DOGS IN NEED OF SPACE: The Yellow Dog Project

In life, at one time or another, every dog will need space when they encounter other dogs or people. You may have a dog learning basic manners, behavioral modification or specialized occupational training. Some dogs may have medical reasons such as recovering from an illness or surgery, or have a physical limitation such as being deaf, blind or arthritic. Service or working dogs need space to focus on the task at hand. Some dogs are fearful of unfamiliar people or dogs. Sometimes it is the family that may need space and prefer minimal interaction on walks. Whatever the reason, it is always good to give an oncoming dog and their family space.

The Yellow Dog Project

Last year the Yellow Dog Project was started in Sweden and has since spread to over 45 countries and 12 different languages. This global movement is helping bring awareness to the general public about dogs that need space. The Yellow Dog Project uses a yellow ribbon, bandana or any yellow item attached to a leash, collar or harness to communicate that this dog needs some space and please do not approach this dog with your dog. Also it signals to maintain a distance or allow time for this dog with his/her person to move out of the way. There can be various reasons why space is needed and wearing the yellow indicator does not mean these dogs are “bad”, rather that they do better with space.

Everyone at Animal Hospital of North Asheville supports families with dogs who need space. We support leash laws, responsible ownership and always encourage asking permission before you, your kids, or your dogs approach an unfamiliar dog. We support a family’s choice to wear yellow ribbon as indicator of needing space. We have information along with yellow ribbons at the reception desk for families who would like one. Please stop into Animal Hospital of North Asheville if you would like to pick one up. Also, we will be putting yellow ribbons on the leashes of dogs leaving the hospital after certain procedures causing them to temporarily need more space and on the leashes of those with medical conditions that cause them to need space.

There are many ways we accommodate families with dogs needing space. You are always welcome to come in our staff entrance so that your dog does not need to pass through the waiting room where he or she may see other dogs or people. Just make your dog’s need for space known to the Client Care Assistant when you schedule your appointment, and she will make all the necessary arrangements. Taking steps to help decrease stress at the beginning of a visit will help a nervous or fearful dog (or cat) have an overall better experience when they visit us. We want to make every pet’s experience here at Animal Hospital of Asheville as stress-free and fun as possible!

For more information: The Yellow Dog Project