Heritage animal hospital

Veterinary Wellness Blog

The Yellow Dog Project

Have you ever seen a dog with a yellow ribbon tied to their leash?  Do you know what this means?

The yellow dog project is meant to provide awareness.  Dogs with yellow ribbons or other yellow items tied to their leash are dogs that require a little more space.  There are many reasons dogs may need extra space, and a yellow ribbon does not necessarily mean the pet is aggressive.

Reasons a pet might need more space include:Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 3.42.05 PM

  • recovery from surgery or illness
  • painful dogs
  • dogs in season
  • old and tired dogs that don’t want to be bothered
  • scared dogs
  • pets that are ill
  • pets that are insecure
  • pets that are fearful
  • rescue or shelter dogs that have not fully been socialized
  • puppies or other dogs in training
  • dogs that are working


It is important to give these dogs extra time to move out of your way, and while you should always ask before petting a strange dog, it is especially important to ask before interacting with these pets.

The yellow dog project is not an excuse to be used instead of proper training, and it is not a waiver of responsibility.  It should be used along with a professional trainer using positive reinforcement methods to help overcome any fears or socialization issues.  If you are using a yellow ribbon for your pet, do not assume that everyone knows what it means, and remain vigilant.  However, it can be a great tool to help dogs recover from illness or become better socialized.  Be aware, and spread the word about what the yellow ribbon means.  For more information, please see:

The yellow dog project

Dogs in need of space


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