Museum Showcases Ancient Dog Collars

From identification to serving as a leash anchor and highlighting the latest in dog fashions, a collar makes all the difference between wild animal and man’s best friend. Today, dog collars are typically sturdy pieces of nylon in different colors and sizes. The Leeds Castle Dog Collar Museum invites you to gaze upon the most decadent and fashionable dog collars in history.

The collection includes 100 collars collected by John and Gertrude Hunt with pieces dating back from the medieval to Victorian era.

Throughout the 15th through the 17th centuries, European forests were filled with predators that were eager to attack hunting dogs. To protect their loyal hounds, owners would cover their dog’s necks with thick iron collars that were often covered in spikes.

Some time around the 18th century, dog collars started to become more decorative and less functional. Some were made of leather and bore the coat of arms of their owner, serving as a form of early identification tags.

In this age, most collars are fitted with identification and medical tags in the event of a lost dog.

The collection contains artifacts that span from nearly five centuries. The museum is visited by half a million people annually.