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

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

A bunch of media outlets have recently done stories about private dog runs in NYC, and have mentioned School For The Dogs' School Yard sessions, which are playtimes for dogs. School Yard is members-only, by-appointment and trainer-supervised. Annie talks about why the service is so special, and also why it's so expensive. She addresses some of the negative feedback she's gotten to the articles. She also discusses how she plans to train with her dog, Poppy, while visiting family, and suggests ways in which people can approach training a timid dog in new places or with new people over the holidays.  Follow School For The Dogs on Instagram: Follow Annie on Instagram: Learn more about School Yard here: Products mentioned in this episode are all available!  Also come shop with us at our storefront in Manhattan at 92 E. 7th Street.  Revol dog crate: Slow food bowls: Want to donate to help a rescue dog owner in need access free private training? Learn more about our Scholarship Fund at Articles mentioned:  The New York Times: Does Your Dog Deserve a Private Park? New York Post: Pledging for pooches: VIP clubs where NYC’s doggie 1 percent hangs out The Wall Street Journal: Dogs Rule at These New York City Spots—For a Price Other episodes about relevant topics:

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

Annie is joined by School For The Dogs apprentice Leeyah Wiseman to discuss two super important behaviors: Touch and find it. She and Annie discuss the benefits of teaching these two things and talk about why both behaviors are such great starting places for many dogs and their humans. Check out @schoolforthedogs' Reels on Instagram to see Leeyah demo both!  Annie also engages in some time travel, reading a letter that Dr. Andrew Luescher, a veterinary behaviorist at Purdue University, wrote more than fifteen years ago. It was addressed to National Geographic, which had asked him to review their show, The Dog Whisperer, before it was released... Based on what happened next, it seems like no one read it. See the Illuminaughtii episode on Cesar Millan at or find it on Spotify Find Leeyah on Instagram: Find Annie on Instagram: Previous episodes with Malena DeMartini Want to make sure you know when the next round of our apprentice opens up? Make sure to sign up for our newsletter! You can also email Annie directly at  Love this podcast? Give it a five-star rating and leave a review on iTunes! 

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

Right after getting a pandemic puppy, Tiffany Chen decided to see if she could build some sort of side hustle in order to get her out of the corporate world. She signed up for the Virtual Assistant Internship and learned that it's wise to pick a niche. While she was working on learning about training her own dog (and building his requisite Instagram persona) she started following a lot of positive reinforcement dog trainers. It occurred to her that maybe she could use her virtual assistant powers to help them improve their marketing. She and Annie discuss how fun the R+ dog training movement is on Instagram, talk about ways to help trainers build their followings, and think aloud together about some of the overlap between training dogs and how social media's efforts to train us.  Follow Pawsistant on Instagram at @pawsistant Follow Annie on Instagram at @annie.grossman Follow School For The Dogs on Instagram at @schoolforthedogs Also mentioned in this episode:  @misunderstoodmutt @fromdusktildog @k9fuel_ @doginspired

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

Annie's life has two speeds right now. You'll find her physically trapped underneath her two young daughters using a suite of remote treat dispensers to train her dog, or she's at a local co-working space in a tiny room alone, talking to herself. In this bonus episode, on the one-year anniversary of her beloved dog Amos passing, she is in the latter mode, recording a kind of phone call to her late father, who she thinks would've enjoyed learning what she's learned about the Youtube star Blippi, aka Stevin John, fka Steven or "Steezy" Grossman (no relation). A line of thought about loving those who are no longer alive leads her to discuss the nature of pet love as something that exists inside of us and how the expression and feeling of that love is, in many ways, projection of something that doesn't go away when someone gone. She somehow relates this both to Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian's recent public display of their love of the movie True Romance and the way in which Nabokov's letters to his wife and to his mistress were sort of fungible. Also: She talks about how the app Duo Lingo is manipulating our behavior in a good way and she reveals the not-so-secret key to getting better at anything, which she only really understood after she became a dog trainer.  Want to use a remote trainer to train YOUR dog while your kids are climbing on you? Get a Treat and Train at

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

Dog trainer Ilana Alderman, one of Annie's closest friends, has a reputation at School For The Dogs for being a kind of Disney Princess: She looks sort of like Snow White, and seems to titter with birds and befriend fish like Cinderella or Ariel. For nearly a decade, Ilana has focused on training (and enriching the lives of) pretty much every animal she's come across. She has taught fish to play basketball, helped ring tail lemurs learn to step onto scales, taught goats to enjoy being milked, built tiny amusement parks for mice, and even trained the squirrels in her yard to ring a doorbell. She also has helped Annie organize her closet, and feels this is a kind of animal training too. Ilana has never owned a dog, but she has helped many dog owners, and is the architect of the School For The Dogs Professional Course and its open source free online text book, Born To Behave. She and Annie discuss her journey into the world of behavior and the latest animal who is benefiting from being her presence: Her son.   Find Born to Behave at For more from Ilana, see this summer’s bonus episode: Annie reads animal trainer Ilana Alderman's 14 tips on getting a toddler to brush his teeth  Find Ilana on Instagram @baby_enrichment and on the web at

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

Annie talks about why she is generally against costumes for dogs and suggests some alternatives to dressing up your dog on Halloween. She also discusses some feedback she got about last week’s episode, which featured an interview with the lawyer representing the woman who was mauled by Cesar Millan’s dog. Lastly, she shares two anecdotes: one about how she is using a Buy Nothing group on Facebook to get neighbors to help her train her dog (unbeknownst to them) and the other about how her attempt to use negative reinforcement to get her daughter to brush her teeth ultimately back fired (in a sort of hilarious way). Like this episode? Leave a review on iTunes! Follow us on Instagram: @schoolforthedogs @annie.grossman  Mentioned in this episode: Treat N Train Remote treat dispenser  School For The Dogs Community App  Http://  Ronda Kaysen’s NY Times article on Buy Nothing  Other episodes mentioned in this episode:  Previous episodes and blog posts Annie has done about dogs and Halloween:

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

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

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

This is a recording of a live Q and A done on Instagram, @schoolforthedogs. Annie had no childcare while doing this episode and hoped her infant would stay asleep the whole time, but...she didn't! Annie answer's listener's questions about... -An older Cheweenie who has stopped peeing/pooping in the yard ever since a younger, smaller dog came to live with them. -A dog who will only go in the yard when the owner is there with him. -A newly-adopted senior Chihuahua who is goes bonkers when seeing other dogs on the street and -A Bernedoodle who is jumping on people. Get alerted about the next one or ask a question in advance at Mentioned in this episode: Episode 117 | Dog Training Q and A! 2/4/2021: Is it okay if my dog only “goes” once a day? Also: Counter surfing, curbing barking in the dog park, helping a dog feel okay about the car after a car crash, and more SFTD's Sidewalks Psychos class

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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