Furiends, do your hoomans know what it means if they see a dog wearing yellow? I is a yellow dog, and me don’t mean the colour of me hairs. I wears a yellow vest when I is out on walkies. Why? Because furiends, I needs space.
Some of us doggos need space. And to indicate that, we wear yellow, hence Yellow Dog. It might be a yellow ribbon. A yellow lead. Or in the case of me, a yellow vest that says, ‘I need space.’
Your hoomans might be wondering why some dogs needs space? It might be that they’re in training. That they’re recovering from injury. That they’re old. That they’re a rescue dog being rehabilitated. Or in the case of me, me just don’t like strange people or dogs coming up to me to say, ‘Hi.’ Get aways from me, don’t want to say hello to you. Same way you hoomans probably don’t want strangers coming up to you to say hello and gives you a hug. Just weird and me don’t like it.
Me started becoming what’s called “reactive” when I was about 6 months old. Still a puppy and going through me second fear stage. I’d bark at people and dogs that got too close, or took me by surprise. And would sometimes lunge at them. Which wasn’t nice for them or mummy who would get quite stressed.
Mummy got me to see a couple of dog behaviourists and she read lots on the topic. Ultimately me is partly protective of mummy, cos me the man of the house and me loves her, and partly fearful of people and doggos.
Me knows that it stresses mummy although she tries to hide it in case it makes me worse. Me knows that she is constantly aware when we’re out walking of who and what is around us or heading our way. I is more interested in sniffing around and trying to find scraps of food to eats, but me knows mummy is on the lookout.
Sometimes an off-lead doggo is heading our way, and not all doggos have perfect recall. Mine isn’t perfect but that is why I is on lead furiends. If that dog starts bounding over towards us, mummy shouts to the owner to ‘recall their dog’. And I gets ready to bark at the doggo to tell it to get away from me. Unfortunately the doggo often ignores the owner’s calls, probably cos I is a handsome dude and they want to come and give me a sniff. You may be a friendly doggo but me really don’t want to say hello to you.
Mummy tries to use treatos to distract me. Throwing them on the floor and asking me to “find”. Whilst I’m busy hunting for the treato hopefully the doggo would have moved away. It don’t always work furiends cos sometimes the doggo is just too scary for me and I just can’t focus on finding the treato. Instead me has a bit of a meltdown and barks and growls. I particularly don’t likes big, big dogs, or white dogs.
Very occasionally we’ve had young children start running towards us because they’ve seen me, a really cute (I’m modest I know…) little doggo that they want to pat. Mummy sticks her hand up in a “policeman’s stop” and stands between me and the child. Me finds children quite scary cos they move more erratically than big hoomans.
Sometimes when we gets home from the walk, mummy cries. That’s cos it’s hard working having a reactive dog. Me feels bad that me causes mummy this stress and embarrassment but me can’t help it furiends. I tries to lick away her tears and gives her cuddles to make her feel better.
Message from mummy
Schlappohr is my world. Yes it can be challenging at times, but thankfully I get to see the other side of him most of the time. The extremely loving, affectionate and loyal dog. And he has a small number of dog and human buddies that he adores and gets super excited to see.
So please please please, if you ever see a dog wearing yellow, give them space. We need to spread the message of Yellow Dog especially with the ever increasing number of new dog owners.
You can find out more about this from the fabulous Yellow Dog UK which is where I purchase Schlappohr’s yellow vests from.
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