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The Yellow Dog Project

That Dog has recently sponsored the Yellow Dog Project: advocating the slogan that SOME DOGS NEED SPACE.

Being a Dog Walker I have taken on several dogs that for one reason or another are to be walked Solo. A lot of people wrongly assume that this is because maybe they are naughty, aggressive, or just generally misbehaved. The Yellow Dog Project aims to promote and educate people to the fact that some dogs just need a little bit of space. There are many reasons why a dog might need some space. It could be to do with the age of the dog, it might be that the dog is an older one and needs slower more gentle walks due to an age related condition, or maybe that is is a little bit less tolerant now it is older. The opposite could be true in that the dog could actually be really young, getting used to the world and being trained. I have walked and worked with several puppies and they definitely do not need the added distraction of being bombarded by other dogs. The Dog could actually have a medical condition, maybe it is recovering from surgery or feeling a little under the weather. It could even be that the dog is in season and has gone for a quick on lead walk around the block. I have been involved with a couple of dogs that have had ligament surgery, it is important they they still exercise gently to build their strength back up but over enthusiastic movements or being pounced on by other dogs could cause a major set back. For some dogs that usually get to play with dogs it can be frustrating when an off lead dogs approaches that they are temporarily unable to play with. Another and maybe more common reason is that the dog could be nervous. This could be because the dog is a rescue and is getting used to a new environment, maybe they have previously been attacked or bitten by another dog so are now wary of approaching dogs, maybe they are a little anxious and just take a little bit longer to adjust than other dogs. Nervous dogs can react in a variety of ways, they might bark or lunge, they might cower or try and run away. The problem is people see this as just a dog misbehaving and in fact it is a dog trying to communicate how it is feeling. By allowing your dog to run over and pester a nervous one you are potentially making their reaction and response to the next dog it sees worse. So if you see a dog wearing a yellow harness, yellow vest or a small yellow ribbon attached to the lead then please ensure you give the dog some space. It is important that we don't allow our dogs to pester dogs that are on lead anyway but it's important to spread the word that yellow dogs need space! And if you walk past them and they react please don't assume they are being naughty or misbehaving it doesn't make either the dog or the person walking them feel any better.

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