My female dog has a red collar. Got a problem with that?

“I found your dog. He got out the side gate,” my neighbor said.

“Thanks for finding her,” I replied gratefully.

If you were really bored or having trouble sleeping earlier this week and read my previous blog entry to remedy either symptom, you discovered Katniss recently got loose. You also discovered there is no quicker way to doze off than reading “A Guero and His Perro.” You’re welcome, insomniacs. Or, I should say, insomniac, based on my readership.

My neighbor, who is awesome because he 1.) found Katniss and 2.) enjoys an ice-cold Natty Light from time to time, is among many who have called my beloved Katniss “he” or even “it” when they meet her. I suspect it’s either because of her red collar, or people are sexist jerks. My money is on the collar.

Katniss’ red collar is on fleek. Using such a hip term is supposed to appeal to my younger readers, if I have any. For a long time I thought “fleek” was a dirty word. (Photo courtesy of wife)

I suppose the easiest way, aside from the obvious one*, to tell the gender of a dog at first glance is to check the color of his or her collar. I prefer when people simply ask if Katniss is a boy or girl. Maybe I have some sort of weird feminist dog agenda, but I’m super proud that Katniss is a girl.

Besides, I always thought red was gender-neutral. I would agree that pink or purple are more widely used for female accessories—canine or human—and blue is most often associated with males. Then again, my friend’s male dog has a purple collar, so what the hell do I know?

Behold, it’s the collar Katniss came with. Yes, I am one of those strange dog parents who keeps stuff like this; no, it no longer smells like a truck stop bathroom.

When we adopted Katniss, she had a dainty pink collar that we knew wouldn’t last a week. We got her a red one because my wife and I both like red**, and Katniss needed a newer, thicker collar. Plus the pink one was smelly, and the red one looked good with Katniss’ coat.

The thing is, as my loyal reader knows, dogs can see mostly only grays in addition to yellow and blue, so the collar colors really aren’t even for them—the colors are for us. Dogs never even see their collars anyway because their collars aren’t within their range of vision. A dog trying to see its collar would be like a person trying to see a tattoo he or she got on the back of his or her neck. Hopefully it’s not a tattoo of a Chinese character that is supposed to mean “warrior” but could also mean “foolish.”

In hindsight, maybe we should have let the teeny-tiny Katniss pick out her own collar when we adopted her—we could have laid them all out on the floor of PetSmart, and whichever color she sniffed first would have been hers.

Even if it was blue.


*How else do you think? If you’re still not sure what I’m referring to, go ask an adult.

**I have a red car, red reading glasses, red shoes, a red hammer I use when woodworking, half my shirts are red or have red in them, and I’m sure I started rooting for my beloved but currently woeful San Francisco 49ers as a little boy partly because their primary color is red. Even this blog has red here and there. Maybe my love for red comes from my home state of Ohio—the state bird, state flower, state insect, state fruit and state beverage are all red, not to mention those idiotic Ohio State Buckeyes, whose primary color is scarlet. I was surrounded by OSU propaganda for decades; maybe it got to me as an impressionable youth, hence my love of red? As an editor I often use a red pen, too. Even my birthstone is red, and so is the packaging for my favorite drink, Coke. My “hometown” pro baseball team? The Cincinnati Reds, of course. After reading such a dumb blog post, I bet you’re even seeing red right now!


9 thoughts on “My female dog has a red collar. Got a problem with that?

  1. This really hit home. Everyone always, without question, assumes my dog is a female–even when he’s wearing his “boyish” blue collar. The groomers I take him to are notorious for this. Unlike you, I’m too chicken to correct people. I really hate confrontation. Ignorance is bliss?

    In the end, I guess ‘Jun’ (pronounced like the month) just comes off as a feminine name.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always think of red as a female colour… Weird how people have different associations. That said, my boydog has a red collar and a green harness while my girldog has a pink collar and a red harness… But people still think that he’s a she and that she’s a he. Huh.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, in my little mind, green is a boy colour. Green and blue and brown and black are definitely male colours. Red and orange and yellow and pink and purple are female. And white is neutral. I don’t know why!


  3. Loved all the red here! I see you’re in Austin. Me too! (well, Leander). And I also spent some time in OH — I went to Youngstown State Univ. I also have a friend who is a die-hard OSU fan and he goes to every single game every season. I always tease him about the “pot leaf” in the logo. He gets mad and says “It’s not a pot leaf, it’s a buckwheat!” He even named one of his cats Scarlet, that’s how OSU crazy he is. Oh, and his dog, a male dog, wears a pink collar — because it just looks soooo good with his coat. It truly does.
    Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself. Thanks for visiting my blog. There’s a page there for Austin-area folks (I have a dogsitting business in my home– been doing it for 15 years)…in case you ever need a place for Katniss to stay). She’s beautiful btw. LOVE German Shepherds!
    Michele at Angels Bark


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s