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Why did I start the yellow ribbon campaign?

Having two rescue dogs myself, one who is particularly nervous despite not appearing to be, I know only too well how looks can be deceptive!  This is a subject close to my heart. I have put 3 years of training into Fergus and it is paying off in dividends, but one little incident can set him back a long way in the confidence stakes, so a visible sign would help both me in his rehabilitating training, and Fergus to be able to cope with what he sees as a scary world.

I heard about the idea from Sweden and it gripped me. As an obedience instructor I canvassed support from people in the dog world and was thrilled how widely it was accepted that this was an excellent idea. After speaking to a few close friends I decided to go ahead and see if I could make a go of it with their help and support. I have funded the first batch of ribbons myself, such is my belief in this campaign. A friend has agreed to make them up for me so 100% of this  money will be going to good causes. Another friend has agreed to build me a website and has helped me design the poster and finally many have agreed to help spread the word across the country.

This campaign is not just aimed at rescue dogs, but for any dog that would appreciate some SPACE.

It may be that you are undertaking training in a public place and would prefer not to be approached, so at these times you could tie the yellow ribbon on the lead.People are well meaning and love animals and it is a natural instinct to want to say hi to a dog.

Your dog may be nervous of dogs, people, children sudden movements, loud voices etc

It can be worn in obedience classes so people will not stand too close meaning you get more out of the class

There are many uses for the yellow ribbon.  It may be that it will be worn on the lead permanently or only at certain times, the choice will be yours

I also will use Space Dogs to educate people about dogs: how they should approach a dog; what to do if a dog approaches you - this is especially useful for children; sports you can do with your dogs where the Space Dog Campaign ribbon could also be useful when participating; give hints and tips of how to build the confidence of a nervous dog along with an insight into why dogs react the way they do sometimes.  Education and understanding are key.

It may be that your dog that is undergoing rehabilitation – either surgical or behavioural and it simply needs to be left to just focus and deal with what is going on about it

 It may be that people are undertaking training and would prefer not to be approached so they and their dogs can focus and concentrate – after all, people are well meaning and love animals and it is a natural instinct to want to say “hi” to a dog.

It can be used when when participating in dog sports such as flyball and agility or attending obedience classes

It may be that the owner is fearful of dogs (yes really!) and has got a dog to try to overcome their fear, they may be doing well with their dog but are still fearful of unknown dogs.

It can be used when you visit the vets, a stressful time for some dogs, which would be made much easier for them if others didn’t sit too close while waiting.

Or it may just be that the owner and dog like to walk together alone…

I myself suffer from a chronic pain condition and some days I have just about enough energy to walk my dogs and really don’t feel like stopping to talk to other well meaning dog owners.  

There are MANY uses for the yellow ribbon and can become a very powerful tool for dog owners and their dogs.


"What a super idea. My boy is fine off lead but gets very nervous of other dogs on lead in crowded places. Some people walk their dogs really close to him and it is very stressful for him."V.S.

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