Smartingale…

I couldn’t resist, I’m sorry… Not.

Mouse is, obviously, a greyhound, which is a sighthound breed. One of the results of this is that his head is very long and narrow and his neck is wider and muscular. A regular dog collar doesn’t work so well, because he can reverse right out of it and prance off at speed, sneering at us for being so slow. Yes, that’s experience talking… Consequently, he wears a martingale collar. This is a collar with a second loop as part of its circumference, which extends and tightens when it’s pulled, thereby closing the collar up. There is a limit on how tight it can go, you don’t want to garrotte your beloved doggo, but at the same time, you don’t want him getting loose and into danger. Most of the time, it’s comfortably loose, so that you can get at least two or three fingers inside it.

Mouse wears a Greenhound Collar, which in addition to being a martingale collar, indicates that he’s been through some fairly extensive training to be socialised and safe around adults, children, other dogs and other animals. It has a registration number so that he can be identified, and wearing it permits him to be off-leash without a muzzle in designated off-leash dog areas such as dog parks. However, he’s been wearing it more or less non-stop since we got him, and it’s now seriously grubby.

Time for a wash. Also, I wanted to make him some posh party-wear*.

So I did.

I ordered some rather gorgeous woven smooth webbing online, and some titanium-rainbow effect hardware to match. Locally, I bought wide black webbing intended for bag-straps, and a pair of black square ‘rings’. The original hardware set was intended for bag making and did not contain the necessary additional rings, hence the extra purchase.

I measured his adjustable Greenhound Collar. Because this new one’s custom, I didn’t need to make it adjustable, and used the fitted, finished sizes. I subtracted length for the buckle, and added back in the fold-over at each side of the buckle and both sides at the front. I cut both lots of webbing to size and sealed the ends by rapidly passing them through a lighter flame (Be careful not to touch the sealed ends too quickly. Ask me how I know this…).

The assembly order is important. Assemble the bits either side of the buckle first. Then add the square rings at the outer ends. Then feed the two ends of the front loop through the square rings. Stitch the smaller webbing to the wider webbing, and stitch down the fold-overs for the hardware. Close up the loop at the front, ensuring you create a free section in the overlap to contain the D ring at the centre front. Stitch all fold-overs with a square/X seam, and the overlap at the front with close zigzag to seal down the free ends. I used a thread that co-ordinated with and enhanced the colourful  pattern on the narrower webbing.

To match, I made him a lead, also with the ‘titanium’ hardware and using the same colourful webbing. It isn’t quite as sturdy as the the thick woven cotton Greenhound set, but since it’s not designed for daily walkies but for swanking about in, I’m not concerned.

To finish the whole thing off, we’ve got him an engraved tag. The front has his name and my phone number (retouched out for privacy), and his local government registration and Greenhound numbers on the back. Black with silver engraving. Looks good with the rest of it, don’t you think?

He’s currently getting used to it. The Greenhound collar is going to take a while to dry, it’s very thick, and meanwhile, the swanky collar is a bit heavier due to the buckle, and makes a different noise. He’s shown no signs of wanting to get rid of it, which is a start!

I think he looks rather handsome. And yes, of course he’s spoiled rotten. That goes without saying.

But he deserves it.

*Just wait till you see what I have in mind for Halloween….

46 thoughts on “Smartingale…

  1. How I love the colours … and it stands out brilliantly against his beautiful black glossy coat… what a spoilt little boy 😍

  2. claire93 says:

    well done you on a perfect, tricky, sewing project, and doesn’t Mouse look grand with his rainbow collar!

    • katechiconi says:

      To be honest, the trickiest part was remembering the order in which to sew things down! First the buckle, then the square rings, then the D ring… Those bright colours do really zing against his black coat. It was fun – quick, easy and very effective.

  3. A bespoke collar for Occasions is peak Doggyhood. Yay for Mouse!

    • katechiconi says:

      (I’ll let Mouse answer for himself here, as I’m sure he has plenty to say:)
      Hi, Miss Laura Grace! It bodes well for my future Social Life, don’t you agree? I expect I’ll still have to wear the green one in large gatherings, but amongst friends for coffee or a picnic (a forthcoming attraction!), I think this will give me an air of distinction!

  4. magpiesue says:

    Mouse is going to make all the other doggos jealous, Greyhounds or not! That has to be one of the best looking collars I’ve ever seen, I absolutely love it. And I can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve (under the dog blanket?) for Halloween. 😁

    • katechiconi says:

      For me, it’s the hardware that really elevates it. With black plastic rings and clips, it would be OK, but the rainbow metal brings it up to ‘jewellery’ level! I have a second roll of the 1″ webbing in a teal/terracotta paisley colour scheme which is also gorgeous, and for that I might go with something a bit less flash. It was fun and easy to do; the hardest part was factoring in the size of all the clips and rings into the total length of the collar.

  5. Bear says:

    He seems to be a very happy and contented doggo. With out kitty, Leahmae, we don’t need licenses or such. She pretty much stays inside and seems to be terrified of outdoors. We took her on walks when we first brought her home hoping she’d get over the fear, but hasn’t. that’s okay… why terrorize the world when she’s perfectly happy using Moma’s legs as scratching posts. LOL!

    • katechiconi says:

      Cats and dogs both need to be registered and should be microchipped here. Cats especially shouldn’t really be allowed to roam freely, because they have no equivalent niche in the Australian ecosystem and can wreak havoc with small creatures who have no natural predators. Dogs have their equivalent in dingoes, but even so… I think it’s probably a good idea that your kitty stays indoors, for the sake of small birds.

      • Bear says:

        Mine does have a license and microchip. She’s not much interested in birds, they’re outside the glass. She does capture houseflies that come in when you open the door. She’s makes presents of them on our bare feet…alll soppy and yuck!

  6. Dayphoto says:

    WOW! I love how gifted you are!

  7. Beautifully bright, of course!

  8. Going Batty in Wales says:

    That is a very nice collar Mouse. We will have to work on Mum – it makes our boring leather ones look way too dull. O & R

  9. He looks quite handsome in his new duds and I think he knows it. That makes keeping it on easier. It’s just beautiful on him and he deserves it for all the extra training. You got a good one there.

    • katechiconi says:

      I swear he’s been swanking around the house with his head held at a different, more fetching angle…. Or maybe it’s just the collar feels different. He is my good, beautiful doggo and deserves all the pretties I can give him. Oh no, not spoiled at all…

  10. tialys says:

    It looks really good Kate and I love the ‘posh’ hardware. You may remember I made dog collars to sell with some of the profits going to the home for old and disabled dogs in France but had to buy stocks of plastic hardware in various colours from China otherwise I would have had to charge too much money.. I was once asked to make a martingale collar which I did on that occasion but didn’t make a habit of it.

    • katechiconi says:

      I do remember your collar-making, and that you’ve told me in the past about not making martingales because they’re too fiddly. This was fiddly, but not complicated. I had his existing collar to measure off, and wasn’t making an adjustable one, which helped a lot. Nothing wrong with plastic hardware, but I fell in love with the colours on this set, and bought them first. I then went hunting for webbing to go with it, and I really like what I found. Mouse is stalking about preening slightly, silly vain boy!

      • tialys says:

        I use good quality ribbon and attach it to plain webbing but I think the range of patterned webbing is becoming more varied and interesting now. The ‘luxury’ set you found is lovely and is perfect for making accessories for our own spoiled pups.

  11. kymlucas says:

    I can honestly say I’ve never seen such a beautiful collar.

  12. Marty K says:

    A very swanky collar, indeed. You are extremely talented and creative, Kate! 💜 Mr. Mouse is looking quite smart — I’m surprised that he’s not bragging about his fancy new “cravat” over on “his” blog. 😉

  13. Wow! I don’t usually approve a dogs dressing up (except coats for warmth/dryness), so this is how it should be done

    • katechiconi says:

      I don’t like clothes on dogs as regular wear, it’s bad for their fur. I don’t mind a bit of occasional light fancy dress for seasonal holidays, so long as they’re not desperate to get it off. Mouse appears to love the attention, and will happily trail around the house with his blanky over his back, earning him the name the Hound of the Blankyvilles. I’m glad you like the collar; he’s so rewarding to ‘decorate’, with all that sleek shiny black fur!

  14. Steph says:

    Ooh, Shinee is jealous!
    She does have a lovely red leather collar I made for her, but I have been promising a matching leash for some time… Definitely for Christmas!
    May I ask where you found the gorgeous iridescent hardware?
    I had been planning to use mountaineering carabiners, which come in some fun colours, but proper hardware would be great!

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