Things were tough all over during the Middle Ages and man’s best friend moved from companion to working dog. Many of the earlier Dog Collars dating from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries were designed to protect the dog. Collars became more utilitarian and less decorative – primarily through the use of leather collars with long, fearsome spikes. It was a time when wolves, bears and wild boar roamed the forests of Europe and the vulnerable throats of hunting dogs were shielded by broad iron collars bristling with fearsome spikes. Bear baiting and wolf hunts were common during this time period, and dogs wore the heavy collars to help protect them in these gruesome sports.
This hand-painted ceramic tile shows a medieval hunting dog, complete with spiked collar.