About My Anxious Dog
Why should my dog or your dog wear a yellow harness or lead?
Is your dog fear reactive or anxious, nervous?
Our "My Anxious Dog that needs to wear yellow" campaign is designed to let others know that your dog needs space
How did we get into this world of anxious dogs?
This is my story,
I have had dogs all my life and got a beautiful Cocker Spaniel Bella in 2012. She was brilliant in training and in our puppy class we even won the award for “Best dog in class”. However as we progressed in classes Bella struggled with the “Stay” when I walked away and I did not understand this was because she was anxious. Unfortunately Bella was attacked a couple of times (nothing too serious) when she was young and became fearful of other dogs. This also developed into being fearful of strangers and not liking to being touched. My dog trainer told me about using the yellow ribbon as it meant that she needed space but people did not know what this meant so I developed and tested my own range of yellow space awareness products. I found it such a massive help and it made me feel so much calmer. I have used the yellow harness and lead on Bella for over 3 years now and we never leave the house without it, I even put it on her every week at our agility classes because people forget and she looks too pretty. Bella’s levels when out in public improved massively as people did give her space, occasionally we have the odd dog come running up in the park but I explain what the yellow means so next time they see a dog in yellow they will understand what it means.
The yellow dog project was started by a dog trainer in Alberta Canada and is now know globally. The idea was taken from tying a red ribbon on a horses tail if it was a kicker so people then tied yellow ribbons onto their dogs lead.
One of the questions that we are asked, when talking to people about dressing their dogs in yellow, is whether it is in some way, admitting liability for being out and about with a reactive dog.
The answer is, quite simply, No.
An owner who dresses their dog in yellow is not telling the world that the dog is dangerous. They are telling the world that the dog needs space and time to get to know new people. Yellow leads and harnesses are a great way to stop people in their tracks before they get too close, allowing the dog the time it needs to gain confidence whilst out and about. It is the responsible, safe way to encourage people not to crowd the dog and risk a reaction.
Raising awareness has also become a passion for me, so I have designed a range of posters and stickers which I have distributed to all our local vets and parish councils. If you want to raise awareness in your area these are sold on our website.
All management is important to anxious dogs because it helps to create an environment in which your dog has little or no opportunity to practice the behavior you want to change.
The more we promote this type of product the more it makes our dogs lives a little easier each day.