We love dressing up our pups for walks, but if you see a dog with a yellow bandana, there's something in particular you should do.

My friend's daughter automatically walks up to every dog she sees. Every time we've gone to the Freight House Farmers' Market, she's all ready to pet all the pups. Of course, this isn't always a good idea. Dogs have different personalities just like people do.


If you're out and about and you see a pup with a yellow ribbon or yellow bandana on, it's likely not a fashion statement. It has a meaning. It's not a service or guide dog but it is something you need to take note of.

Why Dogs Wear Yellow Bandanas


If you see a dog in a yellow bandana, it means that the dog has some kind of trauma or something that makes them anxious and needs space.

PetSmart training expert Jodie Havens told Reader's Digest:

When a pet parent places a ribbon on their pet, they are looking to communicate with others and may be working to get their dog more comfortable in public or social environments.

A red collar is a sign of an aggressive dog but a yellow ribbon or bandana might mean the dog has been through several things, including:

  • Health issues
  • Service dog in training
  • PTSD
  • Deaf or blind
  • Old and skittish
  • Rescue dog adapting to new life
  • Nervous around other animals

What To Do

It's a good idea to stay away from the dogs that have the yellow bandanas or ribbons on, so you don't anger or frighten the dog and get either of you hurt. If you're walking your pup and you encounter a dog with a yellow bandana, ribbon, or leash, back off and allow for several feet between your dog and that one.

If a dog with a yellow ribbon approaches you, slowly turn sideways and move away from the dog. If you're walking your dog, slowly do a U-turn. Try to not let your dog make eye contact with the dog.

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