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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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3:47AM PDT on Sep 23, 2014

I've never seen a yellow ribbon but I have seen many of the types of dogs mentioned walking in front of our house.

1:15PM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

What fun

3:13AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

I had no idea about the yellow ribbon meaning! Not sure I ever seen one but now I Know what it means in case I face it. Thanks for sharing this info!

7:22PM PDT on Aug 19, 2014

Very imp peice of info i did not know about !!

7:22PM PDT on Aug 19, 2014

Very imp peice of info i did not know about !!

11:12AM PDT on Aug 19, 2014

I had no idea that there was such a thing as a "Yellow Ribbon" dog. Glad to know about it, because it makes good sense...and the dog owner a good neighbor.

9:44AM PDT on Aug 19, 2014

Great idea and article, thank you!

6:36AM PDT on Aug 19, 2014

I am a Brit living in Portugal .. and have never heard of this. Why .. do Vets not put this info up in their offices and surgeries, hand out leaflets about it so we ALL do know about it ? There should be adverts on national news and in newspapers etc... it's the only way we are all going to know about this !

1:26PM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

This is wonderful. Thanks for the information. I did not know about this.

8:31AM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

Great info. I didn't know this project but it's really helpful for these doggies.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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