Dog collars – spiked for survival

Spiked collars were around long before punk, bondage and that goth chick from NCIS.
Credit: Teresa Guerrero / Tiffany Hoy

Spiked dog collars aren’t just an offshoot of punk for your pet. In the 15th, 16th and 17 centuries they saved working dogs’ lives.

We’re talking about collars more gnarly than you’d see on a pitbull today – with angry hooks and spikes sharp enough to protect a dog from the jaws of wolves and bears.

These collars were safety gear for shepherd dogs, fending off wolf attacks on their flock. They were also worn by wolf-hunting dogs, where the dog was sent in as bait. If the wolf went for the dog’s throat, he’d get a mouthful of nails. Dogs were expected to die in this sport, but the collar could at least give them a fighting chance.

Next time Fluffy visits the stylist… could you fight a wolf?

A truly nasty specimen – this collar was used by tiger hunters in 19th century India to protect their hunting dogs from tigers.
Download this as wallpaper from Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

A fighting or bait dog’s collar – a wolf couldn’t get anywhere near the jugular.
Credit: Barcelonadogs

Early 19th century cast wrought iron chain spiked collar – anti-wolf and anti-bear. Those spikes are nearly 4cm long.
Credit: Eastcollect / Ebay