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Yellow Dog Project aims to warn against dogs that 'need their space'

By Cassandra Webb, cwebb@ktxs.com
Published On: Jan 03 2014 03:26:43 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 06 2014 03:05:45 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

There's a movement sweeping the globe that involves a dog leash and a yellow ribbon.

It's called the Yellow Dog Project and it's all about keeping you and your family safe.

Last year, there were 38 fatal dog attacks in the U.S.; three of those happened in Texas. Family dogs made up 58 percent of those attacks.

The concept of the Yellow Dog Project is simple: if you don't want your dog to be approached, signal that with a yellow ribbon on the dog's collar or a bandana around its neck.

Paul Washburn of the Abilene Rescue the Animals SPCA said he thinks there's a better way.

"The concept is good," he said. "But it's like a lot of things in our society. We're buying into this idea that if we can stick a label on it, all the problems will go away. The better idea is that everyone should give every dog space."

Washburn offered some warning signs dogs give to let you know you need to back off.

"Sometimes you'll get a little bit of a growl, usually the animal will pull away from you," he said. "The first time they try to tell you something, they'll just kind of do a little quick thing and won't really try to bite down on you, but you can't really depend on that."

Best advice? If the dog wants to be loved on, it'll let you know.

"We all want instant gratification," Washburn said. "We want to pet that loveable dog right this minute and, of course, children always want to do that so the main thing is to tell kids to leave dogs along unless you know them, and even if you know them, approach them very slowly."

The Yellow Dog Project was founded by a Canadian dog trainer and so far, about 12,000 people have joined the movement.

To learn more about the Yellow Dog Project, click here.