What to Do if You See a Yellow Ribbon on a Dog’s Leash

Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on October 9, 2012.

Anyone who has ever had a sick, unsocial or elderly dog will 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. 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!”

Yellow Dog Project

Photo Credit: Yellow Dog Project

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 fallout. 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 here.

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

Related Stories:

Dog Invites Hungry Stray Home for Dinner

Brave Stranger in Black Boots Rescues Neglected Dog

Winter Rescue of Dog in Icy River

Photo Credit: The Yellow Dog Project

2339 comments

Ellie L
Past Member 2 months ago

Thank you

SEND
Myla D
Myla D4 months ago

I love this project. I read about this a few years ago. However I have never seen it being used. I think if we all spread the word ppl will start doing it. Ppl may think the yellow ribbon stands for another cause. If we start informing ppl of the yellow ribbon project maybe just maybe it will work! Maybe we should put them on all our pups and then ppl will ask what’s that yellow ribbon on there for. And we can explain what it’s all about. Even if ur pup is a healthy well socialized, all the bells and whistles. We should educate and spread the word. Like I said Iv known of this project for years and no one I know has heard or seen a yellow ribbon on any dog. I think a yellow ribbon could save a lot of stress and unneeded drama in this world we live in. Let’s share and give space w a yellow ribbon!!

SEND
Caitlin L
Past Member 4 months ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
joan silaco
joan silaco4 months ago

THANK YOU

SEND
Janis K
Janis K5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

SEND
Janet B
Janet B5 months ago

Thanks

SEND
Leo C
Leo C5 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

SEND
Tania N
Tania N5 months ago

good info. thanks

SEND
Tania N
Tania N5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

SEND
Tania N
Tania N5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

SEND