A movement is gaining momentum to help clearly communicate that
some dogs need space when they are out and about by affixing a
yellow ribbon to the dogs leash. The concept is that if you
see a dog with a yellow ribbon on his/her leash it means that
he/she needs a buffer around other dogs.
The Yellow Dog project (www.gulahund.se) originates from
Sweden and is spreading worldwide with the goal of drawing
attention to the fact that some dogs simply need space. There
could be a host of reasons why your dog needs some space - your dog
could be having health issues, your dog could be in training, your
dog could be fearful, your dog could be reactive, your dog
could be in heat or your rescue dog might just be settling in and
learning how to walk on a leash. In all these circumstances,
having a little bit of personal space for your dog is a good
The campaign is not for aggressive dogs, it is instead to draw
attention to the fact that there are a host of reasons that a dog
may need some space and are looking at a way to communicate this in
a quick an understandable manner to others. The concept is
that owners with sensitive dogs who would prefer not to have
contact with other dogs while out can tie a yellow ribbon on the
dog's leash as a sign to please stay away.
Walkers of reactive dogs are still expected to be proactive and
responsible for the behavior of the dog. Simply tying a
yellow ribbon to your dog's leash does not mean that the
responsibility for your dog is now transferred to the public.
The yellow ribbon is simply another visual cue.
Many dog walkers do not realize that all dogs out on walks
appreciate a strange dog invading their space bubble and getting
all up in their faces...or other body parts. The yellow
ribbon campaign is one way of educating people about doggie
introductions and that sensitive dogs are not necessarily
aggressive dogs. When you see a dog with a yellow ribbon or
something yellow on the leash, this means the dog needs more
space. Maintain your distance or give the dog and his/her
walker time to move out of your way.
Through social media, awareness and education, The Yellow Dog
Project is reminding people to ask before petting a dog and helping
people recognize that a dog is not interested in meeting and
Even if the yellow ribbon campaign does not catch on fully, it
is bringing awareness to the personal space bubbles of