The Yellow Ribbon – Good Idea or Not?!

Many of you may already be familiar with the Yellow Dog movement as it has made it’s way around social media. But in case you aren’t, here’s a little more information:

The Yellow (Dog) Ribbon Project (used to indicate a dog needing space by tying a yellow ribbon on their leash) - Good Idea or Not?! Can you see the downsides?

The Yellow Dog Project is a movement created for dogs that need space. By tying a yellow ribbon or something similar to the dog’s leash you are indicating that this dog needs space, for whatever reason (or perhaps the human walking the dog… either way).

However, there has been much debate with this whole ‘yellow ribbon please ignore us’ movement. What do you think? Can you see the downsides? Are people taking it too far? Are we assuming the worst if a dog is wearing this ribbon on their leash?

Please visit me on Victoria Stilwell’s Positively Expert Blog where I’m discussing my opinion of the Yellow Ribbon Dog Project!

The Yellow Ribbon (used to indicate a dog needing space) - Good Idea or Not?!

You can print posters here & here.

The  Gulahund™ Yellowdog Program was originally founded in Sweden by Eva Oliversson and in June of 2012 The Yellow Dog Project was started by Tara Palardy, a dog trainer from Alberta, Canada. The Yellow Dog Project was inspired by the Gulahund™ Yellowdog Program.


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16 Replies to “The Yellow Ribbon – Good Idea or Not?!”

  1. I think it’s a great project. However if people don’t know about it it doesn’t do any good. So to make it work we need to get the word out!

    1. Hi Emily,
      Agreed – while it has made a huge appearance on the web, there are still tons of people that have never heard of it. Not to mention, there are still people that do not approach a stranger’s dog appropriately. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I think it is a fab idea. Some people are unaware that if a dog is frightened it can react in the only way they know how, to snarl and such like. Having the ribbon will make people think before letting their dog run up to them.

    I back this idea fully.

  3. Since this ribbon can mean so many things, I do not think its a good idea. I know we have tested this around town and with dogs who are just old or didn’t like other dogs rushing up to them. The same comment came out of the other owners mouth and that was “I see that dog is vicious” One color meaning so many things is not a good idea.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Someone else had a good point w/ the ribbons – maybe a red ribbon should be for aggressive dogs only, because yes, we would not want people to assume this on a dog that is simply scared or easily frightened.

  4. I think it’s a great idea. No matter what the issue is – aggression, fearful, just doesn’t like attention, the goal of wearing the ribbon is the same – to let people know not to approach the dog. I think it’s helpful even in the case of knowing when you are on a walk with your dog which dogs you can approach. My dog loves to see other dogs, but I know not all dogs do. It’s helpful to know when you really shouldn’t approach.

    1. Hi Ann, I completely agree. We can never assume that a dog wants the attention from other dogs or humans. Hopefully the message of the ribbon will be spread far & wide.

  5. I love the idea, but as others have said the average person will have no idea what it means. I think more discussion is key, so I will make sure to check out your post on Victoria’s blog. Such a great topic!

    1. Hi Lindsay, I agree – we have to create a wider awareness of this before it becomes truly effective. And while we’re at it, maybe a wider awareness of how to approach a stranger’s dog :). Thanks for commenting!

  6. This is an excellent idea.I heard about it last year on radio Wm.My three yorkie’s who are sadly not here anymore didn’t like other dog’s approaching them.I found myself forever explaining this to people when their dog’s came bounding over. Some people would make derogatory comments.A yellow ribbon or lead would have solved this.I now look after my son’s dog and he’s a joy to walk but if I came across a dog sporting something yellow,I would see it as a warning and not let my son’s dog approach.Poster’s could be erected in Vet clinic’s and many other public places.The message would soon come across. Obviously radio & TV advertising would spread the message best.

  7. Like Emily said, if they don’t get the word out about what that yellow ribbon means, the project will not work. I did not know about this project, so if I had been near a dog with a yellow ribbon I would have probably approached the owner to ask if he was a stray dog. Yellow ribbons are used in neighborhoods as a reminder that children are missing.

  8. I do like the Yellow Ribbon idea. I use it for my Bichon Frise. She does not like toddlers. Maybe a lot of people do not know about this, but, time and publicity will take care of that. I’ve had so many kids just run right toward my dog, hands out to pet. I have to yank my girl away because she’s on a leash and tell the kids to back off. Parents have gotten angry with me for bringing a ‘viscous’ dog in public. Then I get to tell them to teach their kids how to approach strange dogs. I also try to educate them about the yellow ribbon. My dog should not be locked up in the house just because little kids scare her, she is trained and on a leash, more parents should do the same for their kids.

    1. Hi Cynthia! I completely agree…I like the idea. And no matter what size or breed of dog, a child should always ask before petting or running up to!

  9. You and your dog have a right to your personal space. That’s the default setting, and you shouldn’t have to *ask* anyone to leave you alone. Putting on a yellow ribbon means you’re effectively taking responsibility for other people’s cluelessness.

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