I'm such a dog lover and if you are too, you can totally relate. You're out walking and see a dog and you just want to go up and pet it and say hi and do the whole baby talk thing while reaping the rewards of that wagging tail, big smile, and excited eyes. And I'd like to think most of us dog lovers ask before we just start petting a stranger's dog. Being a dog owner myself, I know my playful pooch wants everyone we come across to pet him and chat, if you will. However, like me, I'm sure you've experienced owners and their dogs that aren't really into strangers saying hello and petting their doggo for what ever reason. And for the most part you ask first anyone, at least I do.

Yellow ribbon attached to dog leash, a symbol as part of the so called 'Yellow Dog Project' to identify anxious, sick or agressive dogs that should not be approched
Getty Images/iStockphoto

According to Reader's Digest, while we like to think that all dogs are playful, others are fearful, anxious, shy, have health issues, or are acclimating to a new environment. Whether it's their personalities, or something else like a trauma-related situation, health, age, or nerves, only the owner knows. So to make sure we're all aware that something is going on with that four-legged-furry-family-pet walking toward us, make sure that if you see a dog with a yellow ribbon or bandana on its collar, neck, or tied to the leash, to please stay away. Those yellow items are an indicator that the dog needs space to feel safe and protected.

Toy poddle dog
Getty Images

Reader's Digest says this yellow ribbon or bandana could mean anything from a blind dog to one that is suffering from PTSD. Or maybe the doggo just had surgery or is new to the family and is anxious or shy around other animals or people.  The pooch could even be in training whether it's a puppy, older dog, or rescue learning new ways to be comfortable in society and around all of the outdoor stimulation.

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