What to do if you see a dog wearing a yellow ribbon

As a dog lover it’s so tempting to want to pet all the dogs I see out on the street with their owners. It gives me such joy to see a sweet dog loving life and getting to explore the outside world.

But, as a mom I’ve always taught my kids to be cautious around strange dogs and to always ask the owner’s permission before they pet them.

Not all dogs want to be petted or should be petted but how do we know which dogs are safe to approach, especially when we’re walking our own dogs and they want to be social too?

Thanks to one smart dog lover a project was set up to address this very concern and it’s quickly spreading across the world.



Gepostet von The Yellow Dog Project am Donnerstag, 16. Januar 2014

Laura Palardy, a dog trainer from Alberta, Canada, recognized that not all dogs are sociable.

Some may be nervous, or sore from surgery or because of their history may not react well to strangers and just need time.

Palardy came up with a simple yet effective way to address this issue.


Gepostet von The Yellow Dog Project am Dienstag, 26. März 2013

She started the Yellow Dog Project which encourages owners of such dogs to tie a yellow ribbon around them to warn others to give them space.

The non-profit also donates the money raised to buy things like yellow ribbon and t-shirts to encourage the cause.

Gepostet von The Yellow Dog Project am Donnerstag, 16. Januar 2014

The yellow ribbon is also a sign for other dog owners to not let their dogs approach a dog with a yellow ribbon around its neck or leash.

It also saves the owner of a nervous dog from not having to constantly explain why their dog needs space.

“The Yellow Dog Project is a global movement for owners of dogs that need space,” the project’s website says.

“It hopes to educate the public and dog owners to identify dogs needing space, promote appropriate contact of dogs and assist dog parents to identify their dog as needing space.”

Gepostet von The Yellow Dog Project am Dienstag, 9. Februar 2016


It can be a stressful situation for some dogs to be petted and approached by a stranger and so many of us dog lovers forget this.

This is the perfect way to combat that and protect the dog for any unnecessary stress.

Please share so more people know about this excellent project and are made aware of what a yellow ribbon on a dog means.