Treat Retreat for Fearful Dogs

Do you have a fearful or shy dog? Many pups experience fear when introduced to new people, places, or situations, and it can be frustrating for pet parents. No matter how frustrated we get, however, it’s always worse for our canine companions. Just because we know that our neighbor next door is nice doesn’t mean our dogs do. Some pups take stranger danger to a whole new level!

Luckily, there is a simple and easy way to help your fearful friend gain more confidence when meeting new people. Food can be a great motivator for a lot of dogs when introducing them to something or someone new, but it’s important to know how to use the food for a successful introduction. That’s why we recommend the Treat Retreat method!

It can seem instinctual to want to offer a fearful dog food by holding it out in one’s hand. The trouble comes, however, when the dog is enticed enough by the food to push past their comfortable boundaries. This can potentially cause an unsafe situation for both the person and the dog. Instead, the Treat Retreat method helps to associate the stranger with something positive like food without forcing the dog to push themself into an uncomfortable situation.

Follow the helpful infograph below from our friends at East Bay SPCA for a detailed and step-by-step guide to using the Treat Retreat method successfully!