It is an amazing idea if people know what it means.
I agree, which makes me sad as I have a "yellow" dog. Someone actually had the nerve to tell me the my dog's yellow ribbon meant he was aggressive and I either need to have him muzzled or not bring him out. Trucker is not aggressive at all when he gets scared but very submissive and is making huge strides due to people giving him the space he needs. He will let you know with a low growl or one long bawk that you have made him feel cornered if you do not listen to me when I ask you to please step back and give him some space or if you don't take his multiple body signals.I thought it was a good idea but I've heard there hasn't been enough promotion of it. I heard someone say once that the only people who've actually heard of it and know what the yellow ribbon means are people who would already be respectful of the dog's space and owner's wishes anyways, which is a valid point imo.
It's exactly that idea . I generally rely on the fact that Trucker fully trusts me and only me and therefore has about 80 to 90% recall depending on how scared he is. When he doesn't come it is because he is so frozen I am most likely going to have to carry my 57lb dog out of the situation. He wears his Thundershirt in public which more then actually calms him it let's other people know he is nervous not agressive.It would be cool if this was a more "mainstream" thing that everybody knew about. I didn't know about this particular project, per se, but I do know of at least one company that produces colored harnesses and leashes with clear words. Green for a friendly dog, yellow for a dog that needs caution or space, and red for a dog that is badly reactive or aggressive.
It always reminded me of what we do with colored ribbons in horses' tails during shows to show if they're green, for sale, kick, etc.
I agree with you. the project is only as good as it is presented to the public.I have to admit, I'm not a fan. Maybe, as a long-time supporter of reactive dogs and their owners, I should be...it's just not my favorite initiative.
I don't like the yellow ribbon project because it's complicated. It requires that the owner figure out that their dog needs space (and thus, puts the appropriate color ribbon on), and that the entire general public take the time to learn a color-coded system for interpreting dog clothes. Plus, most dogs are not permanently "green" or "yellow" or "red" -- their reactions depend on the situation.
It seems easier to me to just teach everyone "don't pet a strange dog without permission." If we teach people that it's rude to pet dogs without permission, then we're just asking them to be polite. Which seems like a friendly thing to do! Asking people to watch out for "those dogs" who wear yellow, and avoid them, means asking people to treat "those dogs" as special cases. When really, all dogs deserve space, until they indicate otherwise. Not knowing how to accurately decode dog clothing seems understandable, but not knowing to respect dogs' space just seems rude.
I've owned a very seriously reactive dog. My current dog is not reactive (by my standards, anyway), but will certainly bark at things that surprise her, including people. With either of my dogs, past or present, I think it's my responsibility to keep them under threshold and away from problematic situations. I don't mean that it's always easy -- things surprise me too, and I had a long learning curve to figure out how to manage and live with a severely fearful dog, with plenty of mistakes along the way. But I still think it's easier to control my own behavior, and thus, manage my dog appropriately, than to try to control the behavior of every stranger I meet.
But yeah, I wish everyone would treat every dog as though it was wearing a giant yellow ribbon. They could interact if invited, and otherwise just give dogs space (and be given space in turn), and I'd be a whole lot happier!
weirdly often the kids know better how to approach a dog than the parents.I wish everyone knew about this! Cosmo doesn't like to be approached he would rather approach on his own terms. People walk right up and are shocked when he ducks away and squeezes behind me. I've been asked if he was abused but I've never abused him he's just nervous around strangers and it's been a real training issue for him.
It's just so annoying when people assume he's a dog that loves everyone because that's what a lot of people seem to expect in dogs. I've also been asked "does he bite" a lot when I ask people not to pet him and I ALWAYS get dirty looks from parents when I tell their darling child not to run at him or pet him because he's nervous.
I have seen them. Trucker is an escape artist from harnesses so righ now he has a TrueLove Harness now because we had some very scary experiences with other harness.@TruckersMom - have you seen any of the jackets/harnesses with patches that say things like "I need space" or "In Training - Do Not Pet"?
They might be a little more clear cut, and the latter may deter people without making them think your dog is dangerous.
However, there will always be stupid people who don't know dogs. Worse yet, are the stupid people who think they know dogs and proceed to do things "from experience" that are downright wrong, potentially dangerous, and just ridiculously annoying.
Sorry if my response came off rude, a lot of the time I am just grasping at straws to make people understand what they can and can't do to Trucker. He wants to be everyone's friend, he just needs space and time to get there and not everyone ("Joe Q Public") gets that.I certainly wasn't suggesting that your only two options are to "lock your dog up" or "let strangers run up to him" at will.
If gear is what you want, instead of looking for harnesses/leashes/patches/etc., all of which direct human attention at your dog (a big trigger for some, though not all, dogs), maybe look for a t-shirt you can wear. Then the attention stays on you, and you get more control over the resulting interaction. Grisha Stewart was selling some for awhile, and I think the design is still available for sale via her website: Step Back – New t-shirts for dogs and people | Empowered Animals
And I agree with mathilda that the only piece of dog equipment which will reliably help strangers keep their distance is a muzzle. I love muzzles, for this and other reasons (provided dogs learn to love them too)...the baskerville ultra is pretty excellent for comfort, and is sized so that most dogs can pant comfortably while wearing it.