Do you know what it means if you see a dog with a yellow ribbon on its collar, leash, or around its neck? If you don’t, you should make note of this global movement, the “Yellow Dog Project.” According to the non-profit organization, “[a] yellow ribbon around a dog’s collar is to help everyone in the proximity know that you need to proceed with caution around this dog. The dog may not be child friendly, may have fear or anxiety issues, or may be overly excited. Either way, caution should be applied when approaching.”
The Yellow Dog Project describes its mission as, “a global movement for owners of dogs that need space. It hopes to educate the public and dog owners to identify dogs needing space, promote appropriate contact of dogs and assist dog parents to identify their dog as needing space.” The project goes on to say that a yellow ribbon is not an excuse not to train a dog, an admission of guilt, or a waiver of responsibility. It’s simply a tool to promote properly approaching an unfamiliar dog.
The project was started by a Canadian “positive reinforcement” dog trainer who wanted a solution for individuals with dogs who may need a moment of training prior to being approached, or dogs who have “space issues.” The project sells yellow ribbons, as well as yellow collars, leashes, etc.
Dog bites and dog attacks are all to frequent- according to Mlive, State Farm reported paying out $7.0 million toward dog bite claims in Michigan in 2011, and since then this number has been on the rise. Each year, more than 5 million people are bitten by dogs. More than half of dog bite injuries occur in children. Sometimes these attacks happen without the individual approaching the dog, but using caution among unfamiliar dogs helps prevent attacks.
It’s always a good practice to ask the dog owner if you can pet their dog prior to approaching an unknown pet, but if you see a dog with this yellow marking, you (or your children) should take extra precautions.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.