What does a yellow ribbon on a dog’s collar mean?

Have you noticed that some dogs have a yellow ribbon tied to the collar or...

Have you noticed that some dogs have a yellow ribbon tied to the collar or leash? Do you know what these ribbons mean? Here’s what you should know about a dog’s yellow ribbon.

Tara Palardy, a Canadian dog trainer, got the idea from a website launched in Sweden. She wanted to raise the awareness of the yellow ribbon because the Swedish group’s idea was great, but not spreaded enough. The campaign got more than 12,000 followers in just over six months! Palardy was sure that the movement can only work, if people from all over the world know about this project. That’s the reason why she started a Facebook group for the Yellow Dog Project.

What does a yellow ribbon mean?

The yellow ribbon on a dog’s collar or leash is a sign to other people, that the dog needs some space and that you need to proceed with caution. The reason is that the dog may not be child friendly, have health issues, have fear or anxiety issues, or is in training. Either way, caution should be applied when approaching. Dogs wearing a yellow ribbon are not necessarily aggressive, in fact, many are not. They just need a bit extra space.

yellow ribbon

So what do you do if you see a dog with a yellow ribbon?

Keep distance and don’t allow your children or  your own dog near the strange dog. Yes, it seems like common sense, but some people actually think it’s okay to run up to any dog and pet it. If you truly want to approach the dog, ask the owner if it’s okay. Whether a dog is wearing a ribbon or not, asking the owner for permission is always a good idea. If you see a dog with a yellow ribbon, the message is simple: the dog just needs space. Please respect that!

Does your dog need a yellow ribbon?

If your dog has an issue that means it’s best for other people and dogs to keep their distance, consider tying a yellow ribbon to the leash or collar. The more yellow ribbons there are out there, the more awareness about the meaning of the ribbons. The more awareness, the happier will dogs and their owners be.

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  1. Micki Rodenborn

    I have a 2.6 year old Irish Wolfhound who was spooked by a happy by loud and squealing toddler when she was a youngster and she has been timid snd shy of people ever since. She is ever so slowly starting to gain trust but it is a very long and slow process; any loud or sudden movements will startle her. Since she is a rare breed and quite beautiful many people want to approach her. My other two Irish Wolfhounds are just the opposite and love the attention and adoration.

    I love this idea! It will clearly make it easy for me to tell people which dog is approachable giving my Buttercup the space she needs while the others get to greet new people. Perhaps, she can feel comfortable enough to join in after seeing how the others are or just be content knowing she won’t be approached. Thanks for the fabulous idea!

    • Laura

      Hi Micki,

      I am glad you find this useful. I wish all the best to you and your Buttercup :).
      Keep reading the Tractive Blog for more tips on how to live better with your beloved furry friends!