Have you seen dogs with a yellow ribbon tied to their leash or a yellow leash with “nervous” embroidered on it? These are two ways dog owners are signaling the pet at the end of the leash needs extra room.
These are not necessarily dangerous animals. There are many reasons an owner may need extra space; the pet could be convalescing. The dog could be in training and needs extra space in order to concentrate on the new behaviors. The yellow ribbon or halter could signify a nervous and uncomfortable dog with strange people and animals.
Of course it’s always good to ask permission before petting someone’s dog—yellow ribbon or not. Doing so is just one way to help prevent some of the estimated 4.5 million dog bites that happen every year in the United States.
The Yellow Dog Project is using Facebook and other social media to spread the word that a dog sporting a yellow ribbon, harness or kerchief may not be safe to approach and should be left alone.
This video demonstrates how a yellow ribbon helps one dog recovering from terrible abuse: