Many dog lovers don’t give a second thought when they lean in for a stroke or pat of someone else’s dog but a new campaign is urging them to do so.
The Yellow Dog Project was created to bring awareness to dogs who need space while training, recovering from surgery, or being rehabilitated.
It involves the dog wearing a bandana or simply having a yellow ribbon tied around its lead when going out on walks.
Since it launched nationwide earlier this year it has caught the attention of dog owners, community groups and pet stores like W.E Howden’s in Coldstream.
The store have been dishing out the ribbons to interested customers for the past few weeks and staff member Jacqui said she thought it was a simple but worthwhile acquisition for local dog owners.
“A lot of people have an instinct to touch a dog now without first asking permission from its owner.
“In many cases this is fine but not in all cases. Some owners may prefer it if their dogs aren’t distracted by people or other dogs for that matter.
“And if enough word gets around about Yellow Dog people will know that the ribbon is there for a reason.”
There are many reasons why a dog may need space: Maybe it has health issues; It may be a rescue dog being rehabilitated-. the world can be a very scary place for these dogs.
It may have had a bad experience with another dog or is just not like the kind of friendly dogs which always want to say hello.
A bitch may be in heat; the dog may be in training; It may be very old and arthritic; it may be very nervous or shy and other dogs cause it stress.
Jacqui said as well as being a very useful tool for owners who want to train their dogs the yellow ribbon could also prevent any trouble between dogs.
“There are dogs that don’t interact well with other dogs and a fight could break out between them.
“If the owner of the other dog sees a yellow ribbon on a lead they know to keep their distance or put their own dog back on its leads so it doesn’t go close.
“I should emphasise though that a yellow ribbon doesn’t signify that a dog is prone to attacking. Those kind of dogs should always wear a muzzle on walks.”
Jacqui said the main problem with Yellow Dog at the moment is that not enough people were aware of the campaign.
“Most people who’ve had a yellow ribbon from us have only found out about Yellow Dog by coming in.
“I’d love to get into the primary school and introduce children to the scheme.
“Then they can go home and tell their parents about it as well.”
To find out more about YEllow Dog search for W.E Howden on Facebook or visit www.yellowdog.co.uk