What to do if someone pets your dog without permission

For some owners, it can be worrying and stressful if their dog is approached and/ or touched by other people or children. Not all dogs are the sort of dogs that want to say “Hi“ to everyone. It doesn't mean they are aggressive. However, dogs that do not like their personal space invaded can behave in an unpredictable manner.

Some dogs need space and should be left alone. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • They may have health issues or are recovering from an operation.
  • They may be a rescue dog, being rehabilitated. The world can be a very scary place for these dogs.
  • They may have had a previous bad experience with another dog or person.
  • They may be old, arthritic or have poor vision.
  • They may be a bitch in season.
  • They may be in training (Guide dogs for the blind, for instance)
  • They may just have a shy and nervous personality.

If you find yourself in this situation, it is best just to explain calmly that your dog is not always friendly and that this is because they get easily frightened. A dog that is scared can be unpredictable and therefore should not be approached. If it is children or a child that wants to touch your dog, it is very important to intervene and ask them not to. Children can be very over excited around dogs, which is likely to make the situation worse. Wearing a yellow dog bandanna or vest is a really effective way of getting the message across to everyone, that your dog needs space.

Yellow Dog UK

The Yellow Dog UK project is a registered charity created to bring awareness to dogs who need space.

If you see a dog with a yellow ribbon on their lead, a bandanna or other yellow dog item of clothing; please do not approach this dog or its people. Either you or your dog. They are indicating that their dog needs space and only the dog and its owner knows how much, so maintain your distance and give them time to move out of your way.

Yellow Dog UK promotes good and responsible ownership. Children and adults should always ask permission before touching a dog they do not know.