Dog modelling a "Give me space" vest.

Please give me space!

Are you the life of the party or do you prefer quiet time with your loved ones? Like us, dogs also have preferences about where they feel comfortable.

At Teamwork Dogs, we recognise that some dogs need more space than others to feel safe. We encourage handlers to observe their dogs and manage the training area so their dogs can be successful. We recognise that some dogs need more distance from other dogs and distractions to be able to perform in class. For dogs that need extra space to be successful, we follow the principles of the Yellow Dog Project (

For dogs that need extra space, we ask handlers to attach a yellow ribbon or bandana to their dog’s collar or lead. We also sell Black Dogs ( yellow training vests to identify those dogs that need extra space.

On our training grounds, we ask that everyone supports teams (dog and handler) wearing a yellow ribbon by giving them plenty of space (10 metres at least).

Here are some tips for determining if your dog should wear a yellow ribbon in class:

1. Observe your dog’s body language

Does your dog display signs they are worried about the situation? Signs may include tail down, ears down or back, mouth closed and tight, crouched body posture, slow or no movement (frozen). Alternatively, your dog may be barking, moving quickly, unable to focus on you or take a food treat. This is often the case with young dogs.

Look at what your dog’s body posture, ears, tail and mouth are “telling” you and give them more space from distractions, so they can be successful in class.

2. You want more space from other teams

For handlers with young or inexperienced dogs, you may still be in the “skills acquisition” stage i.e. still teaching basic skills. You may not want to add the distraction of other dogs to your training sessions at this stage. For these teams, wearing a yellow ribbon may help you achieve your goals in class.

3. Dogs recovering from surgery or injury

When dogs are recovering from surgery (e.g. spay or neuter) or injury, some extra space from other dogs and people may help keep the “social butterfly” on the end of your lead quiet in class.

For dogs that need even more space to learn, Teamwork Dogs also offers a one on one training programme called the Yellow Ribbon course. This is a six week course where teams work individually with a Teamwork Dogs trainer. During this six week course, you learn to recognise the things to which your dog reacts, your dog’s body language before they react, and how to reward your dog for calm and appropriate behaviours around their triggers.

Teamwork Dogs offers puppy school for dogs aged 10 – 16 weeks. We also offer dog training classes for dogs aged from 6 months. We offer classes on the Saturday and Sunday at convenient locations on the northside of Brisbane.