School For The Dogs Podcast - Dog Training & Animal Behavior with Annie Grossman  show

School For The Dogs Podcast - Dog Training & Animal Behavior with Annie Grossman

Summary: Annie Grossman of the NYC-based dog training center School For The Dogs answers training questions, confronts myths, geeks out on animal behavior, discusses pet trends and interviews industry experts. Annie encourages people to become literate in the basics of behavioral science in order to help their dogs and themselves. Tune in to learn how to use science-based methods to train dogs (and people) without pain, force, or coercion! Show notes: Have a dog or puppy training question? Visit or leave a voicemail at 917-414-2625 Support this podcast:

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 The matrix of expectations & resilience, issues with the "Positive Reinforcement" label & more | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1894

A School For The Dogs Instagram Reel that was meant to help dog owners understand how to tell if a trainer is a "positive reinforcement" trainer or not resulted in a battle in the comments section about what kind of dog training methods are best. Annie considers how the very title of "positive reinforcement dog trainer" is problematic, and talks about how the conversation led her to consider the possibility that maybe the divide between dog trainers comes down to expectations about what we want dogs to do and how emotionally resilient we think they may be.    Other episodes mentioned in this episode:  What is good dog training?  Don't chase your cat around the house with the Christmas tree: On the TikTokers who are "traumatizing" their cats in order to spare their holiday decorations  "Clues a dog trainer may not be positive-reinforcement based" Reel: --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Last week, we posted a Reels on the School For The Dogs Instagram, and the title of the reel was “Clues that a dog trainer might not be positive reinforcement based.” And, you know, reels can be kind of tricky to do because they're short and to the point and meant to be kind of flip and quick and ephemeral. And, you know, it's not like we workshop them for weeks. We do them pretty quickly. And there have been a couple of times where I've sort of regretted ones we've put up, not because I didn't think they were good, but because they deal with a topic that in reality is quite nuanced and complicated. And when you reduce a topic like this down to something that is 20 seconds long or 10 seconds long and lip synced to music, it can be misleading and certainly reductive. Last week when we posted this reel saying, Hey, here are some tips that or some clues that a dog trainer you're working with might not be positive reinforcement based. I wrote the text for this reel and I guess the avatar in my mind of who was reading this is someone who is like I was when I was when I first got a dog, and first found a dog trainer. I mean, I didn't research different kinds of training. I just went to the closest doggy daycare that was offering puppy kindergarten classes and had no idea about the language people use or methods people use. And so, I guess, often in things I do when I'm thinking about clients, I'm thinking about the client I would've been, and if somebody's following us on social media, I assume that means that they're kind of into what we're doing. So, I thought of it as like, Hey, if you're into what we're doing, here is how to maybe try and figure out if a trainer you're working with or following is doing a similar thing. And the shorthand for the kind of training we do that's most well understood is positive reinforcement training. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Don't chase your cat around the house with the Christmas tree: On the TikTokers who are "traumatizing" their cats in order to spare their holiday decorations | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1122

Earlier this week, TikTok user @becs.richards posted a video of herself chasing her cat around her house while holding her Christmas tree like a bayonet; in the text that goes with the video, she explains that she saw a TikTok explaining that if you traumatize your cat with your Christmas tree before you put it up, the cat will leave the tree alone. The video and a few follow ups (showing that the cat hasn't attacked the tree) have gotten over thirty million views and four million likes. Annie meditates on the strange way that this example of punishment-based training -- billed as unvarnished traumatization -- is so funny and intriguing to the masses. Would a dog being traumatized get so many hundreds of thousands of "likes?" Beyond that, she ponders how weird it is that we expect cats to NOT want to interact with a tree in the house, and suggests some practical ways to keep pets from messing with holiday directions (spoiler alert: Get a menorah!).  The video by @becs.richards that has gotten 30 million views and 4 million likes in just a few days: Bored Panda's 40 Genius People Who Found A Way To Protect Their Christmas Trees From Asshole Cats And Dogs Like this podcast! Tell your friends! Leave a review on iTunes!  Shop at!  Follow SFTD on Instagram: Follow Annie on Instagram: --- Partial Transcript: Annie: So, there’s these TikToks that have been going around. They’re of people in their homes with lovely Christmas music playing, and then you see a person holding their Christmas tree in their arms, like a bayonet, and running around, pointing it at their cats [music and intro] And these videos are captioned, “If you traumatize your cat with your tree before putting it up, they will leave it alone.” At least one of these videos posted by user becs.richards just four days ago already has nearly 30 million views and 4 million likes. These videos in some cases are kind of funny. I mean, it's kind of funny to see a cat running around scared of a tree, something that we humans know will not hurt them. As much as I love cats and I don't want them to be fearful about the world we're asking them to live in, I admit that I sometimes laugh when a cat seems to think something is scary. I am specifically thinking about the many hours I have spent watching videos of people putting large zucchinis next to their cats, terrifying the cats, because the cats don't really realize it's not a snake, and many cats are hardwired to naturally be scared of snakes. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Making dog training affordable: SFTD's Scholarship Fund, Black Friday Sale, on-demand offerings, and more. Plus: Jimmy Stewart's poem about his dog | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1566

It costs a lot to run a small business in New York City, which can be a conundrum for a mission-driven business like School For The Dogs. Annie talks about some of the ways that she and Kate have worked to offer services and goods at prices that can make "Good Dog Training" accessible to everyone, and what it means to "shop small" in a world when the little guys are selling products that can so often be purchased at big-box stores or on Amazon. Listen up for information on SFTD's Black Friday sale -- including an exclusive discount for podcast listeners interested in on-demand courses. Annie also talks about the School For The Dogs Scholarship Fund, and mentions a special gift all donors to the fund will be offered between now and the end of the year. Lastly: She shares a poem written and read by the late Jimmy Stewart, about loving, and losing a cherished canine best friend.  Mentioned in this episode:  Our online shop: The Revol crate by Diggs! The price of this crate will be going up by A LOT next week, so this is the time to purchase one! On demand courses: School For The Dogs Scholarship Fund: Photo of our mosaic by Jim Power:   Learn More about Jim Power and our mosaic: Last week's episode: School Yard: School Yard's NY Times mention: The New York Times: Does Your Dog Deserve a Private Park Jimmy Stewart reading his poem to Johnny Carson in 1981: Follow School For The Dogs on Instagram: Follow Annie on Instagram: --- Full Transcript of this episode available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 On being a dog run snob! Also: The case for spending money on pets, and how to help your dog have a good Thanksgiving (Hint: Be your dog's advocate!) | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2147

A bunch of media outlets have recently done stories about private dog runs in NYC, and have mentioned School For The Dogs' School Yard sessions, which are playtimes for dogs. School Yard is members-only, by-appointment and trainer-supervised. Annie talks about why the service is so special, and also why it's so expensive. She addresses some of the negative feedback she's gotten to the articles. She also discusses how she plans to train with her dog, Poppy, while visiting family, and suggests ways in which people can approach training a timid dog in new places or with new people over the holidays.  Follow School For The Dogs on Instagram: Follow Annie on Instagram: Learn more about School Yard here: Products mentioned in this episode are all available!  Also come shop with us at our storefront in Manhattan at 92 E. 7th Street.  Revol dog crate: Slow food bowls: Want to donate to help a rescue dog owner in need access free private training? Learn more about our Scholarship Fund at Articles mentioned:  The New York Times: Does Your Dog Deserve a Private Park? New York Post: Pledging for pooches: VIP clubs where NYC’s doggie 1 percent hangs out The Wall Street Journal: Dogs Rule at These New York City Spots—For a Price Other episodes about relevant topics: --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Hello, Annie Grossman here. I am the host of School for the Dogs Podcast and the owner and co-founder of School for the Dogs in New York City on East 7th Street and 1st Avenue. Make sure you come on by when you're doing your shopping this holiday season. You can also shop with us at We specialize in selling toys that are meant to engage your dog’s brain and mouth at meal times. Of course, we also have an awesome selection of treats. We have our own house brand of Lamb Lung training tools. Everything we sell, we sell because we use these things ourselves. We use them with our dogs. It's just, yeah, just great stuff. So make sure you do shop with us this holiday season. We put a lot of love and effort into our shop and make sure to follow us on Instagram @SchoolfortheDogs, because we do product giveaways every Friday. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Two things every dog needs to know: Find it and touch! Featuring SFTD apprentice Leeyah Wiseman. Also: What Nat Geo was told about Cesar Millan's techniques before The Dog Whisperer even aired | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1482

Annie is joined by School For The Dogs apprentice Leeyah Wiseman to discuss two super important behaviors: Touch and find it. She and Annie discuss the benefits of teaching these two things and talk about why both behaviors are such great starting places for many dogs and their humans. Check out @schoolforthedogs' Reels on Instagram to see Leeyah demo both!  Annie also engages in some time travel, reading a letter that Dr. Andrew Luescher, a veterinary behaviorist at Purdue University, wrote more than fifteen years ago. It was addressed to National Geographic, which had asked him to review their show, The Dog Whisperer, before it was released... Based on what happened next, it seems like no one read it. See the Illuminaughtii episode on Cesar Millan at or find it on Spotify: Find Leeyah on Instagram: Find Annie on Instagram: Previous episodes with Malena DeMartini: Episode 159 Episode 59 Want to make sure you know when the next round of our apprentice opens up? Make sure to sign up for our newsletter! You can also email Annie directly at  Love this podcast? Give it a five-star rating and leave a review on iTunes!  --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Hi! Today I am joined by School for the Dogs' apprentice, Leeyah Wiseman, who is going to talk about two very important behaviors that we teach all the time at School for the Dogs, Find it and Touch. Leeyah has been doing reels for our Instagram. You can see them @schoolforthedogs on Instagram. You can also find Leeyah on Instagram @galdogtraining, it stands for George and Leeyah dog training. George is her pup. I tried to schedule this call with Leeyah at a time when my infant daughter would be napping, but I was foiled. So you can hear her goo-goo ga-ga-ing a little bit during this talk. And I apologize for that, but as working mother, sometimes I just have to not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good, as they say. In the beginning of the conversation, I'm asking her about Malena DeMartini, who I've had on the podcast before, who was a separation anxiety expert. And earlier in the week, Malena was gracious enough to speak to our apprentices. We have guest speakers who participate periodically. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 She helps Positive Reinforcement dog trainers grow their businesses using Instagram: Meet Tiffany Chen, aka Pawsistant | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2117

Right after getting a pandemic puppy, Tiffany Chen decided to see if she could build some sort of side hustle in order to get her out of the corporate world. She signed up for the Virtual Assistant Internship and learned that it's wise to pick a niche. While she was working on learning about training her own dog (and building his requisite Instagram persona) she started following a lot of positive reinforcement dog trainers. It occurred to her that maybe she could use her virtual assistant powers to help them improve their marketing. She and Annie discuss how fun the R+ dog training movement is on Instagram, talk about ways to help trainers build their followings, and think aloud together about some of the overlap between training dogs and how social media's efforts to train us. Follow Pawsistant on Instagram @pawsistant Follow Annie on Instagram @annie.grossman Follow School For The Dogs on Instagram @schoolforthedogs Also mentioned in this episode:  @misunderstoodmutt @fromdusktilldog @k9fuel_ @doginspired --- Partial Transcript: Annie: In the decades of my life before I became a professional dog trainer, I think I had an avatar in my brain for who a dog trainer would be, what a dog trainer would be like. And I mean, if I try and remember what that avatar is, it's someone female, older, and kind of uncool, kind of schoolmarm-ish. I guess kind of like Barbara Woodhouse, like a martinet. Not that I thought of myself as particularly cool. I didn't. But I think I thought of myself as uncool in a different kind of way than that. And when I pictured myself becoming a dog trainer, I didn't really have a picture of what that would be like. I had, even when I graduated from Karen Pryor Academy, I hadn't even seen that many people train dogs, period. And I didn't really, I couldn't quite picture what it would be like as a career. I mean, I literally didn't know, like how would I dress when I went to clients' houses? Like how, how do I as a dog trainer, like what clothing do I wear? It sounds simple and even silly to say that, but we're all playing roles all the time and I wasn't sure what this role was about or like how I could fit myself into it. And I think I've talked about this on the podcast before, but in 2010, I went to the Association for Professional Dog Trainers Conference in Atlanta. It was shortly after I had graduated Karen Pryor Academy where I had only met a couple of trainers, because there were only two other people in my class, and my instructor. And my mind was kind of blown, cause I just sort of had this moment of like seeing there's so many cool and fun and interesting things in the world of dog training. There's so much that you could do with dogs. There's so much to learn about dogs. And I think that this is somehow an overlooked hobby, discipline, area of the world when so many people have dogs in their homes. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Bonus: Regarding Blippi, Duo Lingo's training of humans, Travis Barker's True Romance obsession, Nabokov's letters, the key to getting good at anything, and... a deathaversary | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1615

Annie's life has two speeds right now. You'll find her physically trapped underneath her two young daughters using a suite of remote treat dispensers to train her dog, or she's at a local co-working space in a tiny room alone, talking to herself. In this bonus episode, on the one-year anniversary of her beloved dog Amos passing, she is in the latter mode, recording a kind of phone call to her late father, who she thinks would've enjoyed learning what she's learned about the Youtube star Blippi, aka Stevin John, fka Steven or "Steezy" Grossman (no relation). A line of thought about loving those who are no longer alive leads her to discuss the nature of pet love as something that exists inside of us and how the expression and feeling of that love is, in many ways, projection of something that doesn't go away when someone gone. She somehow relates this both to Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian's recent public display of their love of the movie True Romance and the way in which Nabokov's letters to his wife and to his mistress were sort of fungible. Also: She talks about how the app Duo Lingo is manipulating our behavior in a good way and she reveals the not-so-secret key to getting better at anything, which she only really understood after she became a dog trainer.  Want to use a remote trainer to train YOUR dog while your kids are climbing on you? Get a Treat and Train at --- Partial Transcript: Annie: I'm sitting in a vertical phone booth, coffin-like, although rather brightly lit, tiny, windowless room in a We Work. If you can call this a room. I guess actually it does have windows, but not external windows. And I feel like my life rhythm is funny right now. I'm either in a spot like this, alone, either staring at a screen or talking to myself as I am now, or I am home underneath two small children, often literally lying down underneath them, it seems. Although to bring it back to dog training, I have set up a Pet Tutor and two Treat and Trains in my apartment because I feel like I have so little time to devote to training Poppy. And so I've been trying to use these moments where I'm like paralyzed under the two girls to do push button training, basically triggering the Treat and Train, one of the Treat and Trains. I have one on her bed, one in her crate, and then like her relaxation mat. So like go to bed, go to crate, go to mat. I just sort of have her going from one to the other with this hilarious, like all these buttons that I'm wearing, one for each dispenser. And it's, it's ridiculous, but I think it's been good for her. If only because when I have the two of them piled on me, like I don't also want her piled on me, which she has a tendency to do cause she likes to be snuggly. Anyway. But that moment is not this moment. This is the isolated-in-a-coffin moment. And I just wanted to share a couple things. One is that this is the one year anniversary of Amos dying today. And so I've been thinking a lot about him, but of course I think a lot about him every day. And I guess just, you know, feeling those feelings. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Ilana Alderman talks to the animals--all of them: Training and enriching the lives of fish, mice, squirrels, dogs and toddlers, too. | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 4827

Dog trainer Ilana Alderman, one of Annie's closest friends, has a reputation at School For The Dogs for being a kind of Disney Princess: She looks sort of like Snow White, and seems to titter with birds and befriend fish like Cinderella or Ariel. For nearly a decade, Ilana has focused on training (and enriching the lives of) pretty much every animal she's come across. She has taught fish to play basketball, helped ring tail lemurs learn to step onto scales, taught goats to enjoy being milked, built tiny amusement parks for mice, and even trained the squirrels in her yard to ring a doorbell. She also has helped Annie organize her closet, and feels this is a kind of animal training too. Ilana has never owned a dog, but she has helped many dog owners, and is the architect of the School For The Dogs Professional Course and its open source free online text book, Born To Behave. She and Annie discuss her journey into the world of behavior and the latest animal who is benefiting from being her presence: Her son.   Find Born to Behave at For more from Ilana, see this summer’s bonus episode: Annie reads animal trainer Ilana Alderman's 14 tips on getting a toddler to brush his teeth  Find Ilana on Instagram @baby_enrichment and on the web at --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Ilana Alderman. I have tried so hard to get you on this podcast. You know how hard I've tried. So, God, I don't even know where to start, cause you are such a dynamic person who I also happen to love very much. Ilana Alderman: Aw honey. Annie: But, why don't you just introduce yourself, and then maybe we can kind of go chronologically. Why don't you introduce yourself by whatever title you would currently give yourself in your life, and then we could maybe work backwards or forwards. Forwards from, from early on… Ilana: To now. Okay. Yeah. The title I would give myself professionally would probably be Animal Behavior Consultant or I, at parties, I say I'm a dog trainer. It's just so much simpler. And yeah, I like to work with any species of animals, including humans. So everything to do with behavior and how it works, and how we can change the way people or animals feel in a given situation. That's what really fascinates me. And let's see what else we were asking me, how did I, Annie: I mean, I say that you came into my life, I guess it was before the fire. Ilana: It was before the fire! Annie: Cause I remember you came to School for the Dogs when it was in my living room. Ilana: Yes. Annie: And yes, I think at that point you were thinking about doing Karen Pryor Academy and you were living upstate and you came in to just talk to me a little bit about it. Little did I know what a force you were. So it must have been like 2013, 2012. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Why you shouldn’t dress up your dog. Also: Dog training with “Buy Nothing,” Tooth Fairy tales & more | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2057

Annie talks about why she is generally against costumes for dogs and suggests some alternatives to dressing up your dog on Halloween. She also discusses some feedback she got about last week’s episode, which featured an interview with the lawyer representing the woman who was mauled by Cesar Millan’s dog. Lastly, she shares two anecdotes: one about how she is using a Buy Nothing group on Facebook to get neighbors to help her train her dog (unbeknownst to them) and the other about how her attempt to use negative reinforcement to get her daughter to brush her teeth ultimately back fired (in a sort of hilarious way). Like this episode? Leave a review on iTunes! Follow us on Instagram: @schoolforthedogs @annie.grossman  Mentioned in this episode: Treat N Train Remote treat dispenser School For The Dogs Community App Pet Paint - Ronda Kaysen’s NY Times article on Buy Nothing Other episodes mentioned in this episode: Previous episodes and blog posts Annie has done about dogs and Halloween: --- Partial Transcript: Annie: So today's episode is a little bit of a hodgepodge. I have four things I want to talk about. One is a response to last week's episode. One is a bit of advice. And then I have two, I guess, stories to tell. One about operant conditioning and my daughter, and the other about some dog training success I've had with my own dog. A sort of clever solution to a problem I was having that I'd like to tell y’all about. Because maybe this, what would you call it, scheme that I've come up with could work for you too. Okay. First thing I want to address is that we're about a week away from Halloween and I've had a couple of people say to me, you really need to do some kind of episode about Halloween. Although every year when people start suggesting this, it's already October, and I think to myself I should have done an episode about this six months ago. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Suing Cesar: Meet the lawyer of teen mauled by Dog Whisperer’s dog. And: How to train 2 dogs at once | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3308

In the summer of 2017, Lidia Matiss, then a high schooler, went to visit her mom at her workplace and, inside the office, was brutally attacked by an off-leash dog. Her mother worked for Cesar's Way, which belongs to Cesar Millan, aka The Dog Whisperer; the dog was Millan's late pit bull, Junior. Annie interviews LA-based lawyer Brian Adesman, who is representing the victim in a suit against Millan, and learns some of the surprising details about the case, including Millan's blaming of the victim and how Queen Latifah's dead dog fits into the picture.  Also, Annie answers a question from a longtime client who wants to know how to go about training a new dog, and her old dog at the same time. She mentions the Revol crate, the Treat and Train, and the Good Dog Training course, all available at For a limited time, we're offering a 30-minute virtual private session when you purchase our Good Dog Training course. Learn more when you do our free and useful 1-hour master class at Have a training question you'd like answered? Submit it at Learn more about Brian Adesman at Like this podcast? Please leave a five-star rating and a review on iTunes! --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Dog Training Q and A! 10/7/2021: Are small dogs harder to train? Also: Dogs who have issues going in the yard, a Chihuahua who turns into "Cujo" on leash & puppies who jump (FT: Marigold Pedicone) | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1853

This is a recording of a live Q and A done on Instagram, @schoolforthedogs. Annie had no childcare while doing this episode and hoped her infant would stay asleep the whole time, but...she didn't! Annie answer's listener's questions about... -An older Cheweenie who has stopped peeing/pooping in the yard ever since a younger, smaller dog came to live with them. -A dog who will only go in the yard when the owner is there with him. -A newly-adopted senior Chihuahua who is goes bonkers when seeing other dogs on the street and -A Bernedoodle who is jumping on people. Get alerted about the next one or ask a question in advance at Mentioned in this episode: Episode 117 | Dog Training Q and A! 2/4/2021: Is it okay if my dog only “goes” once a day? Also: Counter surfing, curbing barking in the dog park, helping a dog feel okay about the car after a car crash, and more SFTD's Sidewalks Psychos class --- Partial Transcript: Annie: I am recording this Q and A for the podcast, but I am conducting it on Instagram Live. And if you have a question and you would like to put it in the chat, I will try to answer it. However, full disclosure, I have a huge backload of questions to answer because people do submit questions to me at You are welcome to submit a question there and I will try and answer it. I'm a little embarrassed though, because I logged in today to look at the question file, and there were a whole bunch of questions that have come in, cause I haven't done a Q and A in a while. So if you asked a question a few months ago and I have not gotten to it, I'm sorry. I will try to be more on top of it. I squarely placed the blame on my infant daughter. She stands in the way of some things, but she's actually really wonderful and I'm mentioning her because I scheduled this Q and A right now at a time where I don't have anyone helping me with her. And so she is right next to me and she is fast asleep and I'm hoping she will stay asleep. but she might wake up. In which case you might end up seeing me giving a bottle to a three month old while answering dog training questions. I'm a modern woman who can do it all. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Where should you deliver a treat? The (easily forgotten) importance of treat placement during training | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1399

If you want to get the best work out of employees, do you send them on a scavenger hunt each week when it's time for them to get paid, or do you put the money directly into their bank account? When it comes to dog training, it's equally important to think about where you're delivering "payment."  Annie suggests where you might want to put a treat, depending on the circumstances, why this is an important thing to think about, and talks about how she once witnessed a dog training miracle that involved nothing but a paper plate. Are you in NYC? Apply to School Yard, our members-only off leash service, at  Learn more about all our services at  Have a dog training question? Annie will try to answer it during next week's Q and A! Ask away at --- Partial Transcript: Annie: I wanted to give a quick update on the friend I spoke to during last week’s episode. Right after we talked, she text messaged me: “Thank you for having this conversation with me tonight. I’m so clueless. I feel so comforted after our talk. Can’t wait to try the Flirt Pole, and I bought some bully sticks already. We’ll get lots of toys and I will do everything you said.” And then the next morning she wrote me, “I literally just made a maze on the ground with his food this morning. And he was so happy. I should’ve called you when my kid was struggling in school and was quote unquote bored. He really was bored, and we fixed it by packing his schedule with activities.” And then about a month passed. And I didn’t hear from her. And I had sent her access to a couple of our on demand courses. But I could see she hadn’t logged in. And I thought, you know, maybe she did decide to go the shock collar route, or maybe they decided to re-home the dog. So anyway, I texted her to check in and she wrote, “Hi, I was just thinking of how grateful I am for your help today. We had a playdate with a Coonhound. Much better. I did what you recommended with the intro to drop it by throwing hotdog pieces at him that helped a lot. Mike,” that’s her husband, “occasionally works with him in the field.” He does skeet shooting? Or I don’t know what you call it. Something with guns. [laughs] “Mike occasionally works with him in the field but has the shock collar on vibrate just to get his attention to come back. He’s having lots of play dates with my mom’s dogs.” So that was really nice to hear. And I’m glad she and the pup and the family are doing well. Tangentially related, if you are in the New York City area and you were trying to figure out how to get some good play time in for your dog, which was one thing that she and I spoke about last week, do make sure to check out a School for the Dogs’ web page, where we have information about our off-leash sessions. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 My friend has puppy problems: Advice on resource guarding, enrichment, e-collars & more | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1502

One of Annie’s best friends from high school got a puppy and called Annie to get some advice on managing a puppy in a household with four kids (and a husband who isn’t totally in favor of keeping the dog…). Annie gives her friend some helpful tips. Links: Work to Eat toys How to make a flirt pole -- Partial Transcript: Annie: What you are about to hear is a conversation I had about a month ago with a friend of mine from high school. She lives in the Midwest, in the suburbs of a big city. She has four little kids. She texted me saying that she had just gotten a puppy, but things were not going so well, and her husband really wanted to get rid of the puppy, and she was feeling rather desperate. So I said, give me a call. Let’s talk this through. Maybe I can give you some ideas, but Hey, would you mind if I recorded our conversation? And perhaps I can share it on the podcast. As regular listeners know, I got a lot going on these days. In addition to running School for the Dogs, I have these two tiny kids. And so I’m looking for any opportunity I can find to multitask. So, she called while I was doing Play-doh with my older daughter. And yeah, enjoy this little, you get a little snapshot into my life. Kids in the background while I spoke to her and tried to talk her through some of her puppy problems. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Nutso men, a cranky kid & a self-appointed guard dog develops PTSD: Scenes from a dog trainer’s life | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2529

Annie shares two recent anecdotes from her life, both involving humans behaving in extreme ways and young animals she loves (her toddler and her dog Poppy) having meltdowns. These two events made her think about punishment, fear, socialization, behavioral expectations, generalizations, and the way in which people treat animals (dogs or humans) who are emotional, for whatever reason. The episode talks about counter conditioning, using punishment on animals who are experiencing fear, and looks at the weird ways in which different people react to scared dogs: from bellowing at them to getting down on all fours. Enjoying this podcast? Here are things you can do! -Give a 5-star rating and leave a review on iTunes -Follow @schoolforthedogs and @annie.grossman on Instagram -Shop at -Tell your friends about us -Sign up for our newsletter at --- Partial Transcript: [music and intro] Annie: I wanted to share two kind of crazy experiences I had recently that relate to behavior and dog training in my own life. I guess you could classify this kind of episode as a Dear Diary type episode. And my three month old Marigold is right next to me as I’m recording this. And first she had the hiccups and now she’s sneezing. I think she wants to make herself known in this episode, which actually is about her in some ways. So one of these life episodes is, I would say, crazier than the other. And they’re both about people who I guess you could call crazy, but I feel like that’s sort of a broad and sloppy term, probably not particularly PC. So I think I’m gonna go with calling both these people simply bananas. The first incident I wanted to talk about happened about a week ago when I was on my way home from my daughter’s nursery school. I think it was her first day of nursery school. I had her with me, she’s two and a half, and the baby. And we were waiting for the bus and the bus wasn’t coming. And finally the bus came, and right before the bus came, a cab went by, and Magnolia said, “I wanna take a taxi.” And I said, “No, honey, we’re taking the bus.” We got on the bus and she had a meltdown. “I wanna take a taxi! I wanna take a taxi!” Crying, screaming about how she didn’t wanna get on the bus, she wanted to take a cab. I had to pick her up because she was doing that toddler thing where they try and go flat on the floor. And I was also carrying the baby. I had the baby like strapped to me. And the bus was really crowded and some very kind person stood up and said, “Why don’t you take my seat?” And meanwhile, Magnolia is screaming, crying the whole time. And you know, I felt like everyone was looking at us, but not with like great anger. Just kind of with like that upside down smile, like Beaker the Muppet smile-frown, feeling pity for me, I guess. But the guy who was in the seat right next to me, an older man starts saying to me, “You need to chastise that child! This is the problem with the world today. You should be chastising her. If she was my kid, I’d smack her.” And at that point, I’d say two or three people nearby me offered to get up and give me their seats. Full transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 The mainstream media is confused about dog training: Two journalists-turned-trainers discuss a misguided WSJ op-ed & more (featuring Kiki Yablon) | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3295

Last month, the Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece about how positive-reinforcement dog training is too much trouble, concluding that punishment-based training is faster and, overall, underrated. Quite a few dog trainers wrote to the Wall Street Journal, angry that such a major publication would run something with such spurious facts and no sources. Annie called up her long time friend Kiki Yablon to talk about why so much "journalism" about dog training goes wrong. Kiki, who is a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member and trains dogs in Chicago, was an editor for many years, and turned to a career in dog training around the same time as Annie quit the field of journalism as well.  In this casual chat, the two discuss the errors reporters frequently make when writing about dogs, the traditional media's dismissiveness of pets as a serious subject, the general public's misunderstandings about behavior as a science, and the flubs they both made themselves when attempting to write about dog training before they set out to become trainers. Learn more about Kiki at Learn more about my cousin Dinah Grossman's pie shop in Chicago at Like this podcast? Please leave a review on iTunes!  ------ Notes: I’m Disciplining My Dog, Not Torturing Her, Wall Street Journal 8/2/21 Letters to the editor about the article More about Laura Monaco Torelli Roald Dahl's The Sound Machine (1949) Annie's 2007 article about people becoming dog trainers Chicago Reader article Kiki edited about pitbulls --- Partial Transcript: Kiki Yablon: There’s this Roald Dahl story that ran in The New Yorker that I think about all the time. And basically it’s a man who invents a box that makes sounds audible to him that other people can’t hear. And then he takes it out in the garden and the neighbor is pruning her roses and all he can hear are screams. That’s the level I think that we all get to when we’re working with animals and their people, and you see all these little moments of misery. Or like sometimes I wake up thinking about, God, dogs have to ask every time they need to go to the bathroom for their entire life. Like…! Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:


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