Never ever pet a dog with a red collar, and this is why...I just learned about this too and my mind is blown. There are three colors that we should be paying attention to when we see a dog’s collar. Of course, not everyone follows this suggested practice but if you always use it as a gauge you’ll be safer in case they do.

I’ve always told my kids that they are not allowed to pet a strange animal unless they ask and the owner says it is OK. That is pretty basic stuff but sometimes a fur baby is just so darn cute we go in for the pet and forget to ask because clearly the dog “looks so sweet”, big mistake.

The National Association of Canine Scent Work promotes the outward communication of color-coding an animal’s collar so we can understand the temperament before we even approach to ask the owner for time with their dog. After all, sometimes the act of merely approaching a dog can be a trigger.

Much like a traffic light, if you see a green color or bandana that is the color for “go”. As in, yes my dog says “go ahead” and pet me. Again, you’ll always want to ask first but green is good.

If a dog has yellow around its neck that stands for “proceed slowly”. Generally, the animal is fine with others but they don’t like sudden movements.

If you see a red collar, DO NOT APPROACH. This is the symbol for “stop”. It is a warning to everyone that this is an aggressive dog. Many times, “aggressive” dogs are really just super loyal and protective. They do not want anyone coming near their owner or them. Biting or attacking could be a problem when others are around but in the home, the dog could be an angel.

It is important to know that any owner could have any color collar on their dog and not be aware of this new system or they could be on board and participating. It is always the right thing to ask and be respectful of the dog and its owner. It is useful to know about this because you can get information about what’s in front of you with these new identifiers.

Orange usually stands for doing well with other humans but not doing well with other animals and blue means “don’t bother me, I’m working”. Lots of dogs in training will be wearing blue. This falls into the “today I learned” category for sure. Pretty cool huh?

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