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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 Dog Training Q and A! 12/31/2020: Can I speak multiple languages to my dog? Is it okay if my dog watches TV? How do I keep my dog off my sofa? & More | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1724

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 Have a question? Visit or upload a recording at In this episode, Annie answers questions from:  -A bilingual dog owner who is confused about what language to use with his dog, and who gets angry when the dog goes on the couch  -A dog owner whose older dog just died, leaving the younger one, a border collie, sort of depressed... can any thing be done?  -A person who lives with a dog who is obsessed with watching TV. Can TV time actually help this dog be less reactive with other dogs?  -A Great Dane owner whose dog attacks the door when people come in, or when he can see people through the glass --- Partial Transcript: [Intro and music] Annie: Now onto some of these questions.  I have four questions here that I am going to try and answer. First question today comes from Luis, whose dog is named Luca. He is a 47 pound one year old American bulldog. They live in Phoenix. You can find them on Instagram, @nomadatemporal. Luis says: I just welcomed a beautiful dog into my life after we met at the shelter and I started listening to your podcast to get ready and train her. I think we are making progress and your tips have been super helpful. I’m having a hard time because my tendency is to get angry. For example, I don’t have a ton of money, and I got a set of couches as a gift from my family. So I’m trying to keep her off the couches. But when she gets on them, I respond in a way that is not helpful to training. I usually say no point to the ground, and sometimes she listens.  Other times I have to physically take her down. Also Spanish is my first language. So it’s been hard to give her commands in English when my instinct is to say the first thing and it’s usually in Spanish. I know commands can be whatever.  The people around are English speakers or bilingual. So I feel like training twice as much to teach her two commands for each. I love her, she’s American bulldog and we are learning from each other. Thank you for such a beautiful show and I hope I can support your work. That’s very nice. Alright. So a few things here, first of all, I really wouldn’t worry about what language that you’re speaking to Luca.  You know, it’s funny with this because I really think that you know, most of the things we say to dogs they interpret like, remember like the parents in Charlie Brown? Like wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa. Sure, I think they understand tone to some extent, but I wouldn’t get too caught up in worrying about which language you’re using. Because you know, you can use gestures, you can teach using visual cues, for example. And when you do start to teach her specific behaviors, then you can start to think about being specific about what cues you use.  And you might choose a visual cue instead of a verbal cue if you’re worried about going back and forth from one language to another. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 School For The Dogs’ Private Training Manager Claire Cario on therapy dogs, deaf dogs, and more | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3654

Meet Claire Cario, School For The Dogs’ Private Training Manager. Annie interviews Claire about her journey into the world of dog training, which began with a childhood love of nature shows and eventually led to an array of interesting jobs working with dogs, from training dogs to herd geese in Prospect Park, to working with therapy dog teams at The Good Dog Foundation to evaluating dogs in New York City’s public shelter system and beyond. Claire also talks about the rewards, and occasional challenges, of living in New York with her deaf and partially-blind rescue dog, Otis.  Book a session with Claire: Get a free ebook on three keys to dog training success when you sign up for our free Master Class at --- Partial Transcript: Annie: All right. So I am here with Claire Cario, who I am honored to call an employee. Claire, why don’t you introduce yourself and talk a little bit about what you do at School for the Dogs, and then we can move back in time from there. Claire: Sure. So I have been with School for the Dogs for the past year, and it’s been quite an interesting year for everyone. And I came on board as a private trainer manager and also as one of the behavior therapy consultant trainers as well. Annie and Kate, both of you guys have been colleagues of mine for years.  We’ve walked in the same kind of pathway for over a decade. And it just really was a great opportunity and I was excited to come on board. Annie: Well, yeah, I mean, when we hired you, I felt like we have arrived. Like if we have Claire Cario working for us, we’re doing something right. And well I want to talk actually about the first time you and I met, which was like 10 years ago, but I’m interested in, in sort of knowing how you got into dog training to begin with. Cause you know what, I actually don’t really know. Claire: Yeah. Neither do I, Annie. [laughs] Annie: You’re like who am I? What am I doing? Claire: Who am I, well, you figure that out after the fact, I think, generally.  Yeah, my story is interesting. I used to work in the film industry as a camera assistant for years. So I was a union camera assistant. Annie: Is that like a, what does a camera assistant do? Is that different than a best boy? And also, I don’t know what a best boy is. Claire: I actually was a best girl on a few jobs as well. That’s working in the electric department, specifically working with anything that’s electrical. But the camera assistant is, I was a first AC primarily.  Worked my way up pretty quickly, and at the age of 23, I was walked into the union. Basically, like it’s so arbitrary, that job, and the skill set is so weird. But basically I kept things in focus.  That was like my primary goal. And you know, I’m not going to get into, that’s a whole nother podcast about what that means.  But that’s important. Like obviously actors need to be in focus. Annie: Did you work on any films that we may have seen, I may have seen? Claire: Yeah, I worked in a lot of independent film back in the day when it was still independent. I think probably the most well-known films that I worked on were Boys Don’t Cry and The Believer, that launched Ryan Gosling’s film career.  And Wendigo. Annie: Boys Don’t Cry. I remember that one. That was a big deal. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Dog Training Q and A! 12/17/2020: How can I get my dog to stop humping other dogs in order to exert his "dominance?" | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1007

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 Have a question? Visit or upload a recording at In this episode, Annie talks about humping: Why dogs do it, how to get them to not do it, and why everyone should just chill out about it.  --- Partial Transcript: Annie: I was going to talk just briefly about humping. Got a question: How do I get my malel neutered dog to stop trying to hump other male dogs to assert his dominance. So let let’s talk about that. The simplest answer to the question is you should work on getting your dog’s attention. You can manage a lot of behaviors if you have the ability to get your dog to come to you, to pay attention to you when you need your dog to do so. And you can do that by practicing getting your dog’s attention in less distracting situations. It’s a process of using classical conditioning to your advantage. I have a podcast episode where I talk about teaching come and drop it using classical conditioning. And, same idea. You want your dog to know that when you say whatever the specific word is, or blow whistle or whatever, that it is worth their while to stop whatever they are doing and to turn their attention to you. So, often with Come, people do this with a whistle, whether it’s an actual whistle or just whistling with your lips, because that’s a noise that’s very specific and could be meaningful. And it’s an easy thing to teach because all you need to do is whistle and then drop some great things at your feet.  Drop some treats. And you just need to be really consistent about that. What’s nice about teaching behaviors in this way is, certainly in the beginning, you’re really not asking anything of your dog. You’re just teaching your dog to make the connection between stuff dropped on the ground. I’m sorry, between the sound and stuff dropped on the ground, stuff that is delicious. And I liken it to — I mean, there are so many, so many things that you can liken it to, but it’s kind of like throwing a sale, right? The sale isn’t happening because you are going to the store, but the store having the sale makes you go there because you’ve been conditioned to understand what a sale is. So my suggestion is work on teaching really good recall.  It could also be like a break cue.  At School Yard at School for the Dogs, we teach dogs that, when we say break, that means they need to stop what they’re doing and turn their attention to us. But also, I don’t know why your dog is having so many opportunities to hump other male dogs, but certainly as the controller of your dog’s social life, you could also limit access to other male dogs unless you’re really ready to be practicing that recall or that break. And then work up to situations where your dog is maybe in a dog park or less controlled situations. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 The Freedom "No-Pull" Harness: On the origins of School For The Dogs' #1 selling harness, with 2 Hounds Design's president Alisha Navarro | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1756

At School For The Dogs, we are very picky about products we recommend:  We try to guide our clients towards products that we feel really work well and are made by US-based, sustainability-minded small businesses. North Carolina-based business 2 Hounds Designs ticks all the boxes. In particular, we are big fans of their Freedom Harness. It is one of only two harnesses that we sell in our Manhattan shop and in our online store. This innovative "no-pull" front-clip harness is one of the best selling items in our shop, and for good reason: it helps dogs learn to stop pulling! Annie interviews 2 Hounds' president, Alisha Navarro, who stumbled upon a little-known harness design nearly 18 years ago, purchased the patent, and now has a factory and 40+ employees who are working to keep up with ever-increasing demand for it. Annie and Alisha discuss why the harness works so well, the design's origins, its diehard fans, how the manufacturing side of the business was impacted by the coronavirus,  and more.  For a limited time, get 10% all 2 Hounds Design products at using code ALISHA. --- Partial Transcript: Alisha Navarro: I’m Alisha Navarro. And I’m the founder and president of 2 Hounds Design. Annie: And how would you describe what 2 Hounds Design is? Alisha: So we make dog colors, harnesses, and leashes. Our harness is a patented no-pull harness. It has a Swiss velvet lining, and it’s all made in the USA.  And our collars are pretty high end. We’re known for creating collars with our own ribbon designs. We also use some really high-end materials. Sometimes we’ll use home decoration materials, something that you would see in a luxury home. We’ll use that to put on collars. We’ve also taken wedding dresses apart and make collars out of them to match the bridal party. So we’ve done some really fun stuff on our collar side as well. Annie: So I discovered 2 Hounds because of the Freedom Harness. And so I’m really curious about that, but first I wanted to ask you, why is it called 2 Hounds? Alisha: 2 Hounds Design was named after my original two retired racing greyhounds, Iceman and Paradise. I adopted Paradise first in 2001, and I adopted Iceman in 2002, I believe. And then in 2003, I founded my company, and we were trying to come up with a name for it. And the company exists because of them, because I was selling collars for them. So we just named the company after them. Annie: So the Freedom No-Pull Harness is one of our best-selling items both in our online store and in our actual shop. And it is one of only two harnesses that we sell. And it’s definitely the harness that we recommend most. I love it for some reasons you already mentioned, for instance, I love that it has the velvet under the armpits. I love the front attachment. I was first made aware of this style of harness because of the Easy Walk harness, which is a similar harness, that I think is not as good actually.  But I’d love to hear the story of how you came to discover this kind of harness. I understand that you didn’t invent it. But you kind of well, tell me, I bet there’s a good story here. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Dog training with Mary Poppins, Professor Harold Hill and Little Orphan Annie | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2269

During the dark days of 2020, Annie has been self-medicating. Her drug of choice? Watching clips from old movie musicals she loved as a kid. It turns out that there are a lot of lessons about behavior in these films, and storylines that unwittingly relate to dog training. In this episode, Annie gives a dog-trainer’s-eye-view analysis of Mary Poppins, The Music Man, and the movie Annie.  See the full clips played in this episode when you join our new app: Mentioned in this episode:  Animals Make Us Human, by Temple Grandin --- Transcript: Annie: So there’s something that I think probably a lot of people who know me well, probably don’t even know about me, which is that I love old movie musicals. I grew up with a small skyscraper of VHS tapes balanced atop the TV of Judy Garland movies, Fred Astaire movies, Gene Kelly, Robert Preston. I would watch these movies — I’m trying to think of some of them, 42nd street, GiGi, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, the Easter Parade, Oklahoma. I would just watch these movies over and over. And so much of them I feel like are deeply ingrained in me. And really it sort of informed my early view of what the world was like, which is maybe why adulthood has actually been something of a disappointment. Like it turns out if you’re an unmarried woman in your thirties who loves books, that doesn’t mean that Robert Preston is going to come serenade you in the library while everyone does a choreographed jig around you. I think I kind of put my love of movie musicals aside for many years, you know, occasionally maybe going to one if there was something at the Film Forum.  But the existence of YouTube has really made it possible for me to occasionally dive in for an hour or two and watch some old favorite clips.  It’s like a drug. It just makes me so happy to see people singing and dancing and these old movies. And during these gray months of 2020, I have started watching some of my favorite old musicals with my daughter, who’s almost two. We have Disney Plus, which is a treasure trove. And I’ve made her some YouTube playlists that we work through of my favorite scenes from old musicals. And of course I can’t help myself from finding little dog training lessons and dog life parallels in, in my old favorite movies. So I thought I would share a few songs today and tell you how I’ve been thinking about them as it relates to dog stuff. I don’t think there are any majorly important dog training lessons in what I’m about to share, but maybe it will just be a little bit of fun to share my thought process with you. And of course, to share these joyous, joyous movie moments. I am going to post the full videos in our brand new app, which you should definitely check out. You can get there at There is a section there specifically about the podcast and that is where I’m going to post the videos. So, first one that I want to share with you is from Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins was based on the PL Travers books and of course starred Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke. Two of my all time favorites, both of whom are still alive, fortunately. Julie Andrews, this was the first time she played an amazing babysitter. The second time being in the Sound of Music, which came a few years later. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Dog Training Q and A! 12/10/2020: Should we send our puppy to do a board and train? | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1158

Shari asks:  "A few months ago we had to put our beloved 17 year old dog Lola to sleep. A few months later, when a friend of mine who runs a shelter got a litter of lab puppies, she invited me to come play with them. Not surprisingly, I came home with Jasper, a now 4 month old chocolate lab. Already 50 lbs, Jasper is a big handful. We adore him and we're doing our best at training him, but we have a crazy busy household with three young children, two cats and two adults working very full time jobs from home.  To be honest, we're feeling really overwhelmed about training him properly. Would you recommend a board and train program to help give us a leg up?"  Annie talks about the cons of board-and-trains, and suggests a couple of alternatives.  --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Hello, Annie here. Thanks for joining me. This is my first experiment with going live in our brand new app, which you can find by going to, or look up School for the Dogs Community in iTunes. It’s pretty great. I’m pretty excited about it. And one cool feature is that I can do this in the app. If you’re able to tune in, say hi, love to see if this is working. You can also join these little Q and A sections online at And you can ask a question in advance at Okay. Today I have a question from my friend Shari. I actually worked with Shari on Too Cute the Animal Planet show. She was a producer there and I was an associate producer and sort of the resident dog nerd animal trainer. It was a great job for me for about a year. I did it about 10 years ago. Anyway Shari writes: A few months ago, we had to put our beloved 17 year old dog to sleep, Lola.  A few months later, when a friend of mine who runs a shelter got a litter of Lab puppies, she invited me to come play with them. Not surprisingly, I came home with Jasper, a now four month old chocolate lab, already 50 pounds. Jasper is a big handful. We adore him and we’re doing our best at training him, but we have a crazy busy household with three young children, two cats, and two adults working very full-time jobs from home. To be honest, we’re feeling really overwhelmed about training him properly.   Would you recommend a board and train program to help give us a leg up? So I think Shari is in a very understandable position that I think probably a lot of people are finding themselves in right now.  A lot of people have gotten puppies during the pandemic, which is a great thing for a million reasons, but also I’m sure is posing a lot of challenges that are somewhat unexpected. Especially since a lot of people probably didn’t expect that they would have to continue trying to work from home with kids and maybe didn’t factor in what it would mean to have a puppy in that equation as well. My response to Shari is to think twice, though, before jumping to doing a board and train. I get the appeal of a board and train it as far as like what one imagines. It might be, I’m going to send my dog to some perfect person, perfect place, and my dog is going to come back with all the work done for me, and everything’s going to be easy. And all that stands between me and this is money. However, I think that it very rarely works out that way. Full transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Amos | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2286

Amos Grossman Pedicone died on November 3, 2020. He was 15.5-years old, and lived with Annie Grossman since his puppyhood. He was a black Yorkiepoo who enjoyed playing fetch in the ocean, swimming in fountains, and learning new tricks -- sometimes pretty fabulous ones. But this episode isn't about his accomplishments, or about his braininess or cuteness. It's about death as part of dog ownership, and about how dog ownership can be part of a person's self-care. It's about how people can love a dog that doesn't belong to them. It's about how training can help us be able to enjoy our dogs and spend more time with them, and can help them be happy to be in the role of being the objects of our affection. It's also about how dogs are the opposite of death and heartbreak. But mostly, it's about Amos. He will be missed.  Join the School For The Dogs Community app! On the web: On iTunes: In Google Play: --- Partial Transcript: Annie: So my dog died a month ago on November 3rd, Election Day. And I have been attempting to record this episode for the last few weeks, but it’s been hard to get myself to sit down and do it.  To sit alone in a room and talk about losing my dog best friend over the last 15 and a half years, you know? And it’s not like I have to race cause someone else is going to scoop the story. It’s not like I have an editor breathing down my neck. I mean, I could just choose to not record a podcast episode about losing my dog. But this is a podcast about living with dogs, loving dogs, teaching dogs, learning from dogs. And unfortunately death is part of pet ownership. So I sort of feel like I would be chickening out if I neglected to talk about this part of my experience of this relationship. Also, this is School for the Dogs Podcast, of course, and Amos was a big part of how School for the Dogs came to be in existence. You know, some people I know have become dog trainers because they were really interested often from an early age in animal behavior in general, and dogs are a relatively easy animal to focus on if you’re interested in animal behavior, since you can study them and work with them without having to go scuba diving or camping out in a tree. I know quite a few dog trainers who consider themselves, I think animal trainers first, dog trainer second. And I also know a lot of people who got into dog training because they had a really difficult dog. But I don’t think I fit into either of those two categories for me. I think my dog training life started with a love of dogs in general and then a great love for one dog in particular. I didn’t become a dog trainer to change Amos in any way. I became a dog trainer because I wanted to figure out how to be a better person to my dog, how I could spend more time with him. I think I mentioned this in an early episode of the podcast, but I went through this real soul searching period during the last major economic downturn, like in 2008, 2009, 2010, where I was really thinking hard about how I could make a living doing something different than I had been doing. And I spent a lot of time with Amos in the dog park, writing lists of things I liked and things I could imagine spending my time doing. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Dog Training Q and A! 12/03/2020: Answers to new dog owners' common crate training questions | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1454

Join Annie Grossman for a live Q and A most Thursdays. Sign up for the next one at Have a question? Visit or upload a recording at In this episode, Annie talks about using a crate with a new dog. Among the questions answered: Where should you put a crate? What kind of crate should you get? Do you have to use a crate? How can a crate help with housetraining? What can you put in a crate? How can you get a dog to like being in a crate? What work-to-eat toys work in a crate? Can a dog be alone in a crate right away? Should you cover a crate? What training exercises can make a dog enjoy being in a crate? What behaviors can you teach in a crate? Mentioned in this episode: Slow Food Bowls Revol Dog Crate Revol Crate Cover Groov Training Aid Lickable Treats Susan Garrett's Crate Games --- Partial Transcript: Annie: I have been getting a lot of questions about crate training. A lot of people getting dogs this year, which is pretty cool.  The upside of global pandemic seems to be that people bring dogs into their homes.  Who knew that that would be a silver lining. And crate is often one of the first things that people purchase right when they’re getting a dog.  I think sometimes people get confused about how to use it, why they should use it or not use it.   So I want to just sort of talk to y’all about the way I think about a crate. A crate is, of course, a great management tool. The three pillars of the dog training triad — management, timing and rewards.  Management is all about setting the stage, setting a stage where our dogs are going to perform in ways we are going to be likely to like, and are not going to have a chance to do a lot of the stuff we might not want them to do. I think particularly a crate can be a very good management tool for house training. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Creating gear for dog adventurers: Meet Ruffwear designer Liz Zarro | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2399

Meet Liz Zarro, a young designer at Oregon-based dog gear company, Ruffwear, which specializes in making products that help dogs and humans have outdoor adventures together. Liz and Annie discuss how Ruffwear's innovative products are developed, the thinking that goes into designing gear meant to please both dogs and humans, and how the products we use can affect how dogs are trained.  You'll learn about the though process behind everything from treat pouches to dog seatbelts and more. This episode contains an Easter egg:  a 25% discount on all Ruffwear products from now through 11:59PM ET on Monday 11/30.  Find all the Ruffwear products mentioned in this episode, and more, at! Follow Liz Zarro on Instagram: @liz_zarro Take Annie's Master Class and get a free e-book on the three keys to dog training success! --- Partial Transcript: [Intro and music] Liz Zarro: My name is Liz Zarro, and I’m a product designer and developer at Ruffwear in Bend Oregon.  Ruffwear is an outdoor dog gear company. We basically design and develop the items that you would need to take your dog out on adventures with you and enable those outdoor pursuits. So things like dog boots, harnesses, backpacks, we kind of specialize in that area. Annie: And you studied in Bend, right? Isn’t Ruffwear in Bend. Am I right? Liz: Yes. Ruffwear is in Bend. Annie: And when you were going to school there in Oregon then, was Ruffwear kind of a spot that you thought, wow, that would be a great place to work as a dog lover and designer? Liz: Yes, I did. Yeah. When I was in college, actually, I sent an email to Ruffwear to see if they needed an intern or any extra help on their design team. And at that time I got an email back that was basically saying that at this time we don’t really need any help in that area. But fast forward a few years, after I had graduated and I was working as a freelancer. Ruffwear came back, and they did need a little extra help. And so I was able to freelance with their team, before I was offered a full-time job, and being able to move to Bend and join the team to make great performance dog gear. That was definitely like a dream come true, Annie: Ruffwear as a brand, it sells at REI. Do you think that’s how a lot of people discover it? Liz: I do. I think that, who I would consider our sort of core base, so outdoor and dog lovers, that sort of cross section.  To me, that’s a total REI customer.  For those people shopping at REI for other things, and then seeing Ruffwear, I think that is a big way that we become known. Annie: Yeah, it’s interesting because REI doesn’t carry a whole lot of pet gear. So it’s like the gear that they do carry, I guess, seems like it would have some kind of great stamp of approval on it.  Because like I was saying, you know, you guys have huge fans, we carry it at my online store, We carry a lot of different brands and I don’t think any sort of thing, any specific brand has as big of a fan group. Have, have you, have you experienced the Ruffwear fandom? Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 5 of our "go to" treats at SFTD (in ASMR + French) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1084

This bonus episode is a recording of an Instagram Live Annie did, which can be seen here. The treats discussed here are main ones trainers use at School For The Dogs. They are:  Happy Howies food rolls Carnivore Crunch by Stella + Chewy's Crumps Freeze Dried Beef  Lamb Lung  Tricky Trainers  You can find them all at --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Hey, this is a recording of an Instagram live I just did about five of our go-to brands of dog treats at School for the Dogs.  The first minute or two didn’t record. But the first treat I am talking about is Lamb Lung. We have our house brand of lamb lung. And a listener wrote in and suggested that I would have a good voice for a ASMR. So I attempted to talk about lamb lung in my best whispery, breathy voice. [whispering:] I never thought I would think so much about the lungs of lamb. It’s really a disgusting thing. When you think too much about the lamb lungs that are enjoyed by our dogs, but at least one of these animals is having a good life. I don’t know about the poor lambs. It makes me quite sad.  Which it actually is one of the reasons why we started carrying a lot of vegan treats at School for the Dogs, because I think it’s actually a good idea to feed your dog vegan food, because it means fewer dead lambs, but that said the dogs do like the lamb lung. [whispering:] So this is the lamb lung that we carry. It’s our house brand. [crinkling plastic sound] Oh, it’s a crinkly noise to go with the whisper noise.  So many good noises. So I like it cause it breaks up into really, really small bits.  Really small, and they’re not greasy. And the dogs love them. [whispering:] So when I'm using a clicker, I will often have the treats and the clicker all together in one hand. And I will either have the lamb lung in small pieces, or I'll have one big piece, and then click, give a treat.  You can like break off a treat while you like click and then just break off a little bit. So lamb lung is a real go-to at . [speaking] Oh my God, I don't think I can keep doing it. Doing the whisper is going to hurt my voice too much.  [laughs] God, those whispering people on the internet have a lot of stamina. Okay.  The second treat today is tricky trainers. We carry these in a bunch of different flavors kind of butter, cheddar cheese. This one is liver. I think liver is probably our most popular, and these are like the err dog treat. I think they're great. There's a couple of dog treats that come in, kind of brands that have treats in this kind of shape and size is like pencil eraser type treat size. It's great. Cause you can break one of these up into like one, two, three, four, right? I think I've got six pieces here. They're super low calorie.  They’re three, three calories per treat. And like I said, one of these treats is really basically like 6 treats. So that's half a calorie per treat. They're made by Cloud Star, which is a small company in Missouri. You've probably seen their stickers. They have the slogan Wag more bark less. They make stickers that people put on their cars and whatever. Anyway, I'm a big fan of wheat and corn free Tricky Trainers. And look how cute is their little logo. It's a dog riding a bicycle. I love it. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 School For The Dogs' Sasha Prasad on helping animals live happier lives | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2634

Sasha Prasad moved to New York City with her three rescue dogs last year in order to get a masters degree in Animal Behavior and Conservation from Hunter. She began working at School For The Dogs right away, and has been with us ever since, doing everything from walking to client relations to social media. Her passion is helping all animals live happier lives; dogs are just one of the creatures she wants to work with. She and Annie discuss how she built her own dog walking company, Freedom Tails, in Boston, her shelter-based education in dog behavior, and her current work: researching how to make koi fish live happier, more enriched lives.  Learn more about Sasha at Articles by Dr. Becca Franks: --- Partial Transcript: [Intro and music] Annie: So I think I’ve said this before and I don’t want to sound self-congratulatory, but I have to say Kate and I have really great people working for us at School for the Dogs. I am. So just thrilled, thrilled to have a team of people who have these special talents and interests. I’m thrilled to have these people working towards the same goal altogether under the School for the Dogs umbrella.  The goal of helping dogs and people live happier lives together. And I feel especially I don’t know, sort of sappy about it. I think just because this has been such a difficult year for pretty much everyone in the world. And one thing, one blessing, one silver lining has been that I feel like it’s brought our staff closer together and just made me all the more grateful. So today I am sharing with you a conversation I had with Sasha Prasad. Sasha has been with School for the Dogs for over a year now. But you maybe haven’t met her at the studio because especially lately, she does a lot of behind the scenes stuff. She does a lot of our Instagramming, the wonderful roundups we do on the weekend. And she also is the person who answers a lot of emails that come into our info box. But Sasha is an animal trainer in her own right. Currently working with fish, actually. So I’m excited to share this conversation she and I had. Annie: Hi. Sasha: Hello. The lighting where you are as beautiful. You are glowing. Annie: I’m right in the window. Sasha: Yeah, amazing. Annie: So I am psyched to get to talk to Sasha Prasad and to see your little dog there. Sasha: Yeah. Chloe is here, Lilo’s down here. Jackson will probably make himself heard at some point. So the gang’s all here. Annie: You’re a three dog, three dog household in New York City. Sasha: Yeah. Not on purpose, but here we are. So. Annie: Aw. And I know one of them, one of them has been in hospice care — at home hospice care. Is that right? Sasha: Yeah. It’s been a pretty wild ride. So Lilo, she’s 17. We brought her to the emergency vet sometime in late August and they told us she was in kidney failure and that she had a couple of days to a couple of weeks left. But here we are going on a month. Behaviorally, she’s a little slower and I have to do a lot more coaxing to get her to eat, but she’s eating full meals. She’s still doing the things that she likes to do. She’s going for walks. And so, I don’t know. We’re really grateful and we’re taking it one day at a time. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Dog Training Q and A! 11/19/2020: Handmade gifts, dealing with a dog who bites the leash & dog training tips for a toddler mom | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1081

Join Annie Grossman for a live Q and A most Thursdays. Sign up for the next one at Have a question? Visit or upload a recording at In this episode: Annie talks about some of the awesome handmade products for sale at and  answers questions about a young dog who "submissive pees" and bites the leash on walks.  She also talks about a friend who was receptive to Annie's dog training advice when it came to her kid throwing tantrums when it was time to get dressed.  Find all the items mentioned in this episode at --- Partial Transcript: Annie: So today I thought I would show you guys some of the really cool handmade things that we sell at School for the Dogs as as a lot of you know we really try and have items that are, first of all, things that we really like that we recommend. We have like a pretty limited amount of space. So we want to fill it with things that we truly think are great. We also try and support other small businesses, particularly small local businesses. And we have quite a few people who make really lovely goods by hand, and I wanted to show you just a couple of them. These are all available at and also in our East Village shop. This is a toy that just came in. It’s pretty hilarious.  I think it’s like a tomato with a baby tomato, I guess. I don’t know what’s going on here. It’s made by the company at the furry folks, we carry their whole line on our online store. But what’s cool about this is, you pull out the tiny, tiny baby tomato and this, I don’t know, yellow pulp stuff comes out, and you can hide treats in the pulpy part, in this like yellow fabric thing with holes in it. I’m trying to figure out how I would describe this to someone who can’t see it. It’s kind of like a big, weird stocking that comes out of this tomato. That’s like crackling. [crinkling sound] And we all know dogs like things that crackle.  It has this really sturdy fabric on the outside. So anyway, you put dry food, treats, kibble, whatever in the yellow pull-out part and then stuff it in here. If you have the kind of dog who really loves to pull things apart, really nice toy that comes in this very cute little like tomato style box, like you would see at green market. Also by DogNMat, is this sushi snuffle toy. I’m a big fan of this because I think it’s just so cute. it comes like this rolled up like a sushi, totally made of fleece, machine washable. You unroll it and it has like avocado in it. What is this? The egg stuff? I never liked that stuff in my sushi rolls.  Salmon. And, again, you just hide treats in the little bits here, roll it up, has a little Velcro closure, and you have a sushi snuffle roll! Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 The Charles Mingus' CAT-alog for Toilet Training Your Cat (1972) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 388

When he wasn't revolutionizing the world of mid-20th century jazz music, Charles Mingus was home training his cat, Nightlife. Specifically, he was really into training Nightlife to go on the toilet. Indeed, he was something of an evangelist on the subject. Here, Annie reads from "The Charles Mingus CAT-alog for Toilet Training Your Cat," his 1972 brochure that outlines a step-by-step process.  You can find the full text here Train your own cat with a  modern invention: The Litter Kwitter Music: Full of Love from Album Stay Tonight, by Till Paradiso (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) --- Partial Transcript: Annie: There are two things I love that I rarely talk about on this podcast. One is cats. The other is jazz music. Well, that's all going to change today.  A few weeks ago in a Q and A I did, I mentioned this little known fact in the history of jazz, which is that jazz titan Charles Mingus was very interested in cat training. Specifically, he was interested in training cats to pee and poop on toilets, and he actually wrote a guide to how to do that. So today I thought I would just share with you a reading of this guide paired with some jazz music. Here is Charles Mingus is the Charles Mingus CAT-atalog for toilet training your cat. First, you must train your cat to use a homemade cardboard litter box if you have not already done so. If your box does not have a one-piece bottom, add a cardboard that fits inside so you have a false bottom that is smooth and strong.  This way the box will not become soggy and fall out at the bottom. The grocery store will have extra flat cardboards, which you can cut down to fit exactly inside your box. Be sure to use torn up newspaper, not kitty litter.  Stop using kitty litter. When the time comes, you cannot put sand in the toilet. Once your cat is trained to use a cardboard box, start moving the box around the room towards the bathroom. If the box is in a corner, move it a few feet from the corner, but not very noticeably. If you move it too far, he may go to the bathroom in the original.  Do it gradually. You've got to get him thinking, then he will gradually follow the box as you move it to the bathroom. If you already have it there, move it out of the bathroom, around, and then back.  He has to learn to follow it. If it is too close to the toilet to begin with, he will not follow it up onto the toilet seat. A cat will look for his box.  He smells it. Now as you move the box, also start cutting the brim of the box down, so the sides get lower. Do this gradually. Finally you reach the bathroom, and eventually the toilet itself. Then one day, prepare to put the box on top of the toilet. At each corner of the box, cut a little slash you can run string around the box through these slashes, and tie the box down to the toilet so it will fall off. Your cat will see it there and jump up to the box, which is now sitting on top of the toilet. Get the sides cut down to only an inch or so. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 The Bully Test: How to tell if your dog (or kid or country) is having fun PLUS: FOMO crate training | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1437

If two dogs are playing, and you're unsure if your dog is into it, there is a simple "test" you can perform. The Bully Test, which was coined by Dr. Ian Dunbar, is a great way to tell how your dog feels about his or her playmate. Annie looks at how she herself behaved when faced with childhood mean girls, and how voters reacted when bullied by the Bully-In-Chief.  Also: Is "bully" an inherent quality in a dog? Or a kid? Is there a term that we could come up with that doesn't vilify one of two puppies when performing this "test?" And: Why you shouldn't expect dogs to just "working it out" during play. Lastly: Annie explains how to use FOMO to train dogs to love going in crates. Master Class:   Community App Early Invite Signup: --- Partial Transcript: [Intro and music] Annie: Here is a pretty simple thing that any dog owner can do if their dog is playing with another dog and they're not sure if both the dogs are enjoying themselves. What you do is you gently restrain whichever dog is the more outgoing, the more aggressive one. I think a lot of the time, in play with dogs, just like with kids, one person is the chaser.  Hold back, restrain in whatever gentle way you can, the more aggressive of the two dogs and see what the other dog does. If the dog comes right back and goes up to the dog, who's being restrained and is like, come on, I thought we were doing this. Then that dog probably was into it. Right? That dog was probably feeling good about that place session. If the dog goes to the other side of the room that tells you that that dog was most likely happy that he has the chance to take a break and that perhaps he was feeling bullied. This is called the bully test. I believe it was named, if maybe not also developed, by a Dr. Ian Dunbar, a trainer of great renown and also a veterinarian. It's such a simple thing. It makes so much sense. And if it can help you make sure that two dogs aren't enjoying playing with each other, there's really no downside. And by the way, the dog who is the possible bully -- if the dog who wasn't being restrained does take the chance to go to the other side of the room -- that does not mean that one dog is a bad dog. It just means that in that situation, maybe the intensity was too much. Maybe there’s a size difference between the two dogs that is making one of them uncomfortable. Maybe it has nothing — one dog might just be extra fearful for any reason, or no reason.  Could be mix-matched play styles. So this isn’t, you know, see which dog is the good dog and which is the bad dog. It’s just a way to diagnose the healthiness and the happiness of play that is happening. So I wanted to mention this because I think it’s a really easy tool to have in your dog training dog-owning toolbox to use with dogs who are off-leash. And I think off-leash play is very important for most dogs, much better than on leash play. But I also think one-on-one play is often the best kind of play. However, this technique could be used in a dog park situation too, or with more dogs. Another reason why I was thinking about the bully test recently and wanted to mention it was because I was going through some stuff in my mom’s basement recently. And I found a letter. I wrote it to my mom from summer camp when I was nine. And it was about this girl who I was in grade school with at that time. Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:

 Dog Training Q and A! 11/05/2020: Cody doesn't want to go out with walker, Peaches won't pee on the patio & more | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 1658

Join Annie Grossman for a live Q and A most Thursdays. Sign up for the next one at Have a question? Visit or upload a recording at In this episode: A young labrador no longer wants to go to Fiesta Island with his walker. Is he being lazy? Peaches the Chihuahua doesn't understand why her human wants her to pee on the patio. Is it wise to get a second dog if a finicky dog seems more interesting in eating meals when other dogs are around?  --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Hey everyone. This is a bonus Q and A Episode. I try and answer questions live every Thursday. You can sign up to come to my free live Q and A at and you will see the next one I’m doing. I then am trying to take recordings of those Q and A’s and post them here to the podcast feed. If you have a question, you can email me directly You can also go to and record your question there. Thanks for being here. This is Annie Grossman here. I am doing a Live.  We had some technical difficulties, but you you can join now at Or you can just hang out here. I have some great questions here. We have Max and Melissa in the room with us right now. Max has a two year old standard poodle named Lolo. I’m not sure I met Lolo, but how is Lolo doing? Anyway thanks for sticking with me. There were some technical difficulties just now. But I have some great questions. I am not sure if those who ask these questions are in the room, but if you are, do say hello. All right. Our first question is from Michelle Adams who has a Labrador, 70 pounds, lives in San Diego. And Michelle writes me this: Hooper has been going to Fiesta Island, a large off-leash park where he can chase a ball and play with other dogs, for about three months now.  He has been going with a dog walker who also has other dogs. He absolutely loves Fiesta Island this week. This week he has decided he does not want to leave the house when they show up to take him.  He is home by himself and simply needs to go out the doggy door. Rather, he sits on the sofa and looks at them through the window. If they come into the house, he will go with them. He then has a blast while he is at the park, pictures to verify (I guess she’s saying they take pictures to verify this). The first time he refused to go, they asked him if he wanted a treat and he went right out the dog door.  The second time he refused to go, they again tried asking him if he wanted a treat and he still refused to go. They had to go into my home to take him. I am not certain if he is just being lazy, it’s not really his style. Or if I should listen to him and realize that he doesn’t want to go? Full Transcript available at --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:


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