A dog training and behaviour expert in the North East is sponsoring a national scheme which aims to ensure that pooches with problems are given the space they need to get better.
Jacquie Hall – who runs the Northumberland Canine Centre near Alnwick, Northumberland – is encouraging more people in the region to get behind the Yellow Dog project.
It was launched to provide a universally-recognised sign to indicate that a dog doesn’t want to be approached by other dogs, or even people, because of behaviour or other problems.
The scheme involves aggressive, nervous or anxious dogs – or those in training, recovering from surgery or being rehabilitated – wearing a yellow ribbon or bandana round their necks to warn other dog owners that they need to be left in peace.
For various reasons, dogs often react aggressively when other dogs or humans come too close, and this can lead to them being labelled anti-social or even dangerous.
The problem has even resulted in some having to be destroyed, but experts say in most cases these dogs would not react if they were left alone to get on with life peacefully.
Jacquie is sponsoring the scheme in the North East, and says she hopes it will help nervous dogs to be given the space they need to overcome their problems.
She said:“There is nothing more disheartening than doing some successful work to rehabilitate a dog over a period of weeks and months, only to find that some unwitting owner allows their own dog to come too close and possibly intimidate the dog to the point of regression again.
“I hope the Yellow Dog scheme will become more widely known throughout the North East, and alert owners to keep their dogs under control when they see a yellow ribbon.
“The success of the scheme depends on the dog owning fraternity being fully aware of the implications and consequences of approaching a fearful dog, and the yellow ribbon or bandana will hopefully make them think.”
Jacquie and her staff work with several dogs each week which have been pushed into defensive aggression, which owners are unable to prevent or manage.
A Yellow Dog UK spokesman said: “Please allow these dogs some space. If the dog is in training, one incident can cause months of setbacks.
“We aim to promote this scheme until everyone in the UK recognises the yellow dogs’ need for space.”