Nervous Dogs and the Secret Powers of Cheese

Help your rescue dog overcome her fears with this easy training trick.

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Is your rescue dog scared of new people or objects, such as men with hats or open umbrellas?

You can help her overcome her fear. When you see one of your dog’s triggers, for instance, a man wearing a hat or someone walking by with an umbrella, make it rain Parmesan cheese.

Some trainers call this the “Parmesan cloud.” Your dog will make the connection that men with hats make cheese rain down. Most dogs think, “Look, I’m in a bad situation, but food is involved. It’s not so bad.”

If your dog won’t eat, she is simply too nervous, so increase your distance from the trigger and don’t force an interaction. Above all, make sure that your dog isn’t forced into a corner or cowering at the end of her leash because something terrifying. If she’s too scared, move further away until she relaxes a little, then offer the cheese.


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