By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: April 19, 2014
A dog owner is advocating for Yellow Dog project after an attack on her dog shattered the dog’s jaw and left the woman with a $1000 vet’s bill.
The idea behind the Yellow Dog Project is simple: Tie a yellow ribbon or around the collar of your dog to show your dog needs space.
Tara Palardy, a dog trainer from Alberta, is behind the idea that has now spread to over 50 countries.
The intention of yellow dog project isn’t to single out aggressive dogs.
A Yellow ribbon can also indicate a dog is recovering, is in season, is insecure, and is being trained or simply wants to be left alone.
They could also be dogs who have issues of fear or pain from recent surgery. The yellow dog project seeks to educate on how to approach or how to make contact with a dog.
Lori Erhardt wishes her dog would have been left alone.
On Feb. 17, Erhard took her dog to the Squamish Golf Course, a place where she often takes Kylie for a walk.
She saw a man with a big German Shephard walking toward her car. Erhardt said she asked the man if she should leash up Kylie.
Erhardt said the man claimed his dog was friendly and there is no need to leash the dog.
The German Shephard sniffed Kylie, and then viciously attacked her face, Erhadt says.
When she took the dog to the veteranian, she was told the dog’s jaw had been broken in two places.
“It was a very painful injury and Kylie needed surgery. Her jaw is now wired and it’s 6-8 weeks to recovery,” she said.
The animal control investigated the incident, but Erhardt says the bylaw control officers tend to focus more on whether the dog had a licence or if it was off-leash.
Bark Busters, a dog training company, works with dogs that have more challenging behavior issues and a Yellow Dog project can help many of those dogs,” said the owner, Jeff Cooke.
Cooke said the program can be a great tool to help educate other dog owners to put their dog on leash and control it.
“Even a medium sized dog can be difficult to handle when they are exhibiting aggression based on fear,” Cooke said.
Complaints about dogs are by far the most frequently reported bylaw violation (368 complaints) in the district for the year ending November 1, 2013.
Since 2012, the district has plans to create eight off-leash dog areas in town, but these are not a priority at the moment.
The district also plans to launch an information program this year to promote the use of the dog parks, as well as to discourage the use of undesignated areas.