The Origin of Dog Collars: A Brief History

The Origin of Dog Collars: A Brief History

Facsimile of a painting in the tomb of Nebamun: dog seated beneath Its owner's chair ca. 1479–1458 B.C.

Ancient Egyptian Collars

The earliest example of a dog collar we have dates back to Ancient Egypt. These collars were made from leather with a string attached so that the dogs could be leashed. While there are examples of dog collars that are even older, the lack of records from that time means we can’t be sure exactly how they were used or what they looked like. The Ancient Egyptian dog collars are some of the oldest examples of any pet accessory that we have, which shows just how early humans began to understand the need for dogs to have something around their necks. These collars also show how early humans began to differentiate between dogs and other animals. While cats were allowed to roam free and were treated almost as a part of the family, dogs were seen as work animals and therefore were leashed and collared. This not only helped humans keep track of their dogs but also showed their status as a working animal.

Dog mosaic, Bardo Museum, Tunis – cmccloskey56

Roman Collars

The Roman Empire saw a huge increase in the number of dogs being kept by people. This was thanks to the sport of hunting being more popular during this period. While most dogs were kept as pets, they were still required to be leashed. Roman dog collars were often made from leather and designed to be worn around the neck and under the dog’s jaw. This was to ensure that the dog couldn’t wriggle out of it and also meant the collar was less likely to cause injury to the dog’s neck. While these collars were mostly used for hunting dogs, some Romans did begin to use collars for their pets as well.

12th century dog collar at Reginald’s Tower

Medieval Collars

The period known as the Middle Ages saw very few changes in collars for dogs. They were still mostly used for hunting and were often just leather straps that could be easily removed from the dog once the hunt was over. The only real difference from Roman collars was that they were less likely to cause injury to the dog’s neck. This was because they were designed to sit further back on the dog’s neck and were often stiffer than Roman collars. However, they were still not designed to be worn for long periods of time and many dogs found them uncomfortable to wear.

Victorian dog collars return to castle

Renaissance and Victorian Collars

The Renaissance period saw a return to using collars for pets in addition to hunting dogs. Many of these collars were made from velvet and designed to be decorative. Collars were also used to show the status of the dog’s owner and would often be made from materials such as gold or silver. This is why many people associate dog collars with the Victorian era. Their collars were often made from leather with decorative buckles and were designed to be both decorative and functional.

Paisley Taffy Dog Collar

Modern Dog Collars

Dog collars have come a long way since the Ancient Egyptians first started using them. However, the basic design has remained the same throughout history. This means that the collars we use today share many similarities with collars that were being used thousands of years ago. While many people still use decorative collars, they are also designed to be functional. Many collars are designed to be used with a leash that attaches to the dog’s collar. This helps humans keep track of their pets and also prevents them from getting lost. Most dogs today also wear an ID tag on their collar with important information such as their name, owners’ contact details, and the address of where they live. This ensures that if a dog does go missing and is found by someone, they have all the information they need to get the dog back to their owner.


Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, and for most of that time, they have worn collars. The oldest examples of these collars date back to Ancient Egypt, and they have changed very little since then. While most collars are designed to be both decorative and functional, they are still primarily used as a way to keep track of your dog and prevent them from getting lost.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.