A campaign started to help dog owners with anxious or reactive dogs has meant that over 90% of those surveyed can enjoy walks again.
The poll of 1000 dog owners by My Anxious Dog was carried out last December to find out the impact from the first national ‘Dogs in Yellow Day’ last March.
The survey found that owners of dogs suffering from anxiety are finding the confidence to go out on walks, visit pubs and cafes and take part in sporting activities.
Sarah Jones runs a community for anxious dog owners and makes yellow space awareness accessories so other dogs keep away and created the #DogsInYellow awareness campaign last year.
In just 12 months since the first National Dogs In Yellow Day on March 20th, a huge 91 percent of owners of nervous, shy or reactive dogs say they no longer feel like prisoners in their own homes and are able to enjoy life.
Sarah, whose mission was inspired by her own dog, Cocker Spaniel Bella, surveyed 1000 owners about the impact wearing yellow has had.
She said: “I started the awareness campaign because I got fed up with people saying, ‘No-one knows what it means,’ and ‘What’s the point?’
“As the owner of an anxious dog, it broke my heart knowing that so many dogs and their owners were suffering and that it could be resolved with a little consideration from other people.
“It is amazing to hear that 91 percent of owners find wearing yellow makes their walks more enjoyable, and that 32 per cent are taking their dogs into pubs and restaurants and training classes.
“No-one who loves dogs wants to see another dog suffer or in distress and it is encouraging to see attitudes are changing and that the message is getting out there.”
Sarah, 57, from Berkshire/Hampshire began making yellow harnesses and leads with ‘anxious’ and ‘keep away’ on for Bella, now 10, when she realised she was terrified of other dogs and being touched by people.
Her birth was traumatic and her mum needed an emergency C section, then Bella was attacked by a litter mate as a pup, and suffered a nasty injury to her spine aged nine months at a training class.
It was when she started snapping at people that Sarah realised she needed to spell it out to keep away from Bella, which was challenging as she was an adorable puppy.
Then she was approached by other anxious dog owners who wanted a way to protect their dogs and started a community that has grown to 12,000 members.
Thanks to her support, over 78 percent of anxious dog owners who use yellow report their dogs have more space, enjoy their walks more, feel more confident and calmer.
Two thirds of owners say it’s reduced the number of people and dogs they come into close contact with on walks.
Nine out of ten owners now educate others on what yellow means. Over a third, 36 per cent, said they were proud to show they were sticking up for their dog’s wishes by wearing yellow, and only two per cent said they felt self conscious.
Nearly a third – 32 per cent – said using yellow has meant they’ve felt confident enough to try dog training classes and visit pubs and cafes.
Sarah added: “It’s been incredible hearing about the impact of #DogsInYellow in such a short space of time.
“My dream is for this to continue and for anxious dog owners to enjoy life as regular dog owners do, not to have the stress of constantly explaining and be proud of their dog in yellow.”
The #dogsinyellow campaign will continue to be the benchmark for gaining an insight into how UK owners of anxious or reactive dogs continue to advocate and for their dogs in yellow.
To show your support, join in by sharing posts on social media using the #DogsInYellow hashtag and find out more at www.myanxiousdog.co.uk