Yellow ribbon on a dog’s leash means the dog needs space

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Dogs may be a man’s best friend but sometimes they may have issues that we can’t see including a physical or emotional problem.

The ‘Yellow Dog Project’ is being used in Lexington to warn people that they need to ask before they pet.

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Critter Sitters in Lexington brought the project here at the beginning of September and the goal is to educate people that dogs need their space too.

Dog owners will put a yellow ribbon on their dog’s leash symbolizing they need space.

“Every dog reacts differently with strangers and not necessarily reacting the same way in every situation,” said Emily Lunsford, Sitter Critters Marketing Manager.



Frankie is 14 months old and his owner says he is quite lovable, but if you’re a stranger he can get scared and skittish. Frankie has a yellow ribbon on his leash.

“I think this is good for him to have that yellow ribbon on him,” said Pat Tritschler, Frankie’s Dog Owner.

Emily Lunsford with Sitter Critters says there’s a number of reasons why dogs have a yellow ribbon. A dog could have health issues, be in training, or could be scared.

In Frankie’s case, he has it so he can warm up to people on his own time.

Lunsford also uses a yellow ribbon for her own dog. She says Tallulah is getting old and is losing her eyesight. She adds her dog will get spooked if people suddenly show up.

“Walk up slowly, announce yourself, let her sniff you before you try and pet her,” said Lunsford.

The ‘Yellow Dog Project’ is a global initiative.