¡Spiked Collars!

The Dog has undoubtedly been the one animal, man has established strongest binds with, from the end of the Age of Bronze.

Our primitive ancestors had to realize soon about the ver many skills of these intelligent lupoids.

The sensorial faults of man were soon overbalanced by those primitive domestical allies. The lack of intelligence in the beast, soon balanced by the ingenious mind of humans. No doubt we can say that here lies the genesis for an unpaires symbiosis. For men, the dog is the ideal, natual aid who will help him hunt, guard the members of their communities and properties, alarm on possible predators lurking in the dark,o de predadores, trace scents....

The urge to protect our dogs lives, had to soon arise after so many advantages were outlined by the first time.

The most vulnerable spots in a lupoid are maninly tail and ears which would act as handles in a fight or an attack, and thats why, the guard and hunting dogs have had then cropped for ages; as a measurement of passive defence. And above all, the animal´s neck, when struggling with its natual enemy, the wolf, remains as its weakest point. To be hurt in the neck may be an immediate lethal injury.

This is why, from centuries ago, wide leather collars have had both a handling but also a defensive meaning for the animal. In those case when the presence of the natuarl predator was evident (bears and wolves in Europqe), a more solid defence became necessary.This need will raise in very different cultures, way apart from each other, basically at the same time...

The eldest mention to dogs spiked collars was found by my friend Roland from Germany

Mellart, J.: Archeology of Ancient Turkey, London 1978

Mellart wrote the next, about the Phyrgians (750- 300 BC)

"... and a graffito on a wall leading to an outdoor lavatory shows that most ferocious of Anatolian animals, the kocabas (big-head)) sheepdog with a spiked collar as a protection against wolfes."

The hint ist interesting but the Turkish name for the dog is a fault, because to this time was no Turkish people in this area.
The Prygians comes from the Balkan.

But it will be undaer the Roman Empire when dogs spiked collars will start coming out of the darknesses of Legends, and they will thourgh mosaics with big game scenes where hunting dogs are depicted wearing neck protections. In some cases, spiked.
Right today,over 21 centuries past that, we can see the same scnee (see picture of alano español).

Wee also see warnings at the “Domus” entrances unde rthe title “cave canem” (Beware the Dog) showing a fierceful guard dog showing its teeth and armed of irons.... we also see mentiones the historiographic titles v.gr.....

VARRO (116- 27? BC.) "De re rustica" II,9,15

"... ne vulnerentur a bestiis, imponuntur his collaria, quae vocantur mellum, id est cingulum circum collum ex corio firmo cum clavulis capitatis."

(In order to scare the wild beasts away, they are armed with ring shaped collars covered with nails)

No need to be exhaustive, here goes some pictures from Midle age/Reinnasence

Gaston Phoebus, Count of Foix , 1389 “Livre de Chasse” (The Book of Hunting, plus detail)


Collar of Bering (circa 1.515 )

Another illustration coming oput from a wood engraving (circa 1480)

From these moments up to our days, when the unfortunate lack of predators has made their existance anachronicle, spiked collars for dogs have lived moments of glory. We know well about their usefulness for the various names they have received in different countries (vreccale,lanaria, hanaka,carlanca,coleira de picos em ferro....) even in Spain it came to be known under more than twenty names only in the Northern regions, it is widely mentioned in popular songs and middles age poetries...

Traditions and supertitions have also contributed to their name for centuries. In Spain they were forged one a year and a religious meaning stated that the three lined spiked linked to plaques stood there for the Holy Trinity, as the wolf was seen as a Biblical reincarnation of evil.

Structurally, the type study of historiacal dogs spiked collars can be reduced to few samples:

Solid Metal Ring (Closed/Open and spiked) as in the Serbian/Turkish samples.
Linked chain with upside tips (fishbone shaped) (Maremanno Abruzzese mountain dog case)
Collar of forged collars and plaques (Spanish-Portuguese type)

(subtype) Wide leather collar with nailss

These types always obbey to a rule of simplicity and usefullness.

Now let me leave you with some pictures reflecting the object of my desire: Dogs spiked collars (carlancas). Hope you enjoy them.

Should you wish to know more, maybe you have new info or pictures about this, or who knows... if you know about a beautiful antique pls send me a personal email message

Manuel Turanzas



Goiko, Spanish Alano wearing a historical spiked collar


Italian individual of Maremanno Abruzzese guarding in its natural habitat


Guard dog with Greek Lanaria


Oustanding Presa Canario bitch with broad, nailed collar


“Curro” , best Spanish Alano nowadays wearing precious collar named “Dama” ( XIX century?)