Dogs were domesticated early, probably around 12,000 years ago, so it is not surprising that some of the earliest recorded laws dealt with their relationship with man. The Egyptians had laws that regulated the ownership and treatment of dogs from the early Pharaonic times. In China the "Lion Dog" gained status as the official dog of the Imperial Palace. This at a time when dogs were a staple of the local peasants' diet, but anyone caught harming an Imperial dog could be punished by death. The ancient Persians had laws that could punish anyone killing a dog with 500 to 1000 lashes. Even feeding a dog bad food could result in 50 to 200 lashes, depending on the breed and social status of the dog.
The dog's legal status began to slip substantially in the Middle Ages, when most legal thinkers were inclined to agree with English jurist Sir William Blackstone, who wrote that dogs had "no intrinsic value" since they were "creatures kept for whim and pleasure". Fortunately, lawmakers of the early 19th century started taking a more enlightened view of canine rights by passing anti-cruelty legislation. In 1856, the New York legislature enacted what is widely regarded as the first meaningful anti-cruelty law, which called for the arrest of anyone caught promoting a dog fight. A decade later, the law was expanded to outlaw the malicious killing of a dog belonging to another person. The force of law has also been brought to bear against dogs because of their owner's misdeeds. In the middle Ages, the dogs of criminals and heretics were often tried and punished along with their owners. There are records of dogs being put on trial in England, France and Italy up until the middle of the nineteenth century. As recently as 1906, two men and a dog were put on trial for murder in Switzerland. All three were found guilty!
The first dog taxation or licensing laws came into being in Europe. Schweinfurt, Germany is on record with laws regarding the licensing and disposition of dogs in 1598. Amsterdam, Holland was collecting dog taxes and issuing dog collars in 1797, with the proceeds benefiting orphans and widows. Most European countries are known to have issued dog collars and collected dog taxes in the 1800s.
A collar is a piece of material put around the neck of a dog for control, identification, or other purposes. Identification collars and medical information is often placed on collars. Collars are also useful for controlling the dog, as they provide a handle for grabbing. Buckle collars, also called flat collars, are usually nylon or leather with a buckle similar to a belt buckle or a quick-release buckle, either of which holds the collar loosely around the dog's neck. Usually identification is attached to such a collar; it also comes with a loop to which a leash can be fastened. Nylon quick-release buckles collar with identification and medical collars. Flea collars are impregnated with chemicals that repel fleas. They are usually a supplementary collar, worn in addition to the conventional buckle collar. An Elizabethan collar, shaped like a truncated cone, is worn by a pet, usually a cat or dog, to prevent it scratching a wound on its head or neck or licking a wound or infection on its body. Martingale collars have a longer section usually made of leather, chain, or nylon, joined through loops by a circle of chain or leather to which the leash is fastened; pulling on the leash tightens the collar, but the wide section both prevents the chain from tangling in a dog's coat and prevents the collar from being pulled tightly enough to cut off the dog's airway. It also spreads pressure on the dog's neck over a larger area. A Stud collar is fitted with sharp points and metal studs that prevent another animal from biting the neck. While such a collar may appear brutal, it is actually the best collar for a milder mannered or older animal interacting with its more aggressive fellows.