Does your dog need space?

I have recently been sent a set of posters by, they are a wonderful charity who are trying to raise awareness of dogs who need extra space in public spaces. The project aims to raise awareness of dogs who need extra space. By wearing a yellow ribbon, lead, bandana, or jacket these signal to other people that a dog needs extra space. Unfortunately, vets often see dogs who have had a disagreement whilst out walking. This campaign aims to reduce these events and help everyone enjoy their pets. There are many reasons why some dogs may need a bit more space than others. These include;

Nervous dogs
Dogs may be nervous for many different reasons; they may have had a bad experience before, or may not have been correctly socialised when they were young.

Dogs with chronic conditions
When dogs are suffering from a chronic condition they can have good and bad days, just like us. Dogs who are feeling under par need extra space as they can feel vulnerable and easily threatened.

Dogs are recovering from treatment. 
After a surgery dogs need to rest so that they can heal quickly. If a recovering dog gets excited by other dogs then giving them extra space reduces the chance of them leaping around and tearing their stitches.

Dogs may need to wear an Elizabethan collar after surgery to stop then licking their wounds but this can affect their peripheral vision and could make them react differently to other dogs.

Dog in Sandwich wearing yellow coat

Female dogs in season
Female dogs who are in season need to be kept on a lead to avoid unwanted pregnancies. A yellow ribbon can be particularly helpful for alerting owns of other (often very interested!) dogs and help to avoid awkward situations. 

Young dogs in training
Learning how to walk on a lead can be quite a challenge for some dogs. Focusing on the task at hand is vital and distractions are everywhere.

In summary, if you see a dog with an ‘I need space’ item then it’s best to keep your dog under control, clipped back on to a lead and avoid getting to close. Even if you are not walking with your own dog, these items help to identify dogs that should not be approached without the owner’s consent. It’s not designed to be antisocial, just avoid unwanted fear, stress and conflict. 

If your dog gets anxious around other dogs, then it’s best to address the issue early on before things worsen. It’s always worth a chat with your vet about the situation so that a full clinical exam can be performed to either rule out or pinpoint any medical or painful issues that may be affecting your dog’s behaviour. 


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Deal and Sandwich vet Claire


Hi, I’m Claire and I am a veterinary surgeon working in East Kent. Having grown up locally I was delighted to be able to move home and settle near Sandwich. I love all animals but I mainly treat dogs, cat and rabbits. My lifelong passion for animal healthcare has led me to start this blog in the hope that I can interest your inner animal lover and share some fascinating stories along the way. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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