Dog collars showed up with the first dog. In fact, the essential difference between a wolf and a dog may not be any genetic distinction, but simply a collar. Take a new-born wolf pup and remove him from his litter and put on a collar, and you have a dog who is owned, and which the owner-handler has at least some control over.
Ancient Egyptian dogs collars appear to have been fabric or very thin leather, and were tied on in a ribbon-like fashion. The metal buckle had not yet been invented.
By the time the Greek and Roman states showed up, metal work and mechanics had improved, and the buckle and hook-fastened flat collar has appeared, as well as the slip-chain collar, and the spiked dog collar for combat and wolf protection.
Leather, cloth and rope were the most common materials for early dogs collars but, because these materials wear out, rot, and disintegrate, most of the very old dog collars that are still extent are metal.
Dog collars of old were used as they are today: to keep dogs tied up outside of buildings, to make sure dogs followed when traveling or hunting, as an aid to training, and to to aid in the return of a lost dog.
In addition during the era prior to rabies, dog collars were an important sign that a dog was owned. The fancier the collar, the greater the likely penalty if a dog was killed during a routine roundup of stray and feral dogs.
As the status of dogs rose and they became consumer items, more and more dog collars were fitted with small locks. Possession of the key signaled ownership, and also helped reduce the chance of opportunistic dog theft.
By the Victorian era, as "ancient" breeds were created overnight by get-rich-quick dog dealers, an ancillary business rose up; that of making and selling fancy dog collars.
These fancy dog collars might be worked leather with brass studs and a brass name plate, or they might be crafted from pure silver with jewels and even gold inlays. Whatever you wanted could be bought from itinerant dog collar vendors, such as the man pictured at right.
The very best dog collars ever created are those we commonly find in pet stores today -- adjustable nylon collars with solid snap tags.
These collars are easily adjusted, do not wear out, are very low-cost and, when combined with a slide tag, will get your dog returned to you quickly.
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A final note: Never let your dog outside without a collar and tag on. Never, ever, ever. Not for a second. Not if your yard is fenced. Never.
More dogs are lost and killed because their idiot owners failed to follow this rule than for any other reason. There is no excuse for a dog not having a collar on 100% of the time unless it is inside and in a crate. If your dog is outside and in a crate (such as at a dog show or field trial) it needs to have a collar and tag on. If it is being shipped in a crate, it needs a dog collar with tag on. If you are just walking your dog to the mailbox at the end of driveway, your dog needs to have a collar and tag on. Always. No excuses. Your dog should not die because you are a lazy idiot.
|At one time, this was the most famous terrier in the world!|