Yellow Dog Project: A yellow ribbon on a dog's leash sends important message to strangers

Some dogs need to be left alone

TAMPA - The Yellow Dog Project is using Facebook and other social media to spread the word that a dog sporting a yellow ribbon or kerchief may not be safe to approach and should be left alone.

Dog trainer Clarke Inghram of Tampa's Sit 'n Stay Academy wasn't impressed at first.

"My initial response was 'get that dog trained.Teach them some manners!'" said Inghram.

But after looking into it, Inghram saw the wisdom in asking strangers to steer clear of certain dogs.

"It could be convalescing. It could be in training or just uncomfortable. It could be a nervous dog."

A YouTube video features one dachshund that loves attention sharing a home with another that was badly abused. Knowing the difference is important, especially for children who are most likely to be bitten.

"I think it's a great way for kids to identify that the dog's either in training or has some type of issue. We need to give them space," said Inghram.

The Yellow Dog Project stresses that tying a ribbon on your dog's leash is not an admission that your dog is dangerous and it's also not an excuse for aggression or misbehavior.  

Inghram who often trains service dogs hopes people will respect the yellow ribbon more than they respect the service vest that actually say "do not pet".

"People see a dog and see it being well behaved and they want to come up and hug it and pet it and it's clearly marked," said Inghram.

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