Have you seen a dog with a yellow ribbon attached to their collar? If you have, it’s not just for show. The yellow ribbon signifies a campaign called “The Yellow Dog Project.”
The Yellow Dog Project is now a global movement that helps make the public aware that a dog should not be approached. There are many reasons why a dog might be in yellow:
-Shelter dogs who haven’t mastered cues
-A dog in pain due to a health condition
Cues of aggression are usually easier to see. However, the other cues for a yellow ribbon dog might not be as clear. No matter what the reason is, a dog with a yellow ribbon needs their space and they need other people and dogs to respect that space.
How did the project get started?
A positive reinforcement dog trainer named Palardy created The Yellow Dog Project in 2013 to help with an increase in clients who had reactive behaviour. Palardy especially found problems with dogs who lived in busy cities where there is an enormous number of stimuli that can cause negative reactions. While Palardy was doing her training, she bought yellow ribbons and attached them to the collars of the reactive dogs she was working with. Thus began the start of her project.
When we see yellow in our environment, we view it as a cautionary colour (i.e., a yellow traffic light signals us to prepare to stop). A yellow ribbon on a dog means to have caution and respect their space.
Dogs in Yellow Day is celebrated on March 20th to bring awareness to these dogs and to the important project.
For owners with dogs who need a yellow ribbon, the idea of “my dog is friendly” can become quite frustrating. Their dog might not be friendly or might not be comfortable with another dog or person approaching them. Respect the yellow ribbon!