The Humane Society Yukon is starting a program of a color coding system to signify specific health or behavioural issues of dogs we have at the Shelter.

Colored leashes are a great way to indicate if the dog is friendly, nervous, or fearful of other dogs. This is an important thing to be aware of so you can detect potential issues with other dogs you may come across when out for a walk with one of our dogs.

Leashed and Collars

These items help give dogs of all breeds the voice they need to let strangers know what their personality is before they are approached, making dog walking more enjoyable for everyone.

The color-coded system is visible from a distance to warn others in advance, so there is no confusion on the meaning.

RED – CAUTION I just need some space!

ORANGE – NO DOGS I like people, just not dogs

BRIGHT YELLOW – NERVOUS-   Be patient with me, I’m nervous

GREEN – FRIENDLY-    I like meeting new friends

Yellow ribbons are one of the most commonly used, signifying that the dogs who sport them need extra space when on a walk or around strangers. It is important to know that these dogs are not necessarily aggressive but can be uncomfortable or nervous around strangers, may be experiencing pain from a recent surgery, or not fully trained.

The red is also common and signifies that the dog may be aggressive if approached by a person or another animal.

Always Ask!

It is important to remember that regardless of what color the dog may be wearing, even if it’s green, it is important to always ask the dog’s owner if you can touch their pet. 

Spreading the word about the use of cultured collars, leashes and ribbons is the first step in encouraging responsible pet ownership and can help ensure dogs are given the space and support they need when out for a walk.


Copyright Humane Society Yukon, 2015.

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