Numerous dog owners have begun using yellow ribbons, leashes, bandanas and other attire to signify that their dogs require more space while in public. The color yellow was chosen as a preventative measure, so others do not intrude into their dog’s space. The Yellow Dog Project is meant to raise awareness and to educate, rather than stigmatize dogs who wear the color.
“The Yellow Dog Project is a global movement for owners of dogs that need space. It hopes to educate the public and dog owners to identify dogs needing space, promote appropriate contact of dogs and assist dog parents to identify their dog as needing space.”
The ultimate goal is to raise enough awareness so that the population becomes accustomed to obtaining an owner’s consent about approaching a dog, regardless whether they are wearing yellow.
“Yellow dogs” might be dogs who struggle with anxiety, are recovering from surgery, aging, or pups who are still in training. They may be dogs who are reactive around other dogs or people. Yellow dogs may also be training for service or work. They may be dogs who come from environments or backgrounds where they did not receive proper socialization, treatment, or training. A yellow dog is not always a dog with behavioral issues. A dog may wear yellow for a variety of reasons, unique to the specific dog and their situation.
The Yellow Dog Project aims to educate people on how to make contact with a dog by first gaining permission from the dog owner. While this may seem like common knowledge, many children and adults do not receive permission from the owner first. Despite their best intentions, strangers are unaware of a dog’s mental and physical comfort level and could be doing more harm than good by simply extending what they intend to be a friendly hand.
Responsible Dog Ownership
Owners should not feel ashamed of using yellow to signify their dog needs space, “There are most likely many people in your community who are ‘hiding’ their pet issues rather than working on them.” By using yellow, you are proactively integrating your pup into safe environments while keeping others aware that your pup needs additional space–whether that means from humans, dogs, or both.
The Yellow Dog Project does not excuse owners from seeking out training for their pups. While a dog is in the training process, he or she may need extra space, but owners should not abuse using yellow attire to avoid training.
A Global Movement
The Yellow Dog Project is still a new movement, and many are not aware of what a yellow ribbon or yellow attire represents. You cannot assume that others know your dog needs space just because he or she is wearing a yellow ribbon or other yellow attire. Kindly inform someone if they approach your dog what the yellow ribbon means and that your dog, for the time being, requires additional space.
The Yellow Dog Project is a not for profit organization, and the money raised and donated is used to purchase materials to promote the cause. For information on training, The Yellow Dog Project suggests these resources.
Learn more about The Yellow Dog Project here.
What do you think about The Yellow Dog Project? Would you use a yellow ribbon if you ever felt your dog needed it?