Have you ever wondered where did dog collars come from?
Dog collars are one of the most overlooked dog items. A lot of people think that the collar is just a bulky necklace for dogs. Little do they know, it's not so. The domestication of animals has been known and practiced since ancient times. People have been using collars for a very long time, but their importance has been discovered recently. Let's look into the lesser-known, interesting history of dog collars.
History of dog collars
The idea of a collar around the neck of dogs may seem like a no-brainer, but history has proven that we can trace this invention back to ancient Mesopotamia (probably Sumerians).
Yes, the dog collars were first developed in the ancient Mesopotamian region and nearby ones. The collar was originally a cord that wrapped around the dog's neck. The owner used it to control the animal. Over time, the cord was replaced by a cloth or leather collar; attached to a leash or stick.
The Sumerians were the first civilization to give dogs collars for protection and identification. The Sumerians also associated their gods with dogs since it was believed that their devotion to protecting and healing humans made them worthy of tribute.
People observed that dogs lick their wounds to heal. Therefore, they associated dogs with Gula, the Sumerian god of health and healing. They have also associated dogs with the goddess of war and love- Inanna/Ishtar. The goddess is often portrayed as holding her dogs on thick leashes attached to collars.
Ancient Egyptian collars
Ancient Egyptian art from as early as 5000 BC shows that dogs were domesticated by this time. They used dogs for hunting, transportation, herding, and companionship.
Even though some people believe that dog collars originated in Ancient Egypt, it was the Greek people who discovered the practical use of collars. While the Egyptians used them for decorative and perhaps also identification purposes.
In ancient Greece, farmers created spiked collars as a solution to protect the throats of their dogs from the wolf's attack. Wolves were often used to attack small Greek farms. They eat sheep, cattle, and other farm animals including the dogs who worked there.
Collar in Persia
It's believed that the first instance of dog collars was in ancient Persia, where metal chains or trappings of gold were placed around dogs' necks as a form of decoration, or just to display wealth. That was more for an ornamental purpose. While dogs of lower-class people use collars of cloth or leather.
Persians highly valued dogs as they believed that their afterlife is based on how they treated dogs. So there is no doubt they afford high-quality collars for their dogs.
Collars in ancient Greece
Greek mythology and literature are evidence that dog collars were there in ancient Greek times.
The design inspiration of the choke-chain collar and spike collar comes from the collar of Cerberus- the three-headed dog who guarded the Hades.
They show admiration to their dogs with ornamented and bright-colored collars. You can also see it on ancient Greek drinking cups and tableware.
Dog collars have a huge history. From the single cord collar to sporting collars, people used them as per their purpose and belief.
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