While we love Robin’s White Pine collar (review), we typically remove it in the house for safety reasons since it’s a martingale. This led to accidental tagless moments when we left in a hurry. I couldn’t find the low profile, lightweight tag holder I was imagining, so I made one up with some leftover hammock cord.
I used 7/64 Amsteel Blue, a braided rope that’s as strong as steel, but another spliceable hollow braided rope should do – see photos below to test that it “opens up” when compressed longitudinally. Use thicker cord for a larger dog- thin cord can cut into the neck. Amsteel Blue can be purchased from marine and hammock supply websites; the best price I could find when updating this in January 2016 was $5.25 for 25′ on dutchwaregear.com in seven colors. I have only used a dark charcoal gray and it fades to light gray over time.
Time: 5 – 10 minutes. It’s a bit complicated to explain but very easy to do.
Materials: Scissors, a 10-15″ length of thin wire, cord, and tag (not pictured).
- Cut the rope: Measure out a length of rope that hangs where you’d like the tag collar to sit. Make sure it can easily slip over your dog’s head since these collars can hold a 1600 pound load. Add 12 inches to the length, and cut. To make Robin’s 13″ circumference collar, I cut a 25″ length of cord.
- Taper the ends: The collar is made by burying the ends into the core of the rope. It’s much easier to thread the ends if the thickness is reduced. To taper, measure 1 inch from each end, and open up the rope by grasping on each side of the 1″ mark and pushing the hands together. Fold your wire in half to create a splicing tool. Using the folded end, pull out and cut off every other strand (on 8 strand Amsteel, this is 4 strands) so that at the 1″ point, the diameter of the rope is reduced by half.
- Find the begin points for the bury: The 5″ ends of the rope will be “buried” into the main loop of the collar, creating a seamless circle. Measure 5″ from each end (including the taper), and open up the rope at that mark. These points can be tweaked if necessary if the collar ends up being too loose or too tight.
- Prepare to bury the ends: Coil the rope as shown. Point A is the midpoint of the piece of rope; point B is both 5″ marks.
- Insert the splicing tool: Thread the folded end of the splicing tool between strands at point A and push it through the core of the rope to point B. At point B, poke the folded end out between two strands, ensuring that the wire doesn’t bisect any individual strands.
- Bury the first end: Thread the tapered ends of the rope into the loop of the splicing tool, and fold the taper in half at its halfway point. The splicing tool has become a needle to pull the end through. Gently pull the splicing tool back out, threading the rope end through the core to point A.
- Adjust the size of the loop so that the remaining 5″ mark (point B) on the rope meets up with the beginning of the bury. Smooth the loop so that the loose ends disappear into the encasing rope.
- Thread the ring of the tag onto the free end of the rope and repeat the splicing by threading the splicing tool in through point A at the top of the collar, and out as close as possible to the connection point at point B.
- Before smoothing the second bury, pull tight on the end to lock it tightly around the tag. Done!Note: Thin tag holders like this one should never be used as a collar for safety reasons.