Dogs are considered earth’s most loyal creature and it’s for good reason. For centuries, they have been by man’s side, happily. Most doggos are playful, friendly and totally eager to make new friends but just like people, some may need a little space. Because of this, a new movement is sweeping the nation and it’s really quite genius.

It’s designed for dogs who aren’t as approachable as others for many reasons. The doggos may be service dogs in training, they may have come from an abusive past and are skittish, or they may not get along well with others. For whatever reason, their humans think it is best that when they go out in public, that they should be approached with caution.

Tara Palardy of Alberta, Canada, started The Yellow Dog Project in 2012. It’s specifically geared to bring public awareness to DINOS, Dogs In Need Of Space. If you see a yellow ribbon tied to a dog’s leash, his/her human is telling you to please approach with caution. It doesn’t mean the dog will attack you! A dog wearing a yellow ribbon merely means to use consideration when getting close. Like a yellow stop light.

Some DINO’s may be wearing yellow leashes, scarves or vests instead of a ribbon. Some even say “Nervous” or “Approach With Caution.”

Participants in the Yellow Dog Project want to make it clear that this is in no way an excuse not to train your dog. The ribbon is a way to say to the public that the dog is still in training. Or no matter how hard the dog works to train, he or she is just not as receptive to a stranger’s attention as other dogs may be.

The Yellow Dog Project has the potential to prevent injury and even save lives. Many dogs who behave aggressively and bite, actually do so out of fear. In turn, a dog that bites, let’s say a child who approaches too quickly, is possibly in danger of being euthanized. The initiative protects the public as well as the dog… and we are HUGE fans of that!

If you see a dog with a yellow ribbon, you don’t need to run away from him/her. Just approach with caution, use your best judgment and remember that dogs, like us, have sensitivities too.