Most of us who own a dog or puppy have collars on their dogs. If they live in the city, and take the animal for a walk, the leash will also be used every day. The dog will wear his collar twenty four hours a day. The modern day collar will, in all probability, be used as a vehicle for telling the world what the pet’s name is, where he lives, what shots he has had and whether he is registered with the city/area in which he resides. It can also give other relevant information such as medical information (I am diabetic), or if he is micro chipped.
But do you know how the collar came into being? I have done some research and found that It is almost certain that collars were used by man at least a couple of thousand years B.C. Dog collars and leashes were routinely used for training hunting dogs in ancient Egypt. Artisans made very elaborate tooled leather collars for these animals. Then, in the era of the ancient Greeks the shepherd dogs were fitted with wide leather collars embedded with spikes so that they would be protected from wolves as they protected their herds. During Roman times collars and leashes were commonly used also. Romans placed high value on their dogs and many were depicted in mosaics of the time.
During the Renaissance (1450-1600A.D.) we saw new pet store near me that even the middle class owned dogs and those animals sported leather collars with rings for attaching their leashes and even had name tags. This was to identify the dog and protect the licensed animal; registration was first recorded in Europe. The upper class dogs wore cruel, long-spiked collars to protect them in staged fights against dogs and other animals. Also the metal padlock collar was created. This was used to convey ownership of the animal since the owner was the only person who had the key. This hinged collar makes one think of the old chastity belt, doesn’t it?
But it was not until the late eighteenth century that dogs were elevated in status to pet and companion. Their collars were decorative rather than cruel, the beautiful gold, silver and brass ones were engraved and highly ornamental while leather collars had tinkling bells sewn on them. Name tags were considered normal (owner’s name) and often were inscribed with a few pithy lines. The dog had reached his day of acknowledgment!
Leeds Castle in Kent, England, has a collar museum of worldwide fame. It houses many collars tracing history from medieval times until the reign of Queen Victoria. When visiting England it makes for a most interesting visit for the dog fancier.