Company creates dog tag symbols to help indicate a dog’s temperament

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President Biden’s dog, Major, has been in the news for nipping two people in two separate incidents recently, sparking a bit of a controversy between those who say the dog is just adjusting to new surroundings, and those who think a dog who bites shouldn’t be in the White House.

Citing that situation, as well as an estimated 5,000,000 dog bites in the U.S. annually, a company is offering a product designed to make dog owners and those they encounter—including children, joggers, and other pet owners—more at ease, according to a press release from Symbiotic International.

Visible from up to 30 feet away, the two-inch tags can be attached to a dog’s collar. The tags are available in three different symbols, each of which identify the dog’s likely temperament and communicate the handler’s wishes without saying a word. Using a traffic signal-type approach, each symbol color and shape closely correlates to stop, caution and proceed.

•The octagonal red symbol means the dog’s owner does not wish passersby to approach the animal as the dog could be aggressive to other dogs or people.

•The yellow triangle tag means the dog’s owner wants to be asked permission before someone approaches because the dog could have issues with other dogs or people.

•The green circle means the dog is no threat to people or other animals and no permission needs to be asked to approach the dog.

Developed after several years of research and with input from pet owners, insurance companies, dog trainers, veterinarians, apartment owners and community representatives, the tags are described in the release as “easily understood by everyone, including children, so an unknown dog is much less stressful for passersby and the dog’s owner or handler.”

All symbols also contain a distinct reflective strip for better night or low light visibility.

Retailing for $5.99, part of the cost of each tag goes to the ASPCA and the Humane Society.

For more information, visit


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  1. It would probably be good for going on a trip with a dog too. — I just thought of that.

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