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Pets are not just animals you adopt in your home. They are considered as family,

Leads for dogs – nature’s way of keeping dogs safe

Nature’s way of keeping dogs safe; okay, maybe not nature’s way but certainly a neat invention all the same. Dogs and humans have a relationship which predates much of written history. Certainly, images of dogs being restrained with a collar and lead have been found in archeological digs in Egypt and the area of Iran and Iraq which formed the ancient kingdom of Mesopotamia. Thankfully, collars and leads have evolved to be less harsh and more in keeping with our more, shall we say, changed modern attitude towards animals.

collar

Image of one of thousands of designs of modern dog leads

Early far off days

Mankind’s relationship with dogs dates back over 12,000 years; it is a relationship which is probably a lot older than that. We only have the information of that relationship as a result of archeological evidence unearthed in digs from around the world. The oldest recognised established civilisation of the ancient world, that of the Bronze Age Indus Valley of some 5,500 years ago, depicts dogs being controlled by collar and lead in its art and literary writings.

Dog collars and leads were not typically in use outside of the court of the rulers of the lands of the ancient world. Leads would have been fashioned from leather, decorated with precious stones and hand engraved. Collars would have been fashioned from precious metals such as gold and silver, and like the leads would have typically been decorated with precious stones.

Almost a deity

Dogs, much like cats, were revered in ancient cultures as emissaries of the gods, if not as gods themselves. They were often treated better than the humans deemed lower in class than the rulers of the day. Dogs would not have been used for hunting or protection, merely as decoration for the homes, temples and other properties of the ruling classes and priests.

Of course, dogs have been used as protection as well as for hunting companions by humans for many thousands of years. In less advanced cultures such as the European and tribal cultures of the east and west, dogs were considered essential to the survival of humans. Dogs were kept on leads although there is little evidence of purpose made collars till the Middle Ages in Europe. And just like in those ancient cultures dogs were revered by royalty and the religious classes.

Collars and leads today

Nowadays dogs are kept by a minority for hunting and game shooting, but in the main dogs are kept by humans as pets, at least in the ‘civilised’ world. There is an entire industry which has grown up around supplying items like leads, collars, toys and bowls as well as mats, blankets, kennels, dog pens and myriad other items which dog owners just cannot do without.

Of all of those it is perhaps dog leads and collars which make the vital connection between human and dog. It is a means of keeping them under control, maintaining their close proximity as well as protecting the dog while away from the confines of the home. Just what would we do without them?

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