On a recent trip to Utah with my daughter, I was relaxing by the pool reading a magazine about Park City. An article in the magazine made me aware of a new initiative to alert people to dogs with some special needs.
The Yellow Dog Project was started to make people aware of dogs who need extra space when out in public. These dogs wear a yellow ribbon tied around their leash that tells other dog owners or passers-by that this dog does not want to be petted, sniffed or played with by other dogs.
The Yellow Ribbon does not necessarily indicate a dog is aggressive. Dogs may wear a Yellow Ribbon for a variety of reasons.
These dogs may be fearful of other dogs or just socially awkward. They may have had a recent surgery or have been ill and need a slow calm walk. They may be old and tired or may be a service dog in training. Perhaps they have been recently adopted and the new dog parents need to learn how they are with other people and dogs. The yellow ribbon prevents the dog from becoming stressed and helps the dog parents avoid explaining that their dog is happy to be left alone whenever they meet someone.
If you do run into a sensitive dog with a yellow ribbon or perhaps a special yellow T-shirt or bandana remember to respect their wishes and give them some space.
Written by Dr. Morag Maskery