Just as young children (who eventually grow into teens and then adults) have many different personality types, so do dogs. Like humans, and even like all other animals, dogs have many, many different personalities. There are social dogs, shy dogs, aggressive dogs, introverted dogs and outgoing dogs that love attention. Each dog should be treated as their own kind, with intentional love and particular attention to his or her needs.
The Yellow Dog Project was created with the hope to educate the right ways to approach and contact a dog, namely with the permission of the dog’s human. Delving even beyond that, the Yellow Dog Project is a movement created to support dogs that need a lot of personal space. Not all dogs are interested in being approached by strangers or other pets, and the ultimate goal is to alert the public to those dogs that need a little more breathing room.
A “yellow dog” is a dog who has former fears and uncertainties from their past. Dogs who have insecurities from shelter lives, or who were formerly abused; dogs who are not necessarily aggressive animals, but who do not particularly feel comfortable around strangers. The project also provides a handy guide to what a Yellow Dog is not.
The Yellow Dog Project has a goal of inspiring the significance of a dog wearing a yellow ribbon. The yellow ribbon, or other noticeable yellow item, would signify to the public that that particular pup needs a bit more space than the other dogs in the park.
Tara Palardy, a dog trainer from Alberta, Canada, created the project in 2012. Though still a relatively new idea, the Yellow Dog Project definitely has the makings of being life-changing for many humans, and of course, many of the dogs that tend to be a bit more introverted.
One of the great loves of my life was a dog named Spook. My family adopted him when I was in middle school, and though he was adopted in October (one of the reasons for his name), we ultimately named him Spook because he could not stop shaking for days after we brought him home. The cutest German Shorthaired Pointer I ever saw in my life, Spook was far from a hunter. He had undeniably been abused by his former owners, and luckily for us, he escaped from their terrible home, and shook his way into ours.
It was hard to get to know Spook, but I fell in love with him. He was not a social dog. He did not love other people, besides us, and he certainly did not love other dogs. His best friend August fake-hated him most days, but they got along under the surface. Spook was a yellow dog (really, August was too), and I would have loved for him to have something to alert other people to his needs. He lived a good life, but the Yellow Dog Project could have made it a lot easier for him and helped alleviate his social anxiety issues.
The Yellow Dog Project is a wonderful story that needs to be shouted from the rooftops. Let us help these lovely yellow puppies, as they so often help us.