A NEW initiative to alert people to nervous or untrained dogs, and keep pets and owners safe while out and about, is being launched in Milford Haven this Saturday (June 28).

PCSO Laura Galdo, of Milford Haven Police, will be at Fish Week to promote the Yellow Dog UK scheme.

Set up by pet-sitters and dog-walkers’ organisation NarpsUK, the scheme involves dogs wearing a yellow ribbon to alert others to the fact they need a bit more space and should not be approached.

Reasons a dogs may need space can include illness, they may be nervous, hurt, or in training, they may have been mistreated in the past.

The ribbons can also help new owners who are unsure as to how their pet will behave around other dogs, and dog walkers who are nervous of other dogs.

“It’s not about aggressive dogs,” said PCSO Galdo. “Dogs that bite must wear muzzles.”

CEO of NarpsUK said: “This is a fantastic campaign and will help and educate dog owners and the public to understand and recognise a dog who 'needs space'.”

Recent changes to the law mean that pet owners are now liable if their dog jumps up and scratches someone, either at home or on the street.

“A dog doesn’t have to bite, it just has to make some fear they will be bitten,” said PCSO Galdo, adding that the yellow ribbon will help people identify dogs who don’t like to be touched or stroked.

PCSO Galdo said Milford Haven Police will be the first local station to adopt the scheme, and she also hopes to work with schools and vets in future to promote it to more local dog owners.

“I would like to see a yellow ribbon on every dog that needs one,” she said.

Thanks to funding from RSPCA Inspector Keith Hogben, the ribbons will be available for free from the police stand, and PCSO Galdo will also be on hand to offer advice and information.