Vreccale is the name used to indicate the ancient collar that the shepherd used to defend his Maremma-Abruzzese Sheep Dogs from attack by predators.
Called in dialect “Je ruccale” this tool was indispensable so that the shepherd did not run the risk of losing both livestock (with the killing of the dog) and the dogs themselves.
Sometimes made of leather with iron tips, however, it is generally built entirely of iron (because it is practically eternal and more reliable, even if considerably heavier from 450 to 800 grams) it can have a hot working (much more complex and expensive) or cold by simply bending the components of the collar itself.
In more recent times it is also built by welding the various parts together.
The Vreccale was used above all for the defense from the Wolf;
Since the same essentially attacked the throat, the shepherd needed a stratagem in order to protect the dog’s neck, hence the birth of the pointed iron collar which, often combined with the amputation of the ears and more sporadically also of the tail, easily points vulnerable, they made the white dog practically unbeatable in direct confrontation with his antagonist;
Furthermore, the cutting of the appendages was also necessary to avoid deep wounds to the dog which, during the period of grazing in the high mountains, could not find the right treatments because not available to the shepherd (stitches, medicines, etc.) , so it was much more convenient to eliminate the “problem” before it arose.
For the protection and well-being of the dog (the Vreccale is a very effective but at the same time heavy tool that in some way gave constraint to the dog and that often caused hair loss and sores), it has become almost unavailable, today however there are models in light alloys that are still used on working dogs.
Thanks to the skill of some blacksmiths, you can find some pieces still on the market that can embellish our homes as an object of considerable historical and cultural value.
The Velino Sirente kennel can find newly built Vreccali by means of local blacksmiths, with hot or cold processing.