Joanna here. My last posting looked at truly ancient dog collars and leashes. Paleoleashes. Classical collars. I promised to return to this vital issue and speak of the Medieval and early Renaissance versions of what the well-dressed dog was wearing.
We know there were extravagant dog collars out there in theMedieval world, continuing a tradition of lavish dog decoration that stretches back to the ancients.
The favorite greyhound of Louis XI of France (1423-1483), for instance — named “Cher Ami”— was decked out in a collar of scarlet velvet embellished with pearls and rubies.
(Some of these pictures are small, but if you click on them they get full sized.)
But leaving aside the follies of the nobility . . . what was the average dog wearing? The working dog? The any-old-dog-on-a-farm dog? The sheep-keeping dog?
Going by available images, it looks like about a quarter of house and farm dogs, all guide dogs, (yes, they did have them in Medieval times,) and a sensible majority of sheep dogs are wearing some sort of simple collar.