May 18, 2024

Walking your dog is a great way to get some fresh air, exercise, and enjoy nature. However, not all dogs want to be greeted by other dogs or people.

Sometimes, due to anxiety, illness, or other reasons, our four-legged friends need a little more space and distance. That’s where the yellow ribbon comes into play.

What does the yellow band on my dog’s leash mean?

As I sat in the waiting room of a veterinary clinic recently, the Federal Veterinary Medical Association’s warning about “yellow ribbon” distance signals kept flashing on the screen. I thought that although there are certainly many people who know about this signal, there are still plenty of people who don’t.

You may have seen yellow ribbons or bows attached to your dog’s leash or the collar of your four-legged friend. But do you know what that means? The yellow ribbon is a quiet but important reminder. “Please keep your distance!” This indicates that this dog does not want to come into contact with other dogs or people at this time.

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Sweden’s initiative “Gulahund” becomes a global signal

The idea for Yellow Ribbon dates back to an international initiative that was first launched in Sweden in 2012. Its purpose is to reduce the stress of human-dog coexistence.

Additionally, the leash itself may not be enough for some people to signal that they do not want direct contact, so the yellow traffic light color was added. However, although many people now know what the yellow ribbon means, not everyone does. So please tell others about it too! More dog owners will become aware of this signal and be more considerate of each other.

Why do some dogs wear this ribbon?

Possible reasons are:

  • Anxiety and fear: Some dogs may be shy, fearful, or anxious. They need space to feel safe and get used to their environment. A yellow ribbon indicates they would rather be left alone.
  • Risk of disease or infection: Your dog may become sick or infected with a contagious disease. The yellow ribbon warns other dog owners to stay away from the germs and potentially transmit them.
  • heat: Female dogs in heat should not have contact with male dogs. A yellow ribbon indicates that it is currently unavailable for entertainment or gaming.
  • Therapy dogs and training: Some dogs are trained or working as therapy dogs. It requires concentration and no distractions.
  • Rehabilitation or old age: Older dogs or dogs recovering from an injury need rest and protection. Thank you for your understanding regarding the yellow ribbon.
  • Bad experience: Some dogs who have had a bad experience don’t want to be greeted by other dogs, no matter how friendly they are.

Mutual consideration and understanding

There are many reasons to wear a yellow ribbon, but there really isn’t much to it. The key is to keep your distance and ask for consideration. So if you see a yellow ribbon on your four-legged friend, respect the dog’s desire for distance and give the dog and owner the space they need.

It doesn’t matter if the dog is really friendly or doesn’t do anything. When a fearful dog is forced into an unexpected encounter (especially with an off-leash dog), it can cause extreme stress and decrease training and confidence that can take weeks or months to correct. There is also.

It is equally important that owners of “yellow ribbon” dogs treat yellow lights equally responsibly. It does not replace the general rules and obligations we have as dog owners.

Book tips for dog lovers: “Species Appropriate Dog Training” by Daniel Jolles, Arkana 2024. Buy bestsellers directly from Amazon*.

British #dogsinyellowday

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In the UK, for example, a national #dogsyin yellow day will be observed on March 20th. This day is dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of anxious and reactive dogs who have unique socialization and space needs.

Yellow acts as a visual signal to other pet owners that your dog needs space. Additionally, owners can clearly communicate their dog’s needs without confrontation.

The red ribbon has long been a signal

Such distance markers are not so well known. Many riders are familiar with the red ribbon on a horse’s tail, which means you need to keep your distance from the horse’s hind legs as it can kick out.

Downvote: Why do we need a “yellow dog”?

Isn’t a leash enough, or is my kind request that you put a leash on your dog too? Actually, a leash should be enough warning – when my dog ​​is on a leash… Contact is undesirable if there is – sure, you can talk about it well, but the reason really doesn’t matter to anyone. But no, I don’t know why my dog ​​isn’t even allowed to say “hello” or why I’m not allowed to run around the outdoor areas like the other “cool kids” in the city center. You don’t even need to justify it. A four-lane street.

But I can say more because I have witnessed several times that some people don’t even respect the light identification blankets of service and rescue dogs and get in the way of the animals they are working with. Most people only respect police and guard dogs out of fear, so why don’t others respect them too?

And no, you don’t actually need to use a yellow ribbon as a signal, but many dog ​​lovers simply don’t know how to help themselves other than to ask for distance from afar. Many of the people I know who own dogs, including dog trainers, report that these moments are simply annoying.

The meaning of the yellow ribbon is now known to many, but not to everyone. Please spread the word so more dog owners can be aware and show consideration. With this in mind, let’s use the yellow ribbon as a quiet but effective message to work together to ensure respectful treatment among dog owners.


Gulahund™ Yellowdog Program – Some dogs need space and
Federal Veterinary Association

Important note: This article is for informational purposes only. If you need assistance or have further questions, please contact your animal trainer or veterinarian.

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