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:

Join Now to Subscribe to this Podcast


 A conversation with Terra Newell (former groomer, owner of a mini Aussie) about killing her stepfather... and dogs | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2973

We're posting this as a bonus episode because it isn't really about dog training... but it's something we think you will want to listen to if you love dogs and empathize with people who love them.  If you've heard the podcast Dirty John, or seen the dramatization on TV, also called Dirty John, you'll know that it's a story that is... complicated. The hero of the real-life true-crime story is Terra Newell, a soft-spoken dog groomer who was attacked by her sociopath stepfather one night when she and her dog were coming home from a day working at a shelter. Annie and Terra talk about her life with pets, the traumatic experience she and her dog experienced, how her dog impacted her recovery, and more.   You can find Terra on Instagram at @terranewell Dirty John Podcast: Dirty John on Netflix: Mentioned in this episode:  Don't Shoot The Dog The Human Magnet Syndrome --- Partial Transcript: Annie: So I’m posting this as a bonus episode because it’s not really about dog training, but it is about a pretty incredible and traumatic experience that a woman who is a huge dog lover had with her dog. And I explain it in this conversation, which I recorded live on Instagram, why I wanted to talk to Terra Newell, who I first learned about from the podcast Dirty John.  She is also portrayed in the dramatization of the story Dirty John, in the TV show called Dirty John. I think I say this in the conversation, but there’s so many things to talk about and think about that are brought up in Dirty John. But of course, with my dog training point of view, all I could think was this woman should become a dog trainer!  [laughs] Anyway, I don’t think that is part of Terra Newell’s life plan, but I was happy that she agreed to talk to me. You can find Terra on Instagram @terranewell. I also just wanted to mention that my recording settings were a little off for the first minute of this conversation, but then they were fixed. So you will hear a transition about a minute in. Terra: I had to put you on mute on my computer. Annie: Yeah, I’m putting you on mute here too so I only have to record in one in one place, but I am psyched to get to talk to you, and what a beautiful dog. So is he a mini Aussie? Terra: Yeah, he’s a mini Aussie. He’s technically known for the AKC as a North American shepherd now, because the mini Aussies are considered their own breed because they had to use a Chihuahua or like the smallest of the smallest Aussie to kind of try to breed that breed. Annie: What made you decide to get that, or to get him? Terra: So I was at a pet store, working there, and I was with this guy, in a relationship, and he was obsessed with Aussies.  And I was just like, okay, I kind of want a papillon because they have the butterfly ears, and I really liked that, and then I was like, well, they’re kind of cool. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 SFTD Off-Leash Manager Adam Davis on training as a teenager & developing a career specializing in helping dogs socialize | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3712

When Adam Davis came to work at School For The Dogs in late 2019, he was only in his mid-twenties but already had a decade of working with dogs professionally under his belt. In particular, his background involved a lot of hours spent helping city dogs learn to co-exist, and play, off leash. Today, he runs School For The Dogs' unique School Yard program-- a by-appointment, trainer-supervised members-only dog run -- and also oversees puppy playtimes, in addition to working private with clients. He and Annie discuss his early introduction to the world of science-based training, his interest in police dogs, his rescue dog Sonic, and more. Book a session with Adam at Learn more about School Yard and Puppy Playtime at Mentioned in this episode: The Human Half Of Dog Training --- Partial Transcript: Annie: So I am here with Adam Davis. Adam, why don’t you introduce yourself with your official School for the Dogs title. Adam: Hi, Annie, thank you for having me on.  Yeah, my name is Adam Davis and I am the off-leash manager at the School for the Dogs. Annie: And what does that mean? Adam: So pretty much, we have these really cool services, it’s called our Off Leash services, right? Pretty much it sounds exactly how it sounds you get to come into the school and allow your dog to be off-leash in a highly controlled and constructive kind of way. Our services are great for — Annie: And to be clear that the owners are there. Adam: Yeah. Owners are there, you’re there with your dog. You’re talking to other parents, you’re talking to the trainer, that’s there. Yeah, we definitely want people to be involved with their dog, especially when it’s in an off-leash kind of setting Annie: And we have two different kinds off leash services, which are? Adam: Yes we do. Yeah. We have the puppy ones, which, you come in it’s puppy play time. You get to learn a little bit about how dogs communicate to one another, when to give breaks.  Really, really valuable. I would suggest this to anyone that has a puppy.  It’s so valuable to have our puppy socialized in a highly controlled manner. So that’s the puppy side. That’s the cool, that’s the baby side. Right. And then we have school yard, which is a little bit of a step up.  It’s for dogs that are 20 weeks and older. Very much a similar kind of structure, but a little bit more laid back, I would say. So school yard is really great for dogs that want to be social, that can communicate well. That can take communication well. And it’s a great space for them to be able to come and socialize in a highly controlled manner. This is for adult dogs. Well, not really adult, but non puppies. Annie: Some of, some of them are adults. We have some.  Well, I think the part of the reason it’s maybe like less controlled as you say is because it’s… I mean, puppy playtime often, it’s, someone’s first time there with their dog.  Whereas school yard, we have people who come almost every day of the week for years, so they don’t need as much as much instruction. So why don’t you talk about the process of getting into school yard.  Puppy play time of course is open to puppies who’ve had at least their first round of shots. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 A group discussion about The New Yorker article, "Bad Dog," with its author Anna Heyward | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3785

Anna Heyward is a writer and a School For The Dogs apprentice who has been featured on this podcast. She joined Annie and others to discuss her heartbreaking new article in The New Yorker, "Bad Dog," on Clubhouse. Their discussion touched on the complicated world of behavioral euthanasia, the cultural fog about dog training and the rampant misinformation about it, and more. Former School For The Dogs trainer Anamarie Johnson, also previously interviewed on this podcast, was among those who joined the conversation.  Find Annie on Clubhouse at @anniegrossman. Looking for a Clubhouse invite? Text 917-414-2625 Read Anna's article at Anna Heyward is on Instagram at: Mentioned in this article:  School For The Dogs courses (including a FREE one) for aspiring dog trainers  The Freedom Harness Lessons learned from foster dogs: A discussion with our apprentice Anna Heyward Let’s talk about classical conditioning with dog trainer Anamarie Johnson Authors mentioned in this episode:  Sophia Yin Kathy Sdao Lili Chin Karen Pryor Patricia McConnell Jean Donaldson --- Partial Transcript: Annie: This is a bonus episode that was recorded on Clubhouse. Clubhouse is an app for iOS devices that is currently open by invitation only.  If you would like an invitation text me at (917) 414-2625. And if I have an invite available, I will share it with you. You can find me there @AnnieGrossman. So thanks for being here, everybody I’ve asked Yolanta who is a virtual assistant specializing in dog businesses to be here to help me moderate this room. Cause I’ve never moderated a room before and I didn’t want to get it wrong. And Anna Heyward is here. Anna wrote the wonderful, very moving poignant article, Bad Dog, which appeared in the New Yorker last week. Anna Heyward is a School for the Dogs apprentice and started out with us as a client. I actually interviewed Anna for the podcast a few months ago and then wanted to have another conversation with her for the podcast about her article, but thought it would be fun and interesting to open it up to others who read the article. So Anna, thank you for being here. And if anybody would like to ask Anna a question or discuss the article, just go ahead and use that like hand raising button on the bottom of the screen and Yolanta or I will ping you to to the stage to speak. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 News flash: Positive reinforcement isn't about being kind! | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1297

After attending two webinars where people extolled the virtues of positive reinforcement, Annie was left wondering why the term seems to be so misunderstood-- or maybe she is the one misunderstanding it? While she tries to train using positive reinforcement and she believes the world would be a nicer place if people were able to identify positive reinforcement and use it more effectively, she doesn't see it as some kind of sugar-coated panacea. Positive reinforcement can be very mundane! It is why you look at your phone. It's why you put one foot in front of the other when you walk, and why you push the gas pedal to make your car move forward. If a behavior has been encouraged, it has been reinforced. If it has been encouraged because of the addition of something, rather than the subtraction of something, it has been positively reinforced. So why has the term  "positive reinforcement" gotten so mixed up with the idea of kindness? Yelling "No!" can positively reinforce a dog for jumping, and hugging a person might do the opposite of positively reinforcing a given behavior.  Annie recorded this episode on Clubhouse and was joined by podcast listener Leeyah (@leeyahiredale) and Dallas-based trainer Beth (@rehabyourrescue).  If you're on Clubhouse, join Annie on Thursday February 25 at 3PM ET for a discussion with SFTD apprentice Anna Heyward about her article, "Bad Dog," published in this week's New Yorker. If you need an invite to join Clubhouse (currently available on iOS devices only), text 917-414-2625 --- Partial Transcript: Annie: I was an attendee in two different webinars earlier this month. One was hosted by the BF Skinner foundation, and the other one was also by a dog training group. But they were both CEU earning webinars, pretty legit. Both were hosted by PhDs. One was not specifically about dog training. It was about I think the title was something like “how kindness helped me navigate the world of applied behavior analysis.” There was something about kindness.  And the other one was about race and dog training. So I am a dog trainer and a big behavior nerd and very interested in kind of different takes on behavior, sort of tangential to dog training. So was interested in both of these presentations.   But I ended up walking away -- well, they were right after the other, one was one day, one was the next day. And I ended up feeling kind of frustrated with both of them and tried to try to chat to the moderators while it was happening. But there were a lot of people in the room, and I couldn't seem to ask a question or say something in a way that made sense.  But the takeaway from both of them was sort of like rah, rah, rah, isn't positive reinforcement a wonderful thing? And in the one about race, it was interesting. It was this black dog trainer who I think is, I think she's a psychologist and she was interviewing kids in, I guess she lives in like Ohio, Midwest in a very white area. And she was basically interviewing children about about her, and like working with her, and what it means to work with someone who is black, or person of color was the term that was used. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 SFTD Trainer Maddie Messina on studying animal cognition, dealing with allergies, and more | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2671

Our trainer Maddie Messina, who started out with us as a walker two years ago, is getting a master's at Hunter's Animal Behavior and Conservation, where she is studying canine cognition. She and Annie discuss her early interest in veterinary medicine, the opportunity she had to work with primates as an undergraduate at Bucknell University, her current focus on working with puppies, and doing it all... while being severely allergic to dogs. Book a session with Maddie at Follow Maddie at Instagram at @onlyfurendswithdogs Join our new community app, accessible in the iTunes App store, the Play store, or in any web browser at  Use hashtag #podcastlistener and we'll grant you a moth of Premium app access. Find Annie on Clubhouse @anniegrossman. Want a Clubhouse invite? Text a request to 917-414-2625 Like this podcast? Leave a review on iTunes! Need help? See our guide to leaving a review here.   --- Partial Transcript: Annie: So thanks for being here, everybody. I am here with Maddie Messina who's been at School for the Dogs, working with us in various capacities for, gosh, could it be two years now? Is that right? Maddie: It's definitely coming up on that, for sure. Annie: So why don't you talk a little bit about what you're doing right now with us, and then we can talk about what else you've done and what you're doing when you're not wearing your training pouch. Maddie: Okay. Absolutely. So I started at School for the Dogs as a walker, and I came from a training background. So that was my step into the School for the Dogs world. And since then, I've transitioned to working at Day School, which is our adult basic manners drop-off program. And I also mainly focus now on puppy training. I do a lot of first sessions. So people who come to the school, they see me for the first time as their trainer. And then from there, we kind of build out a program for them or lead them into our group classes, which I just started teaching as well. So last week was my first week of teaching puppy kindergarten. Annie: Oh yeah, congratulations. How did it go? I think I was, I was there right when you were starting to set up, I think. Maddie: Yeah, it was definitely a big change because I’m used to kind of handling one-on-one clients. But the one thing I will say is that I also think that I’m skilled in handling chaos. That was definitely just kind of practice in handling more chaos, but it went really well. I think the nice thing about our puppy kindergarten setup is that all the puppies who come, by the time they’re here for their first week, they’ve already kind of met with a private trainer and they know the gist, so I think it’s a little bit less chaotic than it would be if you had a group of puppies and parents who were stepping into the training world for the very first time Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 The dog is peeing inside and it's totally okay: A family's practical and economical approach to housetraining a puppy | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2315

Annie has a toddler, a husband who is a busy guy, and a toddler. It's freezing outside, the dog hates the cold weather, and Annie's mobility isn't great at the moment: She's pregnant and lives in a walkup. All this resulted in a her family's inability to get the puppy, Poppy, on the six or so walks a day that she, as a dog trainer, knows would be needed to teach her to go outside on the city streets. The issue could be solved by hiring a dog walker to come a few times a day, but Annie calculated that this would cost at least a thousand dollars a month. So, Annie came up with a plan to teach Poppy to go on an indoor pottying spot -- one that could ultimately be transferred to the outside -- and to use her roof deck some of the time, while also making sure she goes out on the street at least once or twice a day, even if she isn't "bathrooming" out there.  Mentioned in this episode: School For The Dogs (Free!) Community App  Doggie Lawn Get $5 off your first Doggie Lawn order with our affiliate link and code AFFILIATE5 --- Partial Transcript: Annie: So you’re a dog trainer. You get a dog, you teach the dog to pee and poop outside. End of story. Right? Well, I wanted to talk a little bit today about my experience housetraining my new puppy Poppy, who we got just about five weeks ago. She is maybe like six, six and a half months, a Chihuahua mix. Actually, we just got her DNA results back. She’s a Chihuahua, Chow, Cocker spaniel, pitbull, beagle, boxer, Rottweiler mix, but I think she’s mostly Chihuahua. And she’s been a real dream. She is just a very sweet, affectionate dog, very tolerant of my toddler. Very loving with my toddler. Really the most cuddly kissy dog I think I’ve ever encountered. All she wants to do is sit in someone’s lap. And by and large, she’s a really quick learner. I think when you work with a lot of dogs doing the same exercises over and over and over as I have done, you start to get a sense of how quick a dog is. It must be like that when you’re working with people too.  If you do the same task with 5,000 people, you start to get a certain idea of a certain kind of baseline intelligence and whether or not someone is above or below that. And I’d say she’s pretty quick. She’s pretty smart. Loves her crate, goes into her crate no problem and learns new things pretty quickly. But I don’t know if she had ever gone to the bathroom — it’s funny how we say go to the bathroom for peeing and pooping for dogs when they’re not actually going into a bathroom, but let’s go with that euphemism. I don’t know if she’d ever gone outside. She came from a shelter in Alabama. She was dropped off there with her parents and two sisters. Although I think whoever dropped her off just had her parents there to get spayed and neutered and ended up taking the parents back. So I think she must have been in some kind of home up until she was in the shelter. So I don’t know what, what her home life was like. And I don’t think she was in the shelter for very long. She then was brought from Alabama to New York, stayed with a foster here for a little bit. I don’t think the foster had her go outside at all. And the foster reported, she was kind of like a C minus, I think the way she put it, when it came to hitting wee wee pads. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 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 | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1791

This is a bonus episode: A recording of a live Q and A. Join Annie Grossman for a live Q and A on Instagram most Thursdays. Sign up for the next one, and/or submit a question in advance, at Discussed in this episode:  -How do you get a dog to eliminate more than once a day?  -My dog likes dogs on TV but not in real life  -What do I do if my dog just wants to bark at other dogs in the dog park but not play with them?  -How can I keep my dog from stressing out now that I'm going back to work?  -How can you keep a dog from counter surfing?  Disclosure: These Q and A's give very cursory to questions that are sometimes pretty complex! We encourage dog owners to seek out personalized profession training help whenever possible.  Mentioned in this episode:  Ruffwear Load Up car harness Treating Separation Anxiety In Dogs by Malena DiMartini Episodes on separation anxiety: Ask Annie: Separation anxiety, tips for crate training and an overview of attachment theory Separation Anxiety Expert Malena DeMartini on Helping Dogs Learn To Be Alone Featured image: Flapjack and Wanda by cseeman is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Hi, this is a bonus Q and A episode. I try to go live every Thursday on the School for the Dog’s Instagram account. If you would like to be alerted when I’m going to go live, or if you’d like to answer a question in advance, go to School for the and a. Thanks for being here. Annie here. I have some training questions to answer. I was going to be starting this at three, but I’m a little late for a very serious reason, which is that I ordered food.  Specifically if you must know, I ordered shake shack lunch, and I was waiting for the delivery to come so I wouldn’t be interrupted by the delivery. I’m actually pregnant. And so I had a real jonesing for French fries. So I ordered shake shack French fries, which for those of you who are not able to be eating French fries right now, I am not going to eat while I am doing this. So I’m sparing you that. So let me see if I can figure out how to get my questions up here while I’m talking. Here we go. I think I have it here. Okay. And I also have a dog owner named Megan who might be joining me live to talk about some housebreaking issues she’s having. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 How to make sure your dog never swallows a bully stick: Expert advice from Vaso Karras, the inventor of the Bully Grip | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1414

Dogs love bully sticks, and the weird world of dried bull penises (which is what they're made of) has become a bit of an obsession of Annie's. In this episode, she interviews someone else who is obsessed with them: Vaso Karras, the inventor of the Bully Grip. When dogs swallow small pieces of bully sticks, they can cause potentially-fatal intestinal blockages. Karras' puck-like rubber device is designed to slide over a bully stick and lock onto it, making it nearly impossible for a dog to swallow its nub. Annie interviews her about how she dropped everything in order to devote her life to figuring out how to help dogs chewing bully sticks safely.  Notes: You can purchase all three sizes of the Bully Grip at You can purchase bully sticks there, too: And the Qwizl, which is also mentioned in this episode: Inserting a bully stick into the Bully Grip: Visit School For The Dogs Community App to see a video on removing the bully stick from the holder. More on bully sticks:  What is a bully stick? A very detailed answer to an awkward question: Dogs love bull penises, and you will too: Bully stick holders your dog needs to try: A better mousetrap: Building the perfect bully stick holder: --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Hello, Vaso! I’m here with Vaso Karras, the creator of the bully grip. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk. Vaso Karras: Thanks for having me. I'm really excited to be here. Annie: So the Bully Grip -- well, maybe you can explain exactly what it is, but I can tell you that I heard about it through a client some years ago. We've been carrying it in the shop now, oh, I guess for about a year.  It is a bully stick holder, and you're actually the second bully stick holder inventor I've had on this podcast. So I guess you could say it's a sub interest of mine. But why don't you describe exactly what the product is and then maybe you can talk about how you came up with this product to begin with. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 School For The Dogs’ Group Class Manager Anna Ostroff on straddling a life of theater and dog training, fostering, teaching tricks & more | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3579

Anna Ostroff is a Tony-award winning theater producer and the head of a non-profit that brings arts education into New York public schools. Somehow, she also manages to work fulltime at School For The Dogs, where she trains dogs with behavior issues, manages (and teaches) group classes, and generally keeps everyone smiling with her sunny disposition and "can do" attitude. Here, she and Annie discuss her lifelong love of animals, her foster dogs, and her passion for teaching tricks to urban dogs and helping dogs deal with fear and anxiety.   Anna's non-profit  Anna's theater company: Book a session or class with Anna: --- Partial Transcript: Annie: So listeners, I am joined today by someone who started out at School for the Dogs as a client, and then became an apprentice and then became a trainer. And along the way became one of my very, very good friends. So I’m happy to have any excuse to talk to her. Anna Ostroff. Hello, Anna. Anna Ostroff: Hi, Annie. Awesome to be here today, and I totally agree. Any excuse to talk to you is also awesome. Annie: Remember when you first started, Anamarie was with us and it was like, Anna, Annie, Anamarie. Anna: We had so many A names at that time. That was crazy. Annie: We had Addie Anna: Alison Joy.  We had so many As. Annie: Yeah. So yeah, I of course know how you winded up at School for the Dogs, but it’s a pretty interesting path, I would say, especially because you have a whole other career both in your past and in your current life, which I think probably your current clients would be interested to hear a little bit about. So maybe before you start telling us about your dog life, you could tell us about your non dog life? All the things you were doing and continue to do professionally, not relating to dogs. Anna: Sure. Yeah. So, well, it’s hard to say like my pre-dog life, because I think animals and dogs have actually always been a huge part of my life, even when it wasn’t necessarily a professional part of my life. But what you’re talking about is my theater background. So I actually still, I have a theater company in Annapolis, Maryland that is run with my husband, Alan. The name of the theater company is Infinity Theater Company. And Alan now does most of the day to day on that. And since of course COVID hit, we have not been able to do any productions, which is very sad. So we’ll see what happens and where the world takes us. But before all of that, we had actually just celebrated our 10 year anniversary as a theater company, which is really cool. And we’ve produced shows regionally in Maryland where the theater is that we use every summer. It’s just a summer theater. But we’ve also been fortunate enough to produce on Broadway as well. And have been involved in a couple of shows on Broadway. We were co-producers on the Pippin revival for those who remember that, and actually won a Tony award for that production was incredibly exciting. And we also had a production that started at our theater in Annapolis, which later moved to New York to Broadway called Dames at Sea, which is a really fun musical, lots of tap dance. And we were fortunate enough to be able to be the lead producers on that production on Broadway. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Dog Training Q and A! 1/21/2021: Are day cares a good place to socialize your dog? Why did my dog stop liking the crate? Thoughts on wee wee pads? | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1168

This is a bonus episode: A recording of a live Q and A. Join Annie Grossman for a live Q and A on Instagram most Thursdays. Sign up for the next one, and/or submit a question in advance, at Here Annie addresses questions about socializing dogs during quarantine, using wee wee pads if the goal is to teach a dog to only go outside, getting a dog to like a crate again,  using daycares to get a dog some social time, and more.  --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Hi, thanks for those of you who came to my little Instagram live demo just now with adorable little Poppy.  Hope that was helpful. I did have a couple of questions that came in that I wanted to answer as always. I try and go alive every Thursday at 3:00 PM. Eastern. If you want to ask a question or want to be notified when I’m going live on Instagram, just go to, and you can submit a question or sign up to be notified. Oh, hi Duke. Nice to see you there. Okay, so this question comes — I have two questions from a user, JimEVF.  First one is, do you recommend taking your dog to daycare to improve his social skills? And in a word, No. [laughs] I don’t. I’m all for improving dogs’ social skills, but I don’t think daycare is the best place for a dog to work on being social. I think you want to try and give your dog opportunities to have good social interactions with other dogs while you are around or at the very least while someone is paying close attention to your dog. Now perhaps there are some daycares where they are doing a great job of paying close attention to every dog. But in general, my experience with dog daycares is they’re a little bit more like — they’re too much like dog parking lots. And it’s just, I don’t think the best set up for dogs to really learn to interact with other dogs. What’s more, your dog might have bad experiences there and you’re not going to necessarily know about them. Years ago we had a kind of heartbreaking situation where a client of ours put their dog in daycare because the dog had really severe separation anxiety. She had to go to work and it was just what she had to do. And you know, anxieties can sometimes be like switching seats on the Titanic.  Like, okay, the separation anxiety more or less went away because the dog wasn’t being left alone, but the dog developed a fear of Hispanic men in hooded sweatshirts. I know it’s a very specific kind of fear. But my guess is there was a Hispanic man in a hooded sweatshirt at this dog daycare who either didn’t treat this dog well, or this dog made some sort of misaligned connection with this person. And now the dog owner had this new and very real fear to contend with at School for the Dogs. We run drop off a day school, which is kind of like the ideal form of dog daycare. I think there’s a ratio of one trainer for every three dogs. Sometimes it’s one trainer for two dogs and it’s a half day and they work the whole time. They’re doing training, they’re working on their socialization skills, whether that’s being introduced to new objects, sometimes going to new places.  But also just playing with each other in a supervised way with professionals who are looking on and then reporting back to the owners about what’s going on. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Dog Training Q and A! 1/14/2021: On why it can be useful to teach a dog to go in a bag | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1554

This is a bonus episode: A recording of a live Q and A. Join Annie Grossman for a live Q and A most Thursdays. Sign up for the next one at Here, Annie answers two questions, and offers a similar suggestion to help deal with both issues: Train a dog to go in a bag!  K9 Sport Sack Dog backpacks: Boat and Tote: --- Partial Transcript Annie: Thank you for joining me folks. I have two questions here that were submitted.  As always, you can join me for these Q and A sessions live in two places, either in the new School for the Dogs app, which is free and you can get there by looking up School for the Dogs community in the app store or play store, or going to  Or you can join me in webinar format And you can submit a question in advance as some people have done here at So two questions this week and they have a common thread in my answers. First one is regarding Wilson who's currently a School for the Dogs puppy student, and is very excited for prep school at School for the Dogs which is starting next month after graduating from puppy kindergarten.  He's very rarely had an accident in our apartment, but given that he was still getting used to going downstairs, upstairs not being a problem, we've always carried him outside to eliminate. We thought we were golden saying, okay, once we made it outside and treating right after he eliminated. Wilson's much more confident walking down stairs now, however.  We're in a fourth floor, walk-up in New York City.  On foot, he's having about a 50-50 success rate holding his bladder until we get all the way downstairs and out the two front doors.  Any tips for how we can help him out because he is getting heavy?  They also note that he is eating puppy kibble and and treats.  His high value treats are freeze dried duck and boiled chicken. So I think a 50, 50% rate and nearly a hundred percent success rate of getting this puppy to pee and poop outside is actually pretty good. So thumbs up to you guys. Zach and Molly, Wilson’s people. So this is behavior that [inaudible] anything else can be shaking him down 90% of the way, and then letting him walk the last 10% of the way. And if you can have success with that, without him going during that last 10% of the way outside then start carrying him down 85% of the way.  And let him walk the last 15% of the way. Two other tips, you know, he’s still a puppy. His bladder is gonna get stronger, he’s still developing. So, it’s possible that the excitement of going out combined with his puppy-ish young bladder isn’t quite ready to handle being able to go all the way down. But again, you can help him build this behavior, the behavior of holding it, little by little. And certainly if you get outside and he has not peed or pooped, you would, should reward that behavior. I mean, being outside might be a reward in and of itself, but sure. Why not also give it a treat, give him a treat. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 What happens when you try to run a dog training business using dog training techniques... | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2663

A decade ago, Annie and Kate set out to become dog trainers.  They ended up with a dog training business. They both knew a lot more about dog training than they did about business management, so they attempted to use what they knew about animal behavior to manage the company... In this episode Annie talks about four business lessons she's learned that stem from what she knows about dog training. She talks about the importance of creating shaping plans (something she is bad at, both when training dogs and when managing staff), the difficulty of using money to reinforce behavior, and how to use environmental environment and antecedent arrangements to change employee behavior (hint: don't). She also talks about how classical conditioning, and focusing on people's conditioned emotional responses, is just as important to think about when dealing with clients as it is when dealing with dogs. Find Aubrey Daniels' books on Amazon: --- Partial Transcript: Annie: I was recently emailing with a podcast listener who was telling me she is thinking about becoming a dog trainer. And I asked her what she currently is doing for work, and she said she works in human relations. And I said, Oh, well, HR is kind of like human training. So you’d sort of just be moving from one species of animal to another. And I also said that I really never appreciated how important HR people are to businesses until School for the Dogs got to a size where it became quite evident to both me and Kate that we had so many people on staff, that the people on staff needed their own person basically to take care of them. We don’t have a full-time HR person, but we do have someone that we work with on an as-needed basis. And that is something that’s been really, really useful. And podcast listener wrote back, and she said, yeah, you know, I don’t think I really saw the connection between clean dog training and human resources until I started listening to your podcast. But now I see how behavior is unfortunately coerced a lot in businesses. I also see how sometimes rewards aren’t used effectively or appropriately and being a dog trainer yourself, you must be particularly skilled at managing staff. And I wrote back to her and I said, yeah, maybe you would think so, but the reality is, I think management in general is something I really, really struggle with. I’ve talked a little bit before about School for the Dogs’ origin story.  Kate and I met about 10 years ago and we were both at a time in our lives where we were trying to figure out how to become dog trainers. I had been a freelance journalist and a journalist on staff at different New York city papers throughout my twenties. And Kate was a graphic designer at an agency. We met through an Association for Professional Dog Trainers message board, I think, and went for a cup of coffee.  Turns out, we lived literally across the street from one another. And I kind of proposed to her. I said, let’s figure out a way to start something together. I saw early on that we had talents and skills that complemented each other. And we were kind of both at the same place of starting out. We knew a lot about training, but we both knew we needed to know more. And we both were sort of equally stumped as to how to become professionals and doing it as a team seemed like it would make things easier. Full Transcript available on --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 School For The Dogs’ Trainer Em Beauprey on conformation, cats, bespoke dog walking and training trainers | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3888

Em Beauprey came to School For The Dogs in 2017 when he was working as a vet tech and running his own dog walking business. He started out as an apprentice, and went on to build SFTD's walking program from scratch, and to helm our professional program. These days, when he isn't putting the finishing touches on Born To Behave, our forthcoming free and open-source course for aspiring professional dog trainers, Em can be found doing virtual training with puppies and walking his cat on the streets of Portland, OR. Em and Annie discuss a youth spent training dogs for conformation trials, why knowledgeable dog walkers are so valuable, cat training, and more.  Want to be updated on the launch of Born To Behave? Sign up for our newsletter to be alerted when it launches! Annie's 2005 NY Times article on part-time pets More on SFTD's Professional Program: --- Partial Transcript: Annie: I am here with the wonderful, peerless Em Beauprey.  Em came to us as an apprentice. What was it? Gosh, four years ago Em Beauprey: That was…yeah, I think it was 2016, pretty sure. 27 to 2017. Annie: 2017, 2016. Gosh, that is almost four years. Em: It’s, all my years in New York have been kind of just a big blur that involves a lot of dogs. So it’s hard for me to put it at a specific time. Annie: [laughs] Well, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what you’re doing right now? As far as School for the Dogs goes.  And then we can maybe work backwards in time and talk about how you got to this point. Em: Yeah, so right now I have a couple of capacities with School for the Dogs. I am an associate trainer with School for the Dogs. So I am seeing clients. I am doing so exclusively virtually because, surprise, surprise, I am currently living in Portland, Oregon. So I am School for the Dogs I believe first fully remote trainer.   Fully remote by necessity trainer. Annie: To be clear, we would like to have you be doing actual sessions in Portland, but because of lockdown. Em: Because of the pandemic, right.  The eventual plan is for me to actually get some sessions on the ground and be able to do some more one-on-one training, which is great. Portland’s got a lovely dog training community and I’m hoping to get more involved in it once it’s safe to do so. Annie: And then School for the Dogs will be officially bi-coastal. Em: Yeah. We’re going to do School for the Dogs West. But then also I am, as a former member of the apprenticeship program, I have also taken on the job of managing the School for the Dogs apprenticeship program, which I did for the first time at the beginning of this year and has been extremely educational for me. And a really interesting experience. Prior to that, I was doing some other program management.  This is the first time that I really had kind of a team of students. And we have had a fantastic team of apprentices this year. So it’s been really a pleasure to see them learn and grow. Annie: How would you describe the School for the Dogs apprenticeship program to those who don’t know about it? Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Dog Training Q and A! 1/7/2021: Lickable Treats | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1338

This is a bonus episode: A recording of a live Q and A. Join Annie Grossman for a live Q and A most Thursdays. Sign up for the next one at or join in the School For The Dogs app at In this episode, Annie discusses why she loves using viscous treats with dogs, and reviews some of her favorite types of lickable treats.  All of them can be found at --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Today, I actually want to answer a question that came to me from my husband. As I mentioned on the podcast last week, we have a brand new puppy. Her name is Poppy, and it’s been a lot of fun. She’s really a wonderful, wonderful girl. And my husband and I were talking and he said what has changed for you? Or, I guess he said, what do you think has changed in the world of dog training since you last had a puppy, which was in 2005, when I first got my dear my dear dog Amos. And it’s a big question to answer for me, because I really knew nothing about dog training when I got him, and really didn’t get into it until he was about five years old. So for me, so much has changed.  In the world of training and pet care, I think a lot has changed too, I think for the better. So he asked me this question and I felt like God, there’s almost too much there for me to answer in any kind of concise way.  But I thought, there’s definitely one thing that I had no idea about when that when I first got Amos and that I think probably a lot of dog owners still don’t know about. And this is a certain kind of product that I think can make such a huge difference in any training. But particularly when you’re working with a puppy and this is a product under the category heading lickable treats.  Not sure the word lickable is actually a word because I feel like whenever I type it, it gets a red squiggly line under it. But that’s what I call these kinds of treats. Treats that can be licked, consumed with the tongue. So I just thought I would talk about some of my favorite lickable treats. Although first, perhaps I should say why I think these are so valuable to us when we’re working with dogs. First of all, as a dog trainer, I feel like I constantly have crumbs in my pockets. I feel like one of the downsides of the trade is that my hands are always kind of gross. And so it’s really nice to give a dog something that is in a tube where you never actually have to handle you know, lamb lung, turkey hearts, lots of things that are frankly, kind of gross. And these lickable treats make that easier to not actually have to physically handle this stuff. Also, licking is very soothing for dogs. That is certainly a bonus.  And there are lots of situations where you want your dog to not waste a lot of time chewing and swallowing things. You just want them to kind of enjoy something and keep going. So that’s one nice thing about using these kinds of treats. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Annie gets a puppy: On navigating Petfinder, vetting breeders, and falling in love with a new dog | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2877

Two months after losing her 15.5-year-old Yorkiepoo bestfriend, Annie and her family welcomed a new puppy into their home. In this episode, she talks about the experience of falling in love with rescue dogs on the Internet, conversing with breeders charging top dollar, and, finally, landing the perfect puppy for her family.  Go to School For The Dogs' Instagram to see a picture of Annie's new puppy! Join the School For The Dogs Community at Episode with Anna Heyward: Products mentioned in this episode:  Squishy Face Flirt Pole DIY Flirt Pole Revol Crate by Diggs --- Partial Transcript: [Intro and music] Annie: Hey folks, it’s New Year’s Day. And I only have a short window of time to record this while my in-laws are at the playground with my daughter. I actually had a different episode lined up for today. Kind of like a business lessons, behavior-minded business lessons of 2020 episode I was going to do. But at the last minute I decided instead I wanted to share that there’s some big dog news in my life that’s happened in the last week, which is that I got a puppy. And I thought while this event is still quite fresh, I would talk about it. We got her on Tuesday and today is Friday. So it’s really only been a few days. So as regular listeners might know, I lost my beloved 15 and a half year old Yorkie poo Amos about two months ago, November 3rd, after a swift illness. And I had him for most of my adult life. He really shaped who I am. And so it was a big loss, big loss to recover from. And it didn’t feel right away like, okay, now we need to get a new dog. I just kind of thought, I’m just gonna let this settle, see how I feel. Don’t need to rush into anything. And my husband was like, why don’t we wait a few years? And I thought, I don’t know if I can wait a few years. I mean, this is my life, dogs are my life. The house feels empty without a dog. Plus I realized I’ve only ever had one dog. I mean, I had dogs when I was a kid, but like since being a dog trainer, I’ve only ever had one dog.  And when I got into dog training my dog was already five. So I’ve never had a dog who I’ve trained from the beginning. And the more I thought about it, the more I felt kind of like, gosh, am I fake? Am I a failure that I’ve only ever had one dog? I mean, I’ve certainly trained many dogs. I’ve spent extended periods of time with many, many dogs, but I just felt like, I think it will benefit me to be in the trenches with a new dog.  That experience can only benefit my understanding of dogs in general. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:


Login or signup comment.