“My dog needs space” – The yellow dog project UK

24 Apr


This is something that i only recently became aware of, but i think the concept is great and could potentially help a lot of people (and their dogs of course) out. If your dog needs a little bit extra space when out and about, you may want to consider using the yellow dog project. I know that many of my followers are from other parts of the world, but perhaps this is something that might catch on world wide, so far it has reached 20 countries (and the project only began in November 2012)!


What is the yellow dog project:

Dog’s might need a little extra space for a whole host of reasons and the Yellow Dog Project was created with the aim of bringing awareness to dogs who need some space.

Why might a dog need space:

  • A puppy or young dog that is in training. For example, it is difficult to teach a dog not to jump up at people when a stranger walks by and “coos” at the puppy. Socialization is very important, but so is training and learning manners.
  • Health issues. Perhaps it has had a recent operation, or is unable to move around as well as other dogs or is more sensitive to other dogs or people being in its space.
  • Nervous. These dogs may have had a bad experience, or simply not enough socialization  Nervous dogs can sometimes “act out” when they feel threatened, but a bit of space and time can often do wonders.
  • Bitch in heat. Although it is recommended that you do not walk a bitch in heat, sometimes it is difficult to tell exactly when the season starts and ends, so an extra precaution is always a good idea.
  • Old and grumpy. Some dogs do not like being “bothered” by others as they get older, other old dogs may suffer from health issues such as arthritis.

yellow pup

How does the yellow dog project work:

It’s all very simple. If you see a dog that is wearing a YELLOW ribbon, bandanna, vest or similar on the leash or the dog dog (or even its human), you will know that this is a dog that needs a little space. By space, we mean that it is important that you do not approach this dog or its people. It would be fine to give some distance and then politely ask questions. For example, owners with a “pup in training” might ask that you wait a moment until the dog is calm, and then approach quietly before making a fuss.

The yellow indicates that the dog perhaps cannot be close to other dogs (or maybe people) at this time. Of course, it is impossible for you to know how close is too close, so maintaining distance and allowing the dog to move further away is good practice.


I noticed on their forum that some people were concerned over the use of the colour yellow (it is the same color used for guide dogs and pets as therapy dogs). Please correct me if i am wrong, but i from my understanding it follows the traffic light system used in many re-homing centers (and other situations). Yellow is a good signal that says “i’m not dangerous, but i also don’t want to be smothered in kisses”. It is also bright and stands out, something that is important for seeing early and enabling you to give the dog its space.

yellow dog



How you can help:

If you visit the website you are able to make donations, download free posters to print (I’ve stuck one in my car) and purchase yellow items that you may wish to use on your dog.


Once i get my hands on a couple of yellow ribbons, i will take some photos of my “pups in training” for you all to see and give updates on their progress.

Web address:



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