A Yellow Ribbon Could Mean A Lot More for Dog Owners

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COLUMBIA - A new project called the Yellow Dog Project could help give dogs and owners more personal space.

The project was created by Tara Palardy in Red Deer Alberta, Canada, in September of 2012. The project is now slowly making its way across the United States and to Mid-Missouri.

The idea of the project is to encourage dog owners to inform people when their dog may need some extra space.

Dogs who may need space in public areas could include dogs with anxiety, fear, pain, or even some protective aggression.

The project encourages owners of these types of dogs to tie a yellow ribbon on their dog's leash which tells other to keep their distance or to not scare the dog.

Some trainers like Cindy Ludwig who owns Canine Connection Training, can see the benefit in a campaign like this.

"I think maybe the yellow ribbon campaign will help dogs in all different kinds of settings, service dog as well as pet dogs and people become more aware that maybe you shouldn't just rush up and pet any dog maybe you shouldn't just let your dog on a long leash and let him run up to anybody with or without a dog."

Other campaigns like the Red Bandana have been created in the past that have a similar idea, but trainers can see a drawback in all these projects.

"If you saw a dog that has caution written all over it you would go ohh and you would draw back away from that dog that has an affect on the dog," Ann Gafke, Trainer of Ann Gafke's Teacher's Pet Training said.

Along with the idea of the dog not being properly trained due to this project, there is some drawback in the fact that not everyone may know what the ribbon means, especially those who do not work with dogs all the time.

Trainers agree the best protection for people, owners, and the dogs is to get them socialized and trained at an early age.