have you seen a yellow ribbon on a leash? find out what it means

yellow ribbon on leash meaning
Posted by Dr. Kim Smyth on Oct 06 2014



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We humans have many ribbons to wordlessly express our own personal challenges: pink ribbons are synonymous with breast cancer, black ribbons are universally meant to honor the dead and a myriad other ribbons seek to gather support for particular causes. Our canine friends have just one: the yellow ribbon.




Maybe you’ve seen a yellow ribbon tied on the leash of a dog on a walk, or you’ve scrolled past images on Facebook or maybe you’ve never heard of The Yellow Dog Project. Either way, by the end of today’s post, you’ll know a little bit more about the campaign to give some dogs much needed space.

What Does A Yellow Ribbon On A Leash Mean?

Some dogs just don’t play well with others. Some dogs are busy learning how to be the best dang service dog that they can be. Some dogs are recovering from surgery or injury and aren’t able to play. All of these dogs need space from their doggy friends, but are still entitled to a walk just like the rest of us, right?

Inter-dog aggression is a difficult burden to bear as a pet owner. You want the best for your dog, even if he can’t socialize with other dogs, and this means being able to take him out for a walk without being worried that another dog will enter his space and provoke an unwanted attack.

Likewise, a dog who has just had orthopedic surgery needs to be leash walked in the post-operative period. In these cases, dogs still need access to the outdoors to do their business and stimulate their mind, but worried pet owners who just shelled out hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars worry that the approach of one excited dog can set their dog’s recovery back or worse!

This is where the yellow ribbon can help. Tying a yellow ribbon lets other dog owners know that your dog needs space, for whatever reason. And if you see a yellow ribbon on a leash, you know to keep your dog close until they pass.





The yellow ribbon only works, however, if we all know what it means. Spread the word to friends and colleagues, and in the meantime, never assume that people you and your dog meet on the street know what it means. A yellow ribbon doesn’t excuse inappropriate behavior, and it doesn’t make you less responsible if an accident occurs.


Not all dogs are friendly to strangers, but they all deserve to be able to go on a walk. Respect their space and make sure your dog does the same!

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