What’s a Yellow Ribbon Dog?

The Yellow Ribbon Project

If you live in a dog-friendly, walking city chances are you have already seen a Yellow Ribbon Dog. Yellow Ribbon Dogs are also showing up in rural and small towns too. The movement is called the Yellow Ribbon Project, and it is a global effort. But what is the yellow ribbon for?

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The Yellow Ribbon Project is an educational and social movement to help alert people on how to approach dogs. Some dogs are skittish by nature whereas others have testy just after surgery. Some dogs suffer from anxiety and mental anguish following traumatic events such as being rescued from an abusive home or situation. A yellow ribbon fastened to the dog’s leash or on their collar indicate the dog needs their space. The project also uses anxiety vests in bright yellow dog collar with the words “I need space.”

yellow dog collar meaning


The mission of the project is to raise awareness on how to approach dogs as well as alert people to potential bad encounters. Some people may argue that these dogs should not go out in public if they are such a threat. The truth is, they are not a threat. They just need their respect and space. 


Getting out into public is also very important for the rehabilitation of dogs who suffer fear and anxiety issues. It’s only logical that if you kennel or crate a dog with fear issues and not interact with that dog, he will grow more fearful, not less. Getting the dog outside on a leash allows him to experience more of the world and exercise his mind and body. The more experiences he has, the more likely he is to heal. In other words, this project helps with proper socialization by increasing the dog’s stimuli. 

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space needed for dogs

The project aims to educate people on how to approach all dogs, not just the timid, fearful, and anxious. It is a reminder that a pet parent should know what is best for his dog and you as a passerby should always ask permission to interact with any dog.  


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