The History of Dog Clothes

You can be forgiven for thinking that the introduction of dog clothes and jewelled dog collars is a relatively new phenomena in the pet industry but in fact dressing up your dogs is nothing new.

A closer look into history has shown that canine fashion is not a recent trend but has been around for a long time.

The history of small dog clothing goes back to the days when King Arthur ruled over Great Britain in 520 A.D. Dogs used in the military and law enforcement wore protective clothing. These brave and dedicated dogs needed protection from attacks and also the weather.

Dog collars have been in use since before 3100 B.C. and is possibly the first type of dog accessory to be worn. Interestingly, archaeologists unearthed a dog buried with (pre-dynastic - 323-309 BC China) King Cuo of Zhongshan wearing a collar of gold, silver, and turquoise. This definitely shows that it was more than just a collar for training or identification purposes, it appeared to be a statement of wealth. At the height of ancient Egyptian civilization dog collars were beautiful works of art made of leather, with copper, bronze and gold added for embellishment.

As can be gleamed from the many detailed paintings, tapestries and literature the Royal courts of Europe famously dressed their dogs in beautifully jewelled collars and coats. No expense was spared for royal hounds and lap dogs alike when it came to providing for their every need. Louis XI of France (1423-1483), a notorious miser, dressed his favourite greyhound in a collar of scarlet velvet decorated with 20 pearls and 11 rubies.

During 1450-1600, the growing middle class were able to afford dogs as pets - they were no longer just for the Royals and Nobles. Collars of more affordable materials became available such as leather.