We came across Yellow Dog UK recently: a fantastic campaign whose aim is to help educate dog owners and the public to recognise that some dogs “need space”.
It is hoped that dogs wearing Yellow will become a recognised symbol and bring awareness for dogs who need space while training, recovering from surgery, or being rehabilitated.
This noble goal is achieved through snazzy yellow accessories for the dogs who need a bit of extra space, like the jacket and lead modelled below by Bella.
There are many reasons why a dog may be anxious, or just need some space, such as :
- They may be recovering from an illness or operation
- They may be in season
- The may be old
- They may be nervous, unpredictable or unsociable
- They may be in training
- They may have a new family who aren’t yet sure of the dogs character and behaviour with other dogs or people
It can be a real setback when reactive dogs are approached while they’re out and about. A well-intentioned sniff from a friendly dog, a stroke from a passing human, or an act of aggression from an unfriendly dog can be equally traumatic, depending on the dog’s circumstances.
Unfortunately lots of people like to approach dogs and owners, usually with good intent, but often on the assumption that it’s OK to interact with (and maybe even touch) the dog without permission. If a dog is timid this can be a frightening experience, and if a dog is in training this can disrupt their learning and ‘take them out of the zone’, as it were.
If this happens before an owner has noticed (or before they have time to react), the damage can be done; even if the person approaching then apologises to the owner and moves on, the dog will have had the experience.
The Yellow Dog movement aims to counteract this. It was launched internationally in 2012 and hopes that eventually yellow attire on a dog will become universally recognised as a sign for “please give me some space!”. The UK website, Yellow Dog UK, is a great resource with information about the campaign, various yellow dog accessories, and more.
So, if you see a dog wearing yellow, always remember that this means they are an anxious dog and give them room. This will keep you, and the dog, safe and means that the dog will not be frightened.
You can support them with their ambitious, but worthy and necessary goal by spreading the word about Yellow Dogs, respecting any yellow dogs you see, or donating via their website. All donations are used to further the aims of the project.