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The Yellow Dog Project

Date: 09 October 2015  |  Author: Holly Sadler

Tags: anxietybehaviour

My son Joseph, Dave the dog and I went to support my husband Chris run a half marathon at Blenheim Palace on the weekend.

After the mist cleared the sun came out and we had a lovely day. The grounds were packed with spectators, many of which brought along their four-legged friends. Dogs needed to be kept on leads, but Dave met lots of happy dogs with waggy tails. One or two dogs were muzzled so we gave them some space, but it got me thinking, have many of you heard of the Yellow Dog Project?

The Yellow Dog Project was created to bring awareness to dogs that need some extra space, avoiding situations of confrontation. These dogs may be wearing a yellow bandana, or have a yellow ribbon tied to their lead or something similar. It could be that they are anxious of other dogs, be unwell, in heat or in training. It is such a sensible idea that too few people are aware of.

Can you imagine what it’s like to have the compassion to take on a rescue dog with a few issues, put plenty of time and dedication into training and rehabilitating that dog, only to take a giant behavioural leap backwards because an over exuberant Labradoodle didn’t take the hint and was inadvertently bitten by your extremely anxious hound?  

Sadly I see far too many dog bite wounds in my profession that probably could have been avoided if the owners had a little more awareness of the temperaments of the dogs around them. This knowledge can then be applied to keep your own dog under closer control if needs be.

So if you see a dog sporting yellow the next time you are out, show a little understanding and give it some space. And try and spread the word....!

About Dr Holly Sadler

After growing up in the New Forest I attended the Royal Veterinary College, London, from which I graduated in 2008. I have loved working in first opinion small animal practice ever since. I have a special interest in small animal dentistry, and a soft spot for bunnies! I currently work in Buckinghamshire and live with my husband Chris, our newborn baby Joseph and our black lab Dave (son of Chief Taster Molly!).