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

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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5:15AM PST on Dec 18, 2014

This is very useful to me. Thank you!

6:11AM PST on Dec 16, 2014

Thanks for sharing

9:50AM PST on Dec 5, 2014

Kevin D and Joe C. Kathleen F.First to Kathleen.You are correct. But it is ok for you to be a little forceful. As in when somebody approaches put your hand up in the stop motion and say stop. Some people just need the "rudeness". And to Joe , I think the color yellow was picked because Yellow is "Caution" or "Slow Down" as in the traffic signals, etc. And Kevin, I don't really believe this article is for "vicious" dogs. The Yellow Ribbon/vest project is for any dog that does't not like people and other dogs coming up in their face. The dog may be old, recovering from surgery, may just not like strangers coming up in their face. I'm sure you would be fine and dandy if a strange person run up to you and hugged you or kissed you. What would be your reaction? Also many dogs that are "leash aggressive" are not really vicious dogs. They just don't know how to do proper greeting. And I might add that the people with such dogs that use choke chains only intensify the situation. The dog sees another dog and lunges; the choke chain tightens and the dog associates the choking with the dog approaching. And in my opinion as long as they are managed and under control even aggressive dogs need to get out for walks. .

1:50PM PST on Nov 25, 2014

And the debate goes on, what to do with a viscious dogs. You people who have mean viscious dogs should have them put down. You have ticking time bombs on a leash. What is going to happen it that dog gets away from you and attacks a small child that was walking their dog on a leash. I walk my dog every morning on a leash. There is a woman who walks a large poodle and that dog does everything it can to break away from its owner to attack my dog. I am across the street, not even on the same side. That is just plain stupidity to walk around with a mean viscious dog.

7:55AM PST on Nov 23, 2014

Yup, it's amazing! I am constantly amazed by the way people approach dogs they don't know. I have a dog that has aggression issues. He was on the kill list at the shelter because they couldn't show him. We don't know what caused his issues, but I'm in rescue and fell in love with him, so I adopted him and no amount of training has changed his ways. He's great with me, but not with any strangers, and as much as I try to keep him away from people, I often find myself having to keep people away from him! He doesn't look threatening, so people tend to approach him like he's a plush toy. They've crossed streets and parking lots to get to him to pet him, because they think he is so cute. They say that they "have a way with animals" so he won't bite them. They are wrong! One day I was sitting with him on the front step when a man came down the street with a pitbull. My dog went crazy. Jumped up and actually broke my nose trying to get to this man and his dog. Instead of moving away as quickly as possible, this man continued to stand directly in front of us, assuring me that I should not worry, that HIS dog is friendly! There I was, in excruciating pain, trying to see straight and to stop my nose from bleeding, trying to bear hug my out of control dog, having to ask this man repeatedly to PLEASE move on! I finally had to actually yell at him, at which point he got mad at me and accused me of not liking animals. Unbelievable!

4:44AM PST on Nov 23, 2014

We live out in the middle of no where and don't see many dogs on leashes but thanks I had never seen this.

8:07PM PST on Nov 22, 2014

I once went to a dog park where there was something similar. They had markers that you tied to your dog's leash in three colors. Green meant that the dog was friendly and approachable by all, yellow meant that the dog shouldn't have other dogs approach it, and red meant that all other people and dogs shouldn't approach. I always thought it was ingenious really.

8:07PM PST on Nov 22, 2014

I once went to a dog park where there was something similar. They had markers that you tied to your dog's leash in three colors. Green meant that the dog was friendly and approachable by all, yellow meant that the dog shouldn't have other dogs approach it, and red meant that all other people and dogs shouldn't approach. I always thought it was ingenious really.

8:07PM PST on Nov 22, 2014

I once went to a dog park where there was something similar. They had markers that you tied to your dog's leash in three colors. Green meant that the dog was friendly and approachable by all, yellow meant that the dog shouldn't have other dogs approach it, and red meant that all other people and dogs shouldn't approach. I always thought it was ingenious really.

4:30AM PST on Nov 22, 2014

Thanks

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