By Felicia Baucom

Wouldn’t it be great to know, at a glance, how a person is feeling? What if they wore a label that said, “Don’t talk to me, I haven’t had my coffee yet,” or “I’m open for small talk! Let’s talk about the weather!” You would not have to second-guess if the person standing in line with you sincerely wants to chat, and you’ll know to steer clear of someone who just isn’t having it today. Nothing personal.

Fortunately, there is a way to tell if that cute dog you see on the greenway is approachable.

Dog collars and leashes serve to not only protect a dog and other people. They can help us know whether a dog wants affection, has special needs, or what it’s reaction could be when a stranger or a child is near.

If you have a dog, having a color-coded collar or leash will help you and your dog communicate its needs to the people you might encounter. Likewise, it’s essential to know the meaning of the colors so that you can avoid potential issues you may come across during a walk.

Below are the different colors and the meanings associated with them:

Red – Beware of the dog, and don’t get too close.

Orange – This dog does not get along well with other dogs.

Yellow – The dog is unpredictable and edgy. It could also mean that it’s looking for a new home.

Green – The dog has a friendly nature, and it’s okay to get close alone or with any animal.

Blue – The dog is a service animal. It’s training or working, so don’t disturb it.

White – The dog has difficulty hearing or seeing, or is completely blind/deaf.

Purple – Don’t feed anything to the dog.

Keep in mind that regardless of what color a dog is wearing, be sure to ask the dog’s human before interacting with their pet. Even if it’s green, don’t assume it’s okay to touch the dog.

So if you see a dog with a colored collar or leash, you’ll know it’s a particular message. If you regularly walk your dog, a colored-coded collar or leash can be a wise investment. This will facilitate better interactions with other people, and your dog will have the space and support they need.