The peanut butter cure: Helping a shelter dog learn to trust - Dr. Marty Becker

The peanut butter cure: Helping a shelter dog learn to trust

Sunday, Apr 13th, 2014 | By Dr. Marty Becker

roscoeCan peanut butter help save a dog’s life? Combined with love and determination, the answer is yes.

I’m in Boston, where I am speaking on ‘Creating Fear Free Visits for Pets’ at the Canine Behavior Conference at Tufts College of Veterinary Medicine. I was walking down Boylston St. when I saw this young man asking passers-by to give a taste of peanut butter to his dog, Roscoe.

It turned out he adopted Roscoe from a shelter, where he was scheduled to be put down.

His new owner has spent many days on the streets of Boston getting Roscoe socialized to other dogs and people. He said he buys a jar of peanut butter every day so people can give treats to Roscoe, teaching the dog that people are not just harmless but an endless source of pleasure and discovery.

This veterinarian had to stop and shake this young man’s hand, to thank him for not giving up on Roscoe, and for using such a positive approach to teaching him social skills.