My Dog Won't Wear a Hat - Until Now

There are many fun and trendy hats created just for our dogs’ adorable noggins, but not all pups like the idea of wearing them right away. You might even be one of the many pet parents that are convinced their dog will never wear a hat. 

What if we told you that your dog could actually enjoy wearing hats?

It’s true! Like leash-walking and fun tricks, you’d be surprised what your furry friend can learn and accomplish with a little training.

Keep reading to learn the best way to safely and comfortably introduce your dog to their PupLid. We've also teamed up with celebrity certified dog trainer, Nicole Ellis (CBCC-KA) to create an easy, step-by-step training video.  

3 Steps to Train Your Dog to Wear a PupLid

You can train your pup to wear just about any kind of gear using positive reinforcement training. This form of operant conditioning helps dogs associate certain behaviors or stimuli with something they enjoy.

If your dog won’t wear a hat, for example, you can use praise, tasty treats, or their favorite toy to affirm that wearing headgear can be a pleasurable experience for them. It may take a few sessions, but soon they'll be showing off their style while sun-protected on walks and outings.

Here’s the positive reinforcement method developed by Nicole Ellis that will have your dog wearing their new PupLid comfortably in no time.

What You’ll Need

  • PupLid hat
  • Training treats or a favorite toy
  • A positive attitude to make training fun for your dog!

Step 1: Introduce Your Dog to Their PupLid 

  1. You’ll want to start by creating a positive association with your PupLid. Hold the hat in one hand and allow your dog to investigate it, touch it, or smell it before rewarding them with a treat or toy from the other hand. Repeat this step multiple times. If your pup is hesitant, just move slowly.
  2. Once you feel your dog has become comfortable around their PupLid, get them used to the sound of the chinstrap Velcro by slowly pulling the Velcro apart in front of them. Be sure to reward them each time you do this.
  3. Go slowly to make sure your dog is comfortable. Patience is your best friend, but also keep the training sessions short to keep your pup engaged; you'll make more progress this way. Some dogs (like our Aussie Shepherd-mix Buddy) need more sessions, but many dogs surprise us with how quickly they get used to wearing a hat.  

Step 2: Get Your Dog Used To Having the PupLid on Their Head 

  1. Gently place the PupLid on top of your dog’s head and then remove it before giving them a treat or toy. You don’t have to worry about using the chinstrap or putting their ears through the elastic just yet. Repeat this several times in short sessions.
  2. When your dog can comfortably wear the PupLid for at least a few seconds, extend the duration of how long they wear it by a few more seconds. After removing it, don’t forget to give your pup their well-deserved reward.
  3. The next time you place the PupLid on their head, lightly pull their ears through the loops and quickly reward them. If your dog squirms during this step, try placing a few treats or their toy on the floor in front of them and put the hat on while they indulge themselves. *Pro Tip* Spreading peanut butter on a lick pad also works great for this!
  4. Repeat the above steps for a few days or until your dog is comfortable with the hat on its head.

Step 3: Show Your Dog How to Wear the PupLid

  1. Put the PupLid on your dog’s head and slip their ears through the elastic holes just as you’ve practiced. Be sure to give them plenty of praise as you do this.
  2. Connect the Velcro chinstrap securely under the chin, but not too tight. You should be able to slide two fingers between the chinstrap and your dog’s chin. When the PupLid is securely fitted on your dog, verbally praise them and let them know how cute they look!
  3. This is a great time to take your dog’s mind off wearing the hat by distracting them with something fun. Try a short walk or playtime with them outdoors. PupLid dog hats were designed for these kinds of activities, after all!
  4. Begin with short sessions and progressively spend more time outdoors with the PupLid. Ensure the hat doesn't slide back on your dog's head, otherwise the bill won't be able to protect their eyes. Like leashes or harnesses, your dog will soon forget they're even wearing a hat outside. 

Extra Tips and Tricks From Nicole Ellis

  • If your pup is resistant to the PupLid, redirect their attention with a command or toy. If that doesn't work, pause the training until the next session. 
  • During training, if your dog gets restless or tries to take the hat off, remove the hat and pause the training until the next session. Otherwise, this could cause them to lose all positive associations you worked so hard build.
  • After you're back inside after an outing, remove the PupLid. Leaving a hat on while your dog is chilling indoors can undo the positive associations you've built. PupLids are sun gear for outdoor activities, where your dog is focused on taking in the sights, sounds and smells.
  • Just like most dog clothing accessories, PupLids are made with parts that could cause choking and gastrointestinal blockages. Please always supervise your dog while they are wearing a PupLid to ensure comfort and safety. 

If you’d like watch how this train is done, check out the training video with Nicole Ellis and learn how to make the PupLid your dog’s new favorite accessory. 

Find the ‘Furfect’ PupLid For Your Adventure Buddy

Now that you know how to train your dog to wear hats, it’s time to upgrade your adventures together with their very own PupLid!

PupLids are premium dog hats to protect your companion’s eyes and stop them from squinting in the sun. Plus, the dozens of available design and color options allow you to customize your dog’s PupLid to fit their unique personality.

The unique Furfect Fit® System allows for maximum adjustability while ensuring the hat doesn’t slide from your dog’s head. That way, your sweet pup can enjoy more time in the sun on walks and adventures.

Explore our full collection of PupLids now, and don’t forget to check out our PupLids for People so you can twin with your pet during all of your outings.
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