Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Dog Whipper

A dog whipper was a church official responsible for removing hungry and barking dogs from churches and church grounds. This post was fairly common in England and continental Europe between the 16th and into the very early 19th centuries.

The Dog Whipper was armed with a three-foot-long whip and a pair of "dog tongs" (i.e. badger tongs) with which to remove dogs that barked or which would crowd or even attack priests handing out communion bread and wafers on church steps.

Sometimes Dog Whippers also served as dog catchers for the community, with stray dogs commonly drowned.

All of this was back before rabies vaccines had brought that dreaded disease under control, and before fencing was common.

Dog licenses? Invisible fence? There were no such things. Instead, there were ropes, chains, collars, cages, and whips -- the latter being the "remote trainer" of choice for a 1,000 years, and still in use today with the mounted hound packs.

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