pass next st on RHN over the stitch just slipped;’ so when you pass the next st on the RHN over the stitch just slipped, you are decreasing those stitches, effectively casting them off. You rep that as many times for the size you are making and then follow th rest of that rows instructions. This is to make the hole for the lead. I hope that helps! ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Hello Tina,
          Do you mean Row 3 for the lead hole in the divide for the back and belly?
          This is a long section of instructions for creating the lead hole. If you do not want to have a lead hole you can miss this out and just knit this row.
          The instructions are telling you how to create that hole – looking at this knitting and abbreviations guide may help you with understanding this a little better – https://www.handylittleme.com/knitting-abbreviations/
          Just take it one step at a time and stick to the instructed number for your size, the smallest size is first, followed by the medium and then the large.
          I hope that helps!
          Louise

  2. Confused about placing markers for legs, shouldnโ€™t there only be a market for top of hole and one for the bottom?

    1. Hello Dawn, the markers are there to help you to match up the back of the sweater and front, so that you can see where to seam – leaving the holes for the legs. In the making up instructions, this is all explained. Thanks for visiting ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Thank you for sharing this! I’ve been wanting to learn how to knit, and this is definitely in my bucket list of things to knit! The sweaters are so adorable, and they’ll be perfect for my Pebbles! I’m thinking of making something homemade for her for a change, so this is perfect!

    1. Hello Emilie, there are three sizes to choose from in this pattern, small, medium and large. The measurements are listed before the pattern. I hope that helps! Thanks for visiting ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I just wanted to say to everyone reading this. That this lady is amazing as our dogs chest is 81cm and she went out of her way to help me . And Iโ€™ve never known a designer to get back to anyone so quick .
    Iโ€™m only upto 3 inches of the rib but looking so forward to finishing it xx

    1. Hi Amanda, thank you for your kind words and no worries, all of our fur babies need to show off our knitting skills in winter ๐Ÿ™‚ If you need further help with anything, just send me a message. Happy knitting!

  5. Can you please give a Stitch Gauge on this pattern I see a row gauge of 5 rows to the inch, but no stitch gauge

    1. Hello, I have updated the gauge/tension and you can see it is as follows:
      23 sts and 30 rows = 10cm/4โ€ณ square over stocking stitch using double knitting/DK yarn on 4mm(US 6) needles.
      I hope that helps ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Hi there, trying to determine the sizing for my dog (a Havanese) as this is such a cute sweater! I have measured her and her back is measuring about 15″ long while the circumference around her chest is 21″. I worry if I cast on 112 stitches I calculated to accommodate a 21.5″ chest, the neck will be huge as she’s only about 22lb do you have any suggestions? Should I go ahead with 112 stitches or keep it smaller and do several increases on the last row of the neck? Also is it possible that I’m not reading the pattern right and the sizing for the chest is the measurement across the chest only if the sweater is lying flat (not the circumference around the dog’s widest part?) Thanks!

    1. Hello Emily, from your dog’s measurements, it seems as though the medium is a good size for the back – at 14 inches you can extend this slightly but you don’t want it to be too long so it should stop a few inches before the tail.
      The chest measurements are for the widest part and this is when the sweater is laying flat – the width of the widest section of the belly.
      At 21 inches it looks like you will have to increase more as the largest size measures 17.5 inches at the widest part.
      You could cast on for the largest size and adjust the back length (make it shorter) and for the belly – increase more stitches so that the belly is wider.
      If you cast on too many stitches to start with the neck will then be very wide.
      It is better to increase gradually, as you would anyway in the belly section of the pattern, just add to that to make that section wider and meet the 21.5 inches you need.
      I hope that helps,
      Louise

      1. Thank you I will give it a try and let you know how it turns out ๐Ÿ™‚ nothing better to do these days anyways so I have time to play around with it lol

  7. Hi, thank you for this pattern! Am I right in thinking that if we don’t want holes for a lead then we start the st st pattern on row three? Thank you !

    1. Hello Jessica,
      Yes – if you don’t want to include the lead hole in the sweater you can just leave it out and continue to knit in st st.
      Happy Knitting!
      Louise

  8. Just a couple of comments about dog sweaters that might help newer knitters. Dogs are not particular to knit for. They just want something warm and don’t care about color. So, use a basic pattern like this one to learn and then to show off your skills as you learn. Dogs are harder on their sweaters than people are so expect it to stretch. Too short and a bit too tight is better than too loose and too long. Try on the sweater as you go along (unless it’s going to be a surprise) to get the idea if you need to lengthen or make other adjustments along the way. Some dogs like things around their neck and some do not. Dog sweaters are good projects for using reflective yarn in when you can find it. Even a few stripes of it makes the dog much easier to see at night. Expect to be stopped while you’re out walking too. In these COVID days, take the extra hour or two and make yourself a matching mask.

  9. do you (or anyone) have any easy (beginner knitter) patterns for a sweater for a FEMALE small dog? All the patterns are for Male dogs & don’t cover their bellies. My friend has a Havanese female and wants a sweater that will cover her underneath as well as on top right to her back legs….maybe even a ‘loop’ to go around the back legs to hold it in place. She’d also like it to have ‘sleeves’ for the front legs. She’s low to the ground and gets all wet underneath.
    thanks.
    Laura

    1. Hello Laura,
      I just have the patterns you can see on the site.
      Perhaps you could adapt one of them to make the underside/belly longer?
      And the back piece could easily be adapted to be longer in length.
      Plus if you wanted a knitted strap to connect, you could measure and make that in one long knitted length that could then be sewn to each piece?
      Let me know how it goes, happy knitting!
      Louise

  10. Louise,Please help.l am at an impass as l cannot follow the instruction on pg.19/29 in your dog sweater knitting pattern.
    I am a real beginner and love your
    Patterns-what a pleasurable way to relax during this COVID lockdown.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

    1. Hello Marita,
      Can you send me an email with the instructions that you are confused about?
      I need more details to be able to help you.
      You can use the contact page on the site.
      Thanks,
      Louise

  11. Hello. I have knit the sweater in one colour and now am having an issue figuring out where to stitch what due to the instructions referring to yarn colours/ABCetc. How do I know where I must do what and how do I also know which parts I can sew together before starting the crocheting.

    I am so confused and trying to make this for a friend. The confusion might also be my pregnancy brain.

    1. Hello Zamo,
      Did you place the markers where it said to in the pattern?
      If you didn’t use markers, you will need to count the rows until you get to the part for the leg holes;
      Leave the seam open between the markers at the 9th and 10th (9th and 10th: 12th and 13th) rows and at the 34th and 35th (42nd and 43rd: 49th and 50th) rows.
      You will seam before that and after that without needing to match up any colurs.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise