Leather dog collars adorned with the names of the 4-legged wears have been found in Ancient Egyptian ruins that are believed to date back to 3500-3000BC. Often the names imprinted in and on these ancient dog collars, like Reliable, Brave One and Useless reflected the personalities of these early animals.
During the 1500’s as the middle class expanded, the wealthier citizens became concerned that someone might steal their 4-legged friend and help-mate; and thus, dog collars with small padlocks came into use. That way if there was a dispute over who really owned a given dog, only the true master could prove his rights by using his key to open the collar’s padlock. Some of these early padlock dog collars were even made of hinged metal sheeting on top of leather.
In Europe in the 1700’s gold, silver and brass dog collars engraved with the owner’s name and witty sayings became the fashion. The feeling was that if the dog was lost, the finder would know who to return the animal to. In fact, even the Prince of Wales at the time had a dog collar on his dog that said, “I am his Highness’ dog at Kev, Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?” This particular dog collar had been a gift to the prince from poet, Alexander Pope.
These early dog collars were the forerunners of today’s I’D Tags, personalized collars, and electronic ID chips and dog collars. Owners then, as now, wanted to insure if their valued dog was lost or stolen it would have personal identification on its dog collar.
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