I remember when the first dog I got as an adult got out of the puppy stage and I bought him a brand new collar. I picked out a red collar because it matched his fur color. He's a Red Nose / American Pit Bull and his fur is a dirty red color and the wide, bright red collar looked great on him.

Interestingly enough, I may have unintentionally bought the proper collar for him.

Believe it or not, there are a bunch of universal signs the color of a dog's collar can tell you. While many of us are buying collars for our pets for superficial reasons, many dog owners have to buy a collar with a specific color in mind because of their dog's nature or tendencies.

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While I wouldn't say my dog is violent, he's a large Pit Bull that shouldn't be taken lightly. He's friendly, sure, but a stranger can't interact with him the same way I do. Thankfully nothing bad has ever happened, but a natural warning sign (outside of his breed) sounds like it could've come in handy for sure.

Without realizing it, I had given a signal that my dog did need space and that approaching him was an effort I had to assist with. That's because a red collar is typically understood as a sign to others to "stop and give this dog space".

Of course, not everyone holds to the universal rules of all dog collar colors, even here in Michigan. But if you know them or are in a proper situation to do so, you can at least ask the owner how you can proceed with the dog if you intend to interact with it.

Red: Stop and use caution. Don't interact with the dog unless given proper instruction on how to do so.

Yellow: Be cautious when being friendly. Ask the dog owner how to interact with the dog to prevent raising any alarms for the dog.

Green: This dog is likely friendly and can be approached. Of course, always ask an owner's permission before interacting with their dog.

Orange: Typically, these dogs don't interact well with other dogs or possibly other animals. Avoid with your own pets and use caution otherwise.

Blue: This dog is working and you should leave him alone so he can focus on his job. Service dogs often wear blue collars.

These colors can extend to bandanas and leashes as well.

You can see what some other collar colors may mean here.

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