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Did you know there is a colour coding system used by dog owners to signify specific health or behavioural issues their pet may have? Coloured leashes and ribbons are a great way to indicate if your dog is aggressive, blind or in training. Even if your dog doesn’t fall into any of these categories, it’s 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.

Leashes and collars

A quick Google search will direct you to a number of colour-coded collars and leashes such as these. 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 colour-coded system is visible from a distance to warn others in advance, and has large embroidered writing so there is no confusion on the meaning.

colour-coded leashes

Coloured Ribbons

Another option for dog owners is to use coloured ribbons or bandanas that follow the same colour coding as seen above tied in a prominent spot on a dog’s leash.

Yellow ribbons are one of the most commonly used ribbons, 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 ribbon 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 colour 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 coloured 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.