What To Do If You See A Yellow Ribbon on a Dog’s Leash

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite, back by popular demand. It was originally posted on October 9, 2012. Enjoy!

Anyone who has ever had an infirmed, unsocial or elderly dog is going to love The Yellow Dog Project, a global movement for parents of dogs that need space. The concept behind it is quite simple.  If you see a dog with a yellow ribbon or other items tied to its leash, that signifies a dog who needs space and you should not attempt to pet the dog or bring your own dog over for a greeting.  Now here’s an idea that’s long overdue.

The Yellow Dog Project has now made its mark in 45 countries and educational materials have been translated into 12 languages. Fans are calling it, “Brilliant” and “The best thing to happen since the invention of the leash!”

Recently, I was walking my two dogs on some trails behind the local elementary school.  I go there because of the open fields and because few people come through the area in the evening.  My dogs need space. I have an elderly Labrador with laryngeal paralysis (a condition which inhibits a dog’s ability to breath when he is warm or excited).  It’s very important to keep him calm, and with my mid-sized terrier mix boinging alongside him, I already have my hands full in keeping the walks safe for both of them.  But then along comes a man with absolutely no boundaries. As he made a bee-line for us I hollered out, “Please don’t bring your dog over.” His response was, “Don’t worry he’s friendly.”  And with that he let go of his dog’s leash and says, “Go get em!”

Now here I am holding the hand of a small child and balancing two leashes in my hand, trying not to let the dogs tangle or to allow my elderly dog to get any sort of additional stimulation, and this dog comes at us like a bowling ball.  As expected, it was a mess.  My two dogs got tangled around one another.  My older dog felt threatened and the oncomer snapped at him.  My daughter was frightened and this guy just casually saunters over with no regard for the fall out. I had to ask him two more times to please move away with his dog before he finally understood.  By that time, my elderly dog was gasping for air and I had to kneel on the ground with him for a full 15 minutes before he could recover.

These days we have a yellow bandana tied around both leashes and look forward to the day when this concept is widely embraced by the pet loving community. You can visit The Yellow Dog Project.

This news has been brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase tournament of heroes.

 

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1613 comments

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla6 months ago

Sharing

kathleen P.
kathleen P.7 months ago

Caroline d: ,Yellow Dog Project is in Europe. Go to their website: The Yellow Dog Project.com. On the opening webpage they have a world map of all the places they have The Yellow Dog Project. I lived two years in Ireland and they had it there. I printed some of their little info cards and handed them out when I was stopped and asked "why the yellow ribbon" Hope this will give you some more info. It starts with one person doing it.

Caroline d.
Caroline d.7 months ago

I JUST SAVED THIS ARTICLE AS A PDF AND I'M GOING TO TALK ABOUT IT WITH OUR VETERINARY !
WHO KNOWS? THIS COULD BE THE BEGINNING !...
THANK YOU AGAIN FIR SHARING !
WARM GREETINGS FROM BELGIUM !

Caroline d.
Caroline d.7 months ago

This is just à briliant idea ! Thanks for sharing !
What à pity this doesn't exist in Europe...
It should be done HERE too!
À simple and wonderful yellow ribbon can make dogs much happier... and people meeting too!
God bless you all and your loved ones.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven8 months ago

thanks for the article.

Debbie Phillips
Debbie Phillips8 months ago

I think this is a great idea. I'll be sure to give them their space.

MJ J.
Past Member about a year ago

Cool. Thanks

about a year ago

Great idea!!! Never had a dog that needed a yellow ribbon but I have known a few that did.....

Amanda Wright
Amanda Wrightabout a year ago

I've never heard of this or seen a dog with a yellow ribbon but it seems like a really good idea

Arnold B.
arnold B.about a year ago

thanks