Yellow is a universal signal to slow down or proceed with caution, and that holds true for dogs, as well. Around the world, people are using the color to tell people that their dogs are reactive or otherwise uncomfortable having strangers come near.
In 2012, Tara Palardy, a Canadian trainer established the Yellow Dog Project, a not-for-profit organization aimed to tell people that it would be best to move on—a yellow ribbon on the collar. The website offers tips and advice on life with these cautious canines. These dogs may have been abused, neglected, or may have just had one or two bad experiences that had lasting effects.
The color was chosen because it is a time-honored symbol of caution, unlike red, which would convey danger. Owners of these dogs are encouraged to keep training and working on the issues that have resulted in the unwanted behaviors. But until these dogs are at ease with the world, it’s useful to have some way to tell others to keep their hands, faces, and muzzles away.
The Yellow Dog Project web site offers advice and resources, including ribbons, collars, tee shirts (see cover photo) and posters explaining what the ribbons signify and what you should do. It’s an easy, effective way to keep your dog safe and prevent bites, fights, and other unpleasant encounters.
Do you know a dog who might benefit from wearing a yellow ribbon, like Bandit in the video? Leave a comment below and tell us about your yellow dog.