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Yellow Dog is an international campaign to create awareness around the world that ‘Some Dogs need Space’

The Swedish International Gulahund Yellowdog programme was launched in June 2012 by Eva Oliversson, a certified international dog behaviourist and dog trainer.  Having had Yellow Dogs ourselves we decided to take on the role of UK Ambassadors of Gulahund, and Yellow Dog UK was born!  We know how stressful it can be for a Yellow Dog and its owner when a social or off-lead dog approaches.  We believe that making the Yellow Ribbon an accepted representation throughout the UK will benefit everyone and make dog walking a more enjoyable, and safer experience for all, and in turn give your dog a better quality of life.  We passionately believe in the Yellow Dog campaign and we work tirelessly to promote the campaign across the UK – it is a fantastic campaign and will help to educate dog owners and the public to understand and recognise a dog who ‘needs space’.

Thank you for supporting all Yellow Dogs worldwide 

Yellow Dog UK promotes good and responsible dog ownership.  Children, and adults, should always ask permission before touching a dog they do not know.  For more information please follow The Kennel Club Safe And Sound Code

Yellow can be used for short periods i.e. whilst a dog is in training or on heat, or longer periods, for example if a dog is elderly and does not like young lively dogs around him. We support that it is imperative to socialise dogs for their wellbeing and development but also recognise that there are times and circumstances when a dog needs space. We hope that the campaign will encourage dog owners to recall their dogs when they see a dog wearing a yellow ribbon or bandana/vest, giving that dog and its owner time to move out of your way and to get him used to people and animals.

Yellow dogs are those that may experience heightened anxiety or fear in various situations. This can be due to genetics, past traumas, lack of socialization, or other factors. Yellow dogs may exhibit a wide range of behaviours, including trembling, panting, excessive barking, hiding, avoiding eye contact, or showing signs of aggression. They may also have difficulty adjusting to new environments, meeting new people or animals, or coping with loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks.

It’s important to understand that yellow dogs require patience, understanding, and positive reinforcement to help them feel more secure and confident. Gentle training techniques, gradual desensitization, and counter-conditioning can be used to build their confidence and help them overcome their fears. Providing a consistent routine, a safe and calm environment, and plenty of mental and physical stimulation can also help yellow dogs feel more at ease.

Socialization is also crucial for yellow dogs, as it helps them become more comfortable and confident in different situations. Gradual exposure to new experiences, people, and animals in a positive and controlled manner can help yellow dogs develop better coping skills and reduce their anxiety over time.

Dogs, like humans, have individual preferences and personalities. Some dogs may need space for various reasons, including:

  • Fear or anxiety: Some dogs may be fearful or nervous in certain situations or around unfamiliar people or other animals. They may feel more comfortable and less stressed when given space to observe their surroundings and approach new situations at their own pace. 
  • Past trauma or negative experiences: Dogs who have experienced trauma or negative interactions in the past may require space to feel safe and secure. Giving them the opportunity to retreat or avoid potential triggers can help them build confidence and reduce anxiety.
  • Reactive behaviour: Dogs that display reactive behaviour may need space to prevent escalating situations. Giving them distance from potential triggers or stressful stimuli can help prevent confrontations and ensure the safety of both the dog and those around them. 
  • Old age, medical conditions or pain: Older dogs or dogs with certain medical conditions or chronic pain may prefer or require space to alleviate discomfort. They may be more sensitive to touch or movement, and giving them space can help them feel more comfortable. 
  • Training or ongoing behaviour modification: Dogs undergoing training or behaviour modification programs may need space to focus and concentrate. It allows them to process and absorb information without distractions, helping them learn and adjust their behaviour more effectively.

It is important to respect a dog’s need for space and give them the opportunity to feel comfortable and secure. Always ask the dog’s owner or handler for permission before approaching or interacting with a dog, especially if the dog displays signs of needing space. Understanding and accommodating a dog’s needs can help create a safer and more positive environment for everyone involved.


If your dog has behaviour problems book an appointment with your vet. Pain can be a common reason for your dog’s behaviour (especially if your dog has suddenly shown aggression) and a medical issue may be the cause. 

If your vet rules out a medical condition as the cause, contact a qualified behaviourist who can help with your pet’s behaviour issue.


    Our Mission

    1.  We promise that all donations raised will be used to promote awareness of the    campaign

    2.  We pledge to provide yellow ribbons free to any dog owners whose dogs ‘need space’

    1.   We will tirelessly continue to promote the campaign until everyone in the UK recognises that YELLOW on a dog means this dog needs space


    Contact Us

    Thank you for your interest in Yellow Dog UK.

    We love to hear what you think – good, or bad! Please email or write to us, or fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

    PO Box 386 Bexleyheath KENT DA7 9LT

    Yellow Dog UK is a Registered Charity raising awareness that some dogs and their owners need space.  We pledge to supply free yellow ribbons to owners whose dogs needs space and that all donations will be used to promote and raise awareness of the campaign. View our charity registration certificate HERE

    Registered Charity No. 1153038
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