SOME DOGS need their space. That's the message of TheYellowDogProject.com, which is raising awareness of the meaning of a yellow ribbon on a dog's leash. The ribbons mean that a dog may be fearful, aggressive or even too fragile to be pounced on by friendly people or dogs. Sometimes the situation is temporary and the dog is being rehabilitated, either physically or mentally. But sometimes the Yellow Ribbon status is permanent. The website says that the concept is based on putting a ribbon on a horse's tail, to indicate an animal who may kick.

* If you find yourself falling in love with that puppy in the window of a pet shop, you'd better think again. A study of more than 2,000 dogs, published recently in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, found that puppies sold through typical puppy-mill outlets had high rates of behavior problems. The animals were also harder to house-train. Veterinarians have long noted higher rates of acute and congenital disease in animals from high-volume sources.