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My Pet World: How to deal with redirected aggression among cats

By Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Cathy,

We recently got a rescue 10-week-old puppy mix (probably a lab and terrier mix). He is deathly afraid of a leash and won't go out on walks. We have another dog who loves walks. We've tried having the leash on him in the house, but we are not sure what else to do.

- Veronica, Whitehall, Pennsylvania

Dear Veronica,

Some puppies need a little extra time to get used to a leash and, at that age, they don't always know they are going for a walk. When you're letting him wear the leash around the house, be sure to toss him treats. Treats help dogs learn quicker and mark positive behaviors.


If you have tried the leash and treats, the next step is to add a canine pheromone collar on him for the next 30 to 60 days. Pheromones mimic the pheromones a mother releases when she nurses her pups and this can have a calming effect on a puppy, which will make it easier for him to try new things.

If after a few weeks, this is still not working, then try a harness instead. Let him wear the harness and pheromone collar around the house without the leash on it and toss treats to him. If he tolerates the harness, then put the leash on him and see if he will go for a walk. Given time, he should get used to the leash or harness.


(Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.)




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