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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 How to house train a dog (Rebroadcast) | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3032

This is a rebroadcast of Episode 3, which originally aired on 3/18/18. Training a dog where to pee and poop is a major priority for most new dog owners. But there is a lot of misinformation on how to do it -- we don't even have a term for it that make sense! Are we training the house? Is it still "house breaking" if you live in an apartment? Annie breaks down how to take on this task in a way that can be easy and error-free using smart management tools, good timing, and well-thought out rewards.  Download our free eBook on house training at Please make sure to subscribe & give us 5-stars on iTunes!   Click here for show notes! Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Home Alone: Helping dogs adjust as we return to the office (Audio of live presentation for NYC's Animal Medical Center) | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 4346

This is the audio of a live presentation Annie gave for New York City's Animal Medical Center's Usdan Institute for Animal Health Education last week.  Annie offers actionable advice for preventing separation anxiety and handling other behavioral issues that may arise as people begin to return to offices after long periods of working from home, with their dogs constantly by their sides. This presentation discusses: How to locate a certified dog trainer and understand what "Good Dog Training" is... Changing a dog's emotional states... Reading dog body language to assess stress levels... Monitoring dogs remotely... Creative dog care arrangements for when owners aren't around... Conducting separation trials in a way that sets up dogs for success... And more! You can view the presentation in full here: School For The Dogs' trainers are available for private sessions to deal with issues relating to true separation anxiety. Book a session at or call us at 212-353-DOGS Looking for online help? Check out Malena DeMartini's on-demand course on dealing with separation anxiety at Use code SFTD for 50% off. Learn more about School For The Dogs classes and workshops, both virtual and in NYC, at --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Hi. Today I am sharing the audio of a virtual presentation I did last week for New York City's Animal Medical Center. They asked me to talk about how people can prepare their dogs for them going back to work outside of their homes, which I know a lot of people are hoping to do soon. How can we make sure that dogs who have been home with us, as we've worked from home for the last year, plus. How can we make sure to set them up for success if they are going to need to be without us for longer periods of time? So yeah, I put together this presentation. If you want to see the presentation, not just listen to it, you can find the link to it in the show notes, I will put a YouTube link there. I will also link to some of the books that I mentioned on separation anxiety. This presentation is really sort of about how to prevent separation anxiety, not how to deal with separation anxiety, but if you are already dealing with separation anxiety, I definitely suggest these books. I also suggest checking out Malena DeMartini’s course, which you can find at I had her on the podcast a few months ago to talk about it. I've done it. I learned a lot from it. You can get 50% off if you use that link and the code SFTD. Also, before I play this for you, I wanted to let you all know that we have a lot of virtual offerings and we're adding even more to the schedule this fall. Of course, if you're in New York City, you should make sure to check out our website to find out about our local classes and workshops. You can also find our schedule on Instagram. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Becoming a trainer in prison: Nora Moran of Puppies Behind Bars PLUS: AVSAB's new position statement | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3188

Nora Moran is a director at Puppies Behind Bars, a program that employs prisoners to raise and train puppies who will grow up to become service dogs, therapy dogs, and working dogs. She first learned about the program when she herself got the opportunity to raise a puppy while incarcerated at New York's Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. Since her release in 2008, she has been working to help more prisoners raise dogs and learn about training. She and Annie discuss the kinds of work the prisoners are doing with the dogs, and talk about the transformations that take place as prisoners welcome dogs, and behavioral science, into their lives.  In this episode, Annie also reads the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior's recent position paper on humane training.  Learn more about Puppies Behind Bars at  Read the AVSAB position statement at  Mentioned in this episode:  Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer's World View Can Improve Your Life by Karen B. London, PhD  AVSAB's Recommended Reading List:  1. Decoding Your Dog (American College of Veterinary Behaviorists)  2. Decoding Your Cat (American College of Veterinary Behaviorists)  3. From Fearful to Fear Free (Dr. Marty Becker, Dr. Lisa Radosta, Dr. Wailani Sung, Mikkel Becker)  4. Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy (Zazie Todd)  5. Puppy Start Right (Dr. Kenneth Martin and Debbie Martin)  6. The Power of Positive Dog Training (Pat Miller)  7. Don’t Shoot the Dog! (Karen Pryor)  8. How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves (Dr. Sophia Yin)  9. The Other End of the Leash (Patricia McConnell)  10. Control Unleashed: Reactive to Relaxed (Leslie McDevitt)  11. Animal Training: Successful Animal Management through Positive Reinforcement (Ken Ramirez) --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Hi there. I have an interesting conversation to share with you all today. I spoke to Nora Moran who learned to train dogs as an inmate in prison. She was incarcerated for 10 years and was a puppy raiser behind bars. And now she works for Puppies Behind Bars as a director. I asked her about the program and her evolution as a dog trainer. But before I share my chat with Nora, I wanted to read aloud a position statement that was just published by AVSAB, that stands for the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorists. They put out this excellent statement about why we should not be using force punishment and aversive techniques to train dogs. So I am reading it aloud. It takes me about 13 minutes. I read the whole thing, including the Frequently Asked Questions, plus the books they recommend, if you’re interested in learning more about positive reinforcement training. So if you’ve already read it or you’re not interested, you can skip ahead about 13 or 14 minutes. You can also find the position paper on our website at Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 She hikes with dogs like it's her job because... IT IS! Meet Tamara Meyer, owner of NYC's Shape Up Your Pup | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2687

Tamara Meyer is a dog trainer with something of a dream job: She hangs out in the woods with dogs. Her Manhattan-based business, Shape Up Your Pup, brings groups of dogs to trails near the city every day. Annie met her when she was very pregnant and was looking for ways to make sure that her young dog, Poppy, got some good exercise. Annie asks her about the origins of her business, her journey to becoming a trainer, and gets tips on how to work with dogs -- one or many! -- off leash. Shape Up Your Pup Tracking collar mentioned: Garmin Astro 430 Bear bells --- Partial Transcript Tamara Meyer: Hi everyone. My name is Tamara Meyer. I am the owner of New York City-based dog hiking and training company, Shape Up Your Pup, which I founded in 2017. Dating back, I have always felt very connected with animals and drawn to them, obviously dogs, especially. But as a kid I needed to stop and pet every dog that walked on the street. It’s funny, cause I actually did not grow up with dogs in my early age. I spent actually 18 years of my life begging my parents to get a dog. And it was literally years and years and years of begging and begging. And my mom being very stubborn was always saying no, just simply based on her thoughts about the house being stinky and hair everywhere. And I just wouldn’t budge either, so I totally persisted and finally convinced my parents in 2007 when they agreed to get a dog. I had my heart set on a lab and I just felt that a lab would fit in perfectly with our family. So I did tons of research and we were paired with our amazing dog when he was around eight weeks old. But that moment that he came home truly carved kind of my life path. And I oftentimes get emotional talking about my dog Simba because he unfortunately passed three years ago. And I have so much to be grateful to him for, but he’s really the reason behind every milestone I’ve accomplished the last four years. And of course the biggest one being starting my own company. Annie: Did you go to college? Did you study anything relating to dogs in college? Or did you work in any areas before? Tamara: So it wasn’t until I really graduated from college that I knew I needed to set myself up for this career where I wanted to have really professional experience working with dogs for around two years. Cause I was just thinking very far ahead, and I was planning out, you know, what do I need to do to get myself to have the most experience I could? Work with every kind of dog, every breed, every temperament, and really set myself off on that path. So right out of college, I began working for a local dog walking and training company in my town, knowing this was the first step to gaining professional experience. I just wanted to get as much exposure and learn all I could about dogs. So I shadowed trainers, and I trained with my own dog whenever he was up for it. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Cofounders in Cars: School For The Dogs' 10th birthday, classes for urban dogs, celebrity dog trainers, shock collars & more | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 4029

Kate Senisi and Annie Grossman founded School For The Dogs together in 2011. What a decade it's been! Kate, who oversees training and staff at School For The Dogs, is quite busy and can be hard to pin down. But, when trapped in a car with Annie, she agreed to record a casual conversation about the business, the specific challenges faced by city dogs and their owners, and SFTD's unique offerings. She also offered her tempered and reasonable views on two topics about which Annie tends to get highly fired up: Cesar Millan and shock collars.  Learn more about Sidewalk Psychos Learn more about Stranger Danger Played in this episode:  Millan discusses shows ABC 7 Chicago 10 reasons to watch Better Human Better Dog, from Cesar MIllan's Twitter feed Previous episode mentioned:  Terrible dog training, sugarcoated with New Age woo: Cesar Millan is back on TV --- Partial Transcript Annie: I am in a position where I have a lot of friends, colleagues, employees, who are amazing dog trainers and really smart, interesting people. And I have tried to get them to come on the podcast, and I’ve had a lot of trouble doing so. Now I don’t think that’s because they don’t like me or they don’t like the podcast. I think it’s because not everyone is as comfortable talking publicly about, I don’t know, things in general and maybe dog training in particular in this way that you’re doing when you’re doing a podcast where you’re sort of speaking to an unknown audience of people in what is sort of an intimate way, because we’re going straight into your ears. And a lot of these people who I respect and and love and I’ve learned from are very careful people who don’t necessarily have the time to put together all the notes and thoughts that they might like to have, I guess, on hand before talking to me for a recorded conversation for the podcast. And, you know, it’s something that I think is both a blessing and a curse in my person, is I think I generally lay things out, lay out the things that I’m thinking. I am not a big plan ahead-er. I am rather impulsive. And I think all of these qualities make it possible to produce a podcast. But also you know, like I talked about last episode, it can leave me feeling rather vulnerable, because I know that I am being very honest about my thoughts and feelings about things, and not everyone is gonna agree with me. But I believe, often, in not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Terrible dog training, sugarcoated with New Age woo: Cesar Millan is back on TV | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3106

To many people, everything they know about dog training has come out of the mouth of one man: Cesar Millan. For nine seasons, on his show, The Dog Whisperer, he told people that they needed to fix their "energy" and become more assertive in order to get their dogs to be "calm submissive." He showed how to get dogs to do what he wanted by using punishment, force and coercion, although he had other words he used to describe his methods... words having to do with "joy" and "positivity." He managed to put a New Age-quasi-spiritual-spin on antiquated methods, and the public ate it up. In anticipation of his brand new show, Better Human Better Dog, Annie discusses her current, and past thoughts about Cesar Millan, and plays several interviews where he talks about his shows and his beliefs about dogs and the humans who, according to him, cause all their problems.  2012 blog posts Annie wrote about Cesar Millan:  Cesar Millan’s secret training technique: Kicking dogs in the stomach Cesar Millan’s techniques: choking, shocking, and setting up dogs to fail The Dog Whisperer is cancelled, but Cesar Millan will not stop existing Having their say: Cesar Millan’s fans (and a few detractors) Alan Titchmarsh 2012 interview with Cesar Millan, aka The Dog Whisperer --- Trailer to Better Human Better Dog Millan discusses shows ABC 7 Chicago --- Related episodes: Episode 68: Is Dominance Really A Thing? Cesar Millan, Libertarianism + A Dog Named Pizza Episode 44: Are you talking to your socks? Marie Kondo, Cesar Millan & training humans with snake oil --- Like this podcast? Review and rate us on iTunes and shop in our online store,! items mentioned in this episode: The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson --- Partial Transcript: Annie: I really hate Cesar Millan. I have found that there are basically three kinds of people. The first kind of person falls into the category of many of my friends, where those people just don’t care at all about Cesar Millan, and see my hatred of Cesar Millan as some sort of quirk about me. Kind of as if someone, I don’t know, you know, someone who hates the Beatles. It’s something you know about them that sort of doesn’t make a lot of sense. Then, there are people I know who are dog trainers like me, and pretty much every dog trainer I hang out with feels the same way as I do about Cesar Millan. Then there is a third category of person who loves Cesar Millan to the nth degree. And these people are very vocal about how much they love him. And, you know, this is a podcast essentially about dog training... Full transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 New York magazine says rescue dogs are now luxury goods. Is it so? Plus: Tips on how to get a puppy | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2903

New York Magazine reports that the Pandemic Puppy boom has left many New Yorkers in a kind of do-gooder competition to see who can qualify to get one of a seemingly dwindling number of rescue dogs. Annie talks about why it’s so hard and how that this fact is probably a good thing for the dogs involved. She offers some tips on how to acquire a shelter dog and things to avoid doing when you're looking to buy or adopt a dog. She also argues that it can be a good idea to work with a quality breeder, and gives some advice on how to tell the good from the shady.  New York Magazine article Orthopedic Foundations For Animals and the CHIC Program The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson Pets In America by Katherine C. Grier The Dog Merchants by Kim Kavin Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives and the Biology of Political Differences by Kevin Smith, John Hibbing and John Alford Episode with Cherie Mahon of River Valley Doodles --- Partial Transcript: Annie: So last week I talked about two articles in the New Yorker that related to — well, one really related to behavior, and the other related to dogs. This week, I want to talk about an article in another local, big deal magazine, which is New York Magazine just came out with a cover story called “No, you beg: how adopting a dog in the city became more competitive than getting into college” by Allie Conti. And the article does a good job at talking about how hard it has been to get a rescue dog since the onset of the pandemic, as so many more people decided to or had to work from home, or lost jobs, giving them more free time. Having a dog, in so many cases, became possible for individuals and for families for the first time ever in a lot of cases. I got my first dog when I went freelance after having office jobs for years when I was in my early twenties. I should mention that I am holding my infant daughter again this week. So you might hear some cooing and pacifier sucking noises. Anyway, yeah, interesting article. Makes some good points about the history of adoption and how it kind of started with a rebranding of dogs as bad stray mutts that need to be chased by the dog catcher, to kind of sad-eyed, wannabe man’s best friends eroding away in shelters. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Behavior, Misunderstood: Niggling issues with articles on "Crying it out" and "Pandemic Pets" in The New Yorker Magazine | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3018

Annie was pretty psyched to see The New Yorker had two articles in a recent issue that looked like they'd touch on the science of behavior as it relates to both training dogs and raising children. One article is about pandemic pet ownership and rescuing dogs from China; the other is about sleep training infants. Ultimately both underscore what she already knew: The science of behavior and its applications are pretty misunderstood, and few people share the kind of passion that Positive Reinforcement dog trainers have for molding behavior (canine or human) without using force and coercion.   Mentioned in this episode:  Why People Treat Their Dogs Like Humans What Will Become Of Pandemic Pets? (Note: Digital version has a different title than the print version of this article)  The Promise and Peril of a High-Priced Sleep Trainer  People Of Earth, Hello:  Anna Heyward's Bad Dog article in The New Yorker  Infant Sleep Info Source  Some We Love, Some   We Hate, Some We Eat by Hal Herzog Inside Of A Dog by Alexandra Horowitz   Dogs by Ray and Lorna Coppinger Annie's dad's first cartoon in The New Yorker circa 1961 this issue comes the other day, and lo and behold, the first two articles — this is the issue, June 28th issue. It has a girl putting on eyeliner on the cover. The first two articles, one is called Pet Projects: Why are we so crazy about our animals by Nick Paumgarten... Full transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Traveling the world, training one animal at a time: Meet Maria Skorobogatov, CTC | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3410

Maria Skorobogatov, CTC, is a dog trainer who has spent the last six years traveling the world training animals. She's worked with dogs in Hanoi, cats in Tunisia and Rome, and everything from pangolins to elephants to vervet monkeys in Malawi. Originally from Brooklyn, Maria discovered the joys of animal training when she lucked into a client service's job at The Houston Zoo. When she saw the work the trainers were doing there, she started taking classes in behavior at a community college, where she learned to train rats. She later moved to San Francisco, worked at an animal shelter there, and eventually enrolled in Jean Donaldson's acclaimed Academy For Dog Trainers. While working as a trainer and dog walker in Brooklyn, she got the opportunity to dog sit in Vietnam for a month, and that trip ultimately led to her current lifestyle as a world-traveling trainer.  Annie and Maria first met in middle school! They lost touch after eighth grade, but reconnected recently and discovered they both have ended up working as positive-reinforcement based dog trainers, and have nearly-identical heroes and philosophies. She and Annie catch up and discuss her life as a world-traveling animal trainer.  Fun fact: As a child, Maria played the young version of the main character in a famous horror film. Listen to the episode to learn more!   Like this podcast? Support it by leaving a 5-star review on iTunes, telling your friends, shopping in our online store, or signing up for Annie's mailing list. Learn more about School For The Dogs at  Mentioned in this episode:   The Academy For Dog Trainers  The Huston Zoo  The Peninsula Humane Society  Lilongwe Wildlife Trust  Rome Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary  Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson  Don't Shoot The Dog by Karen Pryor --- Partial Transcript: Annie: I am here with Maria Skorobogatov, who — I said it right, right? Maria Skorobogatov: You did! It’s perfect. Annie: Who I have known since 1992. Maria: Jesus. Yeah. Annie: We met in the sixth grade long before either one of us were dog trainers.  And Maria and I then pretty much lost touch, I guess like at the start of high school. But we reconnected. Gosh, was it on Facebook? Maria: I think so. Annie: Last year or the year before? I can’t even remember how, but lo and behold, we’re both now — Maria: Illustrious dog trainers. Annie: We’re both now passionate, passionate reinforcement based dog trainers who have both had rather interesting careers. And we are meeting up today for the first time in so long because Maria happens to be in town, and I said, you have to come talk to me about your life as a world traveling dog trainer. Full transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 How has quarantine changed the way we think about treating separation anxiety in dogs? A conversation with Malena DeMartini, CTC | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2850

For two decades, Malena DeMartini has been helping people help dogs who have separation anxiety. She joined Annie to discuss her new book, Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs: Next Generation Treatment Protocols and Practices. In it,  she reveals some surprising updates to the protocols she suggested in her first book (spoiler: she now wants her clients to do LESS training than before).  She and Annie also discuss her virtual school for coaching Certified Separation Anxiety Trainers, her client-facing course, Mission Possible, and how quarantine changed the way people understand what canine separation anxiety really is.   Malena's course: Mission Possible  Use code SFTD and save 50% at checkout   Like this podcast? Support it by leaving a 5-star review on iTunes, telling your friends, shopping in our online store, or signing up for Annie's mailing list. Learn more about School For The Dogs at -----------   Listen to Annie's May 2020 episode with Malena here   -----------   Mentioned in this episode:   Malena's latest book: Separation Anxiety in Dogs: Next Generation Treatment Protocols and Practices   Malena's first book: Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs: Next Generation Treatment Protocols and Practices   Dr. Kara Moore's post on The Human Magnet Syndrome    The Human Magnet Syndrome:   The Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer training program: --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Tell me about what’s been going on, and maybe we can talk about the why in the future. And I guess just, for someone who’s just tuning in for the first time, maybe you should just introduce yourself with a brief bio. Malena: Sounds good. I’ll do that. So my name is Malena Demartini and I have been working exclusively with separation anxiety for over two decades now, just a little over two decades. I’m the author of two books on the topic of separation anxiety. The most recent one was released last year in 2020. And it is quite up to date with all of the research and understanding that we have about separation anxiety, which is tremendous. And it’s been quite a boon that we’ve got so much information, evidence and research coming forward about this topic. Full transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 How to help your dog not freak out about fireworks (with Cheryl Gfrerer, KPA-CTP, of Giffy Dog) | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2198

Some dogs really freak out about loud noises. Unfortunately, too often, new dog owners learn this on a day when scary sounds abound: July 4th. Annie talks to fellow trainer, Cheryl Gfrerer of Giffy Dog in St. Paul, MN, about her personal experiences dealing with a sound-sensitive rescue dog, and together they discuss protocols and practical approaches to helping dogs who are triggered by fireworks and the like.  Find Cheryl Gfrerer online at and on Instagram @giffydog  Like this podcast? Support it by leaving a 5-star review on iTunes, telling your friends, shopping in our online store, or signing up for Annie's mailing list. Learn more about School For The Dogs at Mentioned in this episode:   DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheremone) products by Adaptil  Thundershirt  Decoding Your Dog  Through A Dog's Ear (on Spotify)  Storm Defender Cape  Karolina Westlund blog post on fireworks and thunder phobias  ---  Partial Transcript: Annie: Hello humans. In advance of the 4th of July, which is coming our way next week, I wanted to do an episode on preparing dogs to deal with fireworks and other auditory related stressors. And I was about to record an episode with all the protocol that I would suggest for preparing a dog for the 4th of July. And then I thought, I don't think I've worked specifically with dogs who have fireworks phobias and I've never had a dog like that, since I've been a trainer at least. And so I thought, it would be nice to talk to a trainer who has dealt with this issue in a more firsthand way. And because I'm also always happy to not have a podcast that's only my own voice, I decided to invite my colleague, Cheryl Gfrerer, who is a fellow Karen Pryor Academy graduate on to talk about how she has been working both with her own firework phobic dog, and helping rescue dog owners with their dogs who have similar phobias where she is based in St. Paul, Minnesota. So what you are going to hear is my conversation on this subject with her. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 How to let two dogs greet on the street... or not (Rebroadcast) | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1883

This is a rebroadcast of Episode 29, which originally aired on 10/15/18.  As much as we want our dogs to be social beings, the sad fact is that city streets are not an ideal place for leashed dogs to socialize. The close confines of the sidewalk can keep dogs from having enough space to greet each other properly, and leashes too often can become uncomfortably taught, leading a dog to think that even just the sight of another dog predicts yanking and choking. Like this podcast? Support it by leaving a 5-star review on iTunes, telling your friends, shopping in our online store, or signing up for Annie's mailing list. Learn more about School For The Dogs at  This episode addresses: -Avoiding other dogs on the street -Using the presence of other dogs on leash as a cue for your dog to pay attention to you -Providing your dog with appropriate off-leash socialization opportunities -Choosing which dogs you might let your dog greet -Helping your dog greet other dogs naturally and appropriately ... and more Notes: 7 things to consider before letting two dogs greet on leash Dogs In Need Of Space The Yellow Dog Project Mendota leash -- Annie's favorite, lightweight leash Woof Shout Out: Dog adoption vests by Mimi Reid Fun dog fact of the day: NYC dog names (dogs named after fruits, vegetables, etc) Follow School For The Dogs on Instagram: Ask Annie: --- Partial Transcript:  Annie: Hey everyone! So today we are going to talk about dog-dog greetings, specifically dogs greeting other dogs on the street, and I'm going to suggest how you can teach your dog to greet another dog well and all the things you need to keep in mind when deciding whether or not you're going to let your dog greet another dog. But before I get into the thick of it, I wanted to give my number one suggestion, which is this: Don't do it. Don't let your dog greet other dogs on the street. That's it. Now the reason I'm not going to end it there is because I know that that sort of like a bummer piece of advice. People don't generally love the idea of shielding their dog from every other dog on the street. We like the idea of being able to walk our dogs and have it be a kind of social thing where they can say hi to the other dogs in the neighborhood and everyone's gonna get along. But here's some reasons why I generally advise against letting your dog interact with other dogs on the street. First of all, I see a lot of crazy dogs at School for the Dogs, all of us trainers do... Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Poppy Dop! Using a remote-controlled treat dispenser to teach a positive interruptor, and more | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1481

Annie has always loved using the Treat & Train, a bare-bones, battery-operated remote-controlled treat dispenser, but she has found it particularly useful for her current situation: Being busy and also largely pregnant in a city apartment with a toddler and a rambunctious adolescent dog. She describes how she has turned the word "Dop" into a tertiary conditioned reinforcer that, with the help of the Treat & Train, she uses to get her dog Poppy to stop jumping, leave her daughter alone, and more.  Through the end of June, get 10% off your purchase of a Treat and Train using code TREAT21 at Also get 10% off the Revol crate and all of Diggs' products using code DIGGS21 at Like this episode? Please make sure to rate and review School For The Dogs Podcast on iTunes! --- Partial Transcript: Annie: So a couple of weeks ago, in the episode I did about products that I think new dog owners can really benefit from, I mentioned that one of my favorite gadgets, probably my number one favorite dog training gadget, is the Treat and Train, which is a remote controlled treat dispenser that works on a radio frequency. There’s four different channels.  It’s been around I think for about 20 years. I’ve been using it for about 10 years, and I’m always finding new fun ways to use it in training. It’s interesting cause it’s really, it’s not very slick looking. It doesn’t operate on Bluetooth.  There are not a million options to it. There’s no camera, there’s no speaker. It’s a pretty bare bones gadget as far as dog gadgets go these days, but it is a workhorse. I have many Treat and Trains and they tend to last a really long time. They’re just battery operated. We use them at School for the Dogs, too. And anyway, since getting Poppy, I’ve been using it a lot, for a couple of reasons. One is simply that I’ve been pregnant the whole time we’ve had her.  And I got pretty big pretty quickly. And I normally like to sit on the ground when I’m training. It’s just sort of how I’m most comfortable. And I’ve really had a hard time with my massive belly being able to sit on the ground these last few months. So it’s been sort of more comfortable for me to train her with a remote control, requires less movement overall from me. And I just fill the Treat and Train with dry food. I usually put in like her regular dry kibble. And then some like I mix some hard treats in with it. I like to use the tricky trainers, crunchy treats or tiny pieces of lamb lung or crumps naturals, which makes what they call mini trainers, which are these very small bits of beef liver. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Bonus: Annie reads animal trainer Ilana Alderman's 14 tips on getting a toddler to brush his teeth | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1040

One of Annie's best friends is Ilana Alderman, an animal trainer who, over the last few years, has been using what she knows about behavior to help create fun games for her son -- games that enrich his brain and games that require her to consider consequences, appropriate rewards, and antecedent arrangements in order to help him engage in necessary behaviors using positive reinforcement rather than punishment or coercion.  Episode features a special appearance by Magnolia Pedicone, who is 2.5 years old.  Find Ilana on Instagram @baby_enrichment and on the web at  Find this blog post at: --- Partial Transcript: Annie: So there is this incredible person who I have been trying to get to be on the podcast for literally years. Now, she is one of the most interesting people I know, period. And certainly one of the most interesting animal trainers I know.  Her approach to animal training fascinates me endlessly. And what’s hilarious is she is one of my very best friends, and the amount of pleading I’ve done with her to come on the podcast, I mean, it’s pretty ridiculous. And there are two reasons. One, she’s a full-time mom and especially in this last pandemic year really hasn’t had a lot of reliable alone time. And the other reason is she is more of a perfectionist than I am. I’m like, let’s just have a conversation. It’ll be awesome. We’ll just talk about you and animal training and how could it be bad, but she, you know, wants to know what questions I’m going to ask in advance and wants to be able to prepare. So it’s been, it’s been a struggle, but I think I have finally convinced her to come on as a guest. This incredible person is named Ilana Alderman. And sometimes on Mondays when I’ve been able to get my act together over the last few months, I’ve just read things that I have found online or that I have in actual real books, things that have impacted me or made me think about behavior and dogs and humans in new ways. And so in advance of her coming on School for the Dogs podcast as a guest in the next week or two, I’m hoping, I thought I would read this fabulous blog post she wrote about training her favorite animal to train to brush his teeth. And her favorite animal to train is her two year old son. She has this new blog called She’s also on Instagram @baby_enrichment. And she has been talking about parenting from the perspective of someone who has trained many species of animals and is now focusing on one species and one individual of that species above all. So I thought today I would just read her blog post, which she put up a couple months ago on this new blog. It is called “14 tips for brushing your toddler’s teeth without tears.” Of course, I will also link to this in the show notes. And if you go there, you can see how adorable her little boy is. And some video.  Here we go: When I began brushing my son Eytan’s teeth, I made so many mistakes. I tried lots of things. Some worked, some didn’t. I had to get over a few setbacks when I rushed to get it done and forced it. Luckily kids are resilient and I was able to learn from my mistakes. I decided to share what has worked for me so that you can hopefully benefit from my experience and be inspired to come up with your own games. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Negative reinforcement is why we are wearing masks & getting people vaccinated, but what if the government used positive reinforcement instead? | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1153

Is masking wearing an example of human behavior being motivated by negative reinforcement? What if the government made better use of positive reinforcement to motivate people to get vaccinated? Annie looks at the current state of our COVID-impacted lives from the point of view of a reward-based, science-based dog trainer. Like this podcast? Please subscribe, rate and review on iTunes! --- Partial Transcript: [music and intro] Annie: Hi.  So I just wanted to share some dog training point of view type thoughts I’ve been having about the current state of our COVID/quarantining/social distancing world, which I think is, overall, I think we’re coming out of the most difficult part of this period.  At least I hope so. And it raises some interesting behavioral, I dunno, problems, questions, I guess, that I’ve been thinking about in terms of dog training. Firstly, I’ve been thinking about masks and why people are still wearing masks. I actually was listening to an episode of All of It with Alison Stewart which I listened to pretty frequently on WNYC on this topic. And I almost called in, and then I hesitated because I always… I always wonder if people might roll their eyes, if I say, Hey, I’m a dog trainer, and this is what I think in dog training terms. But if you’re tuning into my podcast, I guess you do want to hear a dog trainer thinks about this situation in terms of human behavior! Anyway, in the segment with Alison people were saying some things that I hadn’t even thought of about why they continue wearing masks. Some were saying that it’s helped with their allergies. It’s helped them not get sick in general. Some have said that they enjoy the kind of anonymity it gives them on the street. Overall, I think most people are wearing masks if they are still wearing masks, because sort of like better safe than sorry.  Easier to wear a mask than to deal with being potentially fatally sick because you did not wear a mask.  And it’s relatively easy thing to do. It’s not a behavior that requires a massive amount of effort to engage in and it can keep others from harassing you on the street. Although, of course, that can go both ways. Some people are annoyed when people are around them wearing masks, and some people are annoyed when they’re not wearing masks. Overall. However, I think it’s a really good example of negative reinforcement at work. Negative reinforcement is negative not because it’s bad, but because it involves the removal of something.  And a reinforcement is when a behavior is encouraged. Full Transcript at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:


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