Why I Need My Space – Blue’s Story

After writing my article about “Dog’s That Need Space”, I had many people tell me their stories about dogs they own and how or why they need their space.

This is about a lovely German Shepherd by the name of Blue.

Blue is a typical GSD that is protective of his family, but he also shows his softer side through the love of his teddy and his “girlfriend” Daisy a pug/shitzu cross.  He puts up with the humiliation of having his humans put costume bunny ears on at Easter and antlers at Christmas.

Due to an unfortunate health issue at the very early age of 7 months, Blue suddenly became lame, was referred to a specialist and ended up requiring spinal surgery; a Spinal Laminectomy.


The prognosis was good after surgery, but being only 7 months of age at the time Blue had many years ahead of him and would have possible weakness in his back.

Blue’s “parents” always knew the importance of socializing and training Blue as a puppy.

He attended Puppy School and then Junior Training, but just the week before Blue was to attend his Adult Training he had to go for his surgery.

As much as Blues family tried to raise a socialized dog by doing all “the right things”,  life sometimes throws us a curve ball as was the health misfortune of Blue.

Blue is a large dog, 45kg, and as much as he would like to, he cannot play rough and tumble with other dogs because of lack of stamina, concerns for his back issue as well as lack of early socialization.

What has been a problem for Blue and his owner are off leash dogs that come barreling up to him, circling him and generally getting into his comfort zone.

When this happens, and even though Blue is leashed, other dog handler’s have blamed Blue and accused him of being aggressive even though in reality all he is doing is protecting himself for health reasons, protecting his space and protecting his handler.

Blue’s “mom” recently heard about putting a yellow ribbon on your dog’s leash.

This is called “The YellowDogProject”.  The Yellow Dog Project is trying to help bring awareness that a dog wearing a yellow ribbon requires extra space for any of a number of reasons.

I’m happy to say that Blue turned 5 this May 11th, and it will be 5 years this December that he had his operation.

His “Mom” keeps a daily diary of Blue’s walks to keep a check on his exercise and how he physically feels on his walks.


This is just one of many, many stories out there as to why a dog may want to be, or need to be, left alone or given extra space when walking.  It’s not always caused by lack of training or bad ownership, sometimes it’s something as in Blue’s case, was a misfortune of health issues that caused him to miss out continuing his socialization as a puppy.





Author: Kelly Harding

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  1. Thanks for sharing Edie. My little foster pug Kilo needs his space. I’ll try the yellow ribbon. XS

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    • It can be a struggle owning a dog that requires their own space and finding a way to alert others of that fact. The yellow ribbon is one way to do it.

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