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Collecting Antique Dog Tags


Enthusiasts find these jingling tidbits of nostalgia at estate (and “tag”!) sales, on eBay, in dusty corners or simply while walking their dogs. They are often assisted by metal-detecting hobbyists (another passion with its own active clubs and newsletters) who pass on “dug” tags that they have come across when trolling for coins or jewelry.

History buffs, dog lovers, token collectors and regional specialists all take an interest in this hobby. Dog licenses are small, durable and lightweight; they are easy to collect and store; and there’s an almost never-ending variety from which to choose. This fascinating and immeasurably satisfying hobby appeals to canine enthusiasts everywhere.



This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 23: Summer 2003
Diane Bandy is president of Dog Licenses, Tokens and Collars and the creator and orgainzer of "Happy Tails,"a volunteer-based pet therapy interactive support group serving the Pittsburgh, Penn., area. doglicense.org
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Submitted by mike r | September 29 2010 |

i have a 1926 rabies vaccination tag from la county # 1 on it i guess it is the first one issued then anybody know aqnything about it?

Submitted by Lisa Wogan | September 29 2010 |

Mike, I suggest you contact Diane Bandy at http://www.doglicense.org/. We'd love to hear what you find out.

Submitted by Tracy | March 12 2011 |

Where can you research tags? Is there a way to find out the value? I just started collecting and it is so much fun. I have found some on ebay but is there other places to find them for sale? I started collecting my home state Maryland and would love to know when the first tags were sold here. So far I am finding very little on the subject. Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

Submitted by Ed | October 19 2013 |

Mike, I have found some old Allegany Co. Maryland Dog Tax Tags !923,1925. Would like to know when they started also.

Submitted by Carolyn | March 14 2011 |

When we moved to Belize many years ago, our old girl Suki came with us. I had a special tag made for her new address which was pretty much the middle of nowhere. She lived to be 15 and went to the Bridge long ago. I totally get the interest in old tags as I've kept hers as a fond remembrance of a much loved companion. I had no idea collecting tags was a hobby though -- very cool!

Submitted by Norskeyenta2 | March 29 2011 |

Searching through an old barn we found this 1949 Dog Tag from Tipton(Cedar County) Iowa. It has a number on it and I wonder if it has any value other then sentimental . I would like to find out who owned it. They might be deceased by now. 62 years ago. I know the animal is gone by now. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Submitted by Anonymous | January 18 2012 |

are antique dog tags have any worth?
i have one from 1939...i use it on my keychain lol
should i not?

Submitted by Anonymous | January 20 2012 |

i found a 1916 richmond is it worth anything

Submitted by pmcoins | February 16 2012 |

As a coin dealer for the last 37 years, I have found everybody collects something, sometimes not even aware of it till the flash of brillance or you find a page like this. Dog tags could be a lot of fun as it has not been worked to death YET! I am guessing the guys and girls with metal detectors will turn up the most, but you can root around in junk bins at the local flea markets and find all kinds of neat stuff.As they say in the coin business,"GOOD HUNTING"

Submitted by Bob | February 22 2012 |

I am one of those that you mention that do metal detecting. I have found quite a few nice tags from Redlands and San Bernardino CA. The earliest is 1897 Redlands, They range from 1903 to 1922, One 1918 San Bernardino and 1918 Redlands both are shaped like dog houses. all in all I have dug around 30 tags. I don't know if they have any worth but are fun to look at. Thanks for your time Bob

Submitted by Anonymous | April 18 2012 |

I have found a 1890 - 1891 dog tag I would like to know more information about the history of dog tags. It has a district number and registered number on the tag. I have cleaned it with Brasso and it is shining beautifully.

Submitted by dave | January 6 2013 |

I like your site. i sent a membership fee to you.i am looking forward to talking to your members about old dog tags, maybe doing some trading with members, mainly trying to find out as much about my collt. as i can!!! Also i happen to love dogs a whole lot, & think people should think alot more before getting one or giving one up. after all there aint no such thing as a free puppy, it all cost money &time!!!! YOUR FREIND DAVE!!!

Submitted by Anonymous | February 19 2013 |

Hi My name is James, my dad and I used to look for burried treasure with his metal detector. We found a dog tag dated JULY 1893 TO June 1894 district no 87 reg no 66 ( Victoria Australia ) Its mine now. I was wondering what it may be worth. Or if the original owner may have decendants who may want to give me alot of money for it. cheers James

Submitted by Scottie | June 16 2013 |

We found 3 dos tags - one is 1897 Lake Mills, WI
one is 1920 Jefferson County, WI
the third is a 1924 Jefferson County, WI
Is there any value to these?

Submitted by Tagguy | August 16 2013 |

The 1897 tag would sell on ebay for between $200 to $300. The jefferson County tag ( shape of WI) between $15 and $25. the 1924 tag ca. $5 to $10. Are you interested in selling the 1897 tag?

Submitted by Jo | July 12 2013 |

we have a dog tag dated July 1 1896 to June 30 1896 South Australian district 3 registration no. 52 found in the NT in approx. 1996.
Any info please?

Submitted by john | July 13 2013 |

I just unearthed a 1928 #11 dog license from keyport nj. Anyone know the monetary value of sed item thankyou

Submitted by Barb Sweigart | October 5 2013 |

I just received a 1965 dog license that belonged to my dad. I am a dog walker and can't think of anything more fun to collect. :)

Submitted by Terri | November 14 2013 |

My old homestead is being renovated by a nephew...his mom(my sister) found an old Elk County, Pennsylvania "dog tax" tag...1908...the house has been in the family for several generations...my great grandfather lived there at the time but we can't seem to find any local history of the dog tag's....where can I find some information on this?..thanks

Submitted by John | February 24 2014 |

I have municipal dog tags/licenses from across canada cities,municipality's etc any idea on wear I could buy or look up for sale so I may be able to add to my collection of Vancouver bc dog tags/licenses.

Submitted by super_sonnentag | March 29 2014 |

i found a 1900 evansville, wi dog tax license while metal detecting any clue on the value?

Submitted by Chris Whitney | April 29 2014 |

I found a group of vintage Dog Tax Tags from the 40s and 50s from Grass Valley Ca. They all differ but the one that intrigues me is the 1944 tag that's made out of wood was that due to saving medal during the war and does that make it more desirable to a collector?

Submitted by Hardo Baker | July 7 2014 |

have 3 licenses (2) from Pacific GROVE, CALIF. 1947 #12; 1948 #396; and (1) from Monterey Calif. 1938 Dog license #262. Can u tell me their value and where I might be able to sell them?

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