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School For The Dogs Podcast

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Annie Grossman of the NYC-based dog training center School For The Dogs answers training questions, geeks out on animal behavior, discusses pet trends and interviews industry experts. Have a training question you'd like addressed? Email or leave a voicemail at 917-414-2625 *********** Show notes:

Annie Grossman of the NYC-based dog training center School For The Dogs answers training questions, geeks out on animal behavior, discusses pet trends and interviews industry experts. Have a training question you'd like addressed? Email or leave a voicemail at 917-414-2625 *********** Show notes:
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Anchor FM


Annie Grossman of the NYC-based dog training center School For The Dogs answers training questions, geeks out on animal behavior, discusses pet trends and interviews industry experts. Have a training question you'd like addressed? Email or leave a voicemail at 917-414-2625 *********** Show notes:




(212) 353-3647


Being BF Skinner's Daughter: Deborah Buzan Dispels The Myths

Renowned behavioral psychologist BF Skinner codified much of the science behind positive reinforcement-based animal training, and is a hero to many dog trainers. But for over half a century, his reputation has been tarnished by rumors that his daughter went crazy and killed herself because he raised her in a box. Annie interviews said daughter, Deborah Buzan, who is alive and sane. She was in fact raised in a box... sort of. Buzan discussed the "Air Crib," aka the "Baby Box," and growing up...


Wonderful "Work To Eat" toys: Slow Food Bowls

Every time you feed a dog, you have the opportunity to channel some of her energy into an appropriate activity, to tire her out, and to give her a sense of purpose. "Work To Eat" toys provide dogs with jobs, and dogs like to be employed! If we don't give them jobs, they too often make up their own jobs, alerting you to every sound in the hallway, or redesigning the couch cushions with their mouths. There are lots of kinds of "Work To Eat" toys. In this episode, Annie talks about one type:...


How to train a dog to "sit" from scratch

Newsflash: Your dog already knows how to sit! But he may not know the cue you want to associate with that behavior. Annie breaks down how to use the "capturing" technique to teach "sit" anew and to add a novel cue. She describes how you could teach a blind person who doesn't speak your language the meaning of the word "sit" without resorting to any kind of touching. If you can do that, you can teach a dog! She covers: -The downsides of "luring" a behavior or "molding" it -The trap of trying...


The Dog Training Triad Part 3: Timing

So, you have a carefully engineered environment (see: The Dog Training Triad Part 1) where your dog is likely to do lots of things you want him to to do, and you have also selected really appropriate rewards (see: The Dog Training Triad Part 2). Now what? you need to make sure your rewards are being given with really excellent TIMING! Dogs are doing things constantly, and concurrently. Behaviors are overlapping at every moment, and a dog may sometimes think a reward is for something other...


The Dog Training Triad Part 2: Rewards

Once you have set the stage to up the chances that you'll get lots of behaviors you want (see The Dog Training Triad Part 1: Management), you'll need to figure out how to reinforce those behaviors. In this episode, Annie discusses, among other things: -The difference between reinforcers and rewards -Discerning whether something is a reinforcer -Figuring out your dog's individual reward cornucopia -Understanding rewards as currency -The changing value and appropriateness of rewards -"Real...


The Training Triad Part 1: Management

There are three major ingredients required in any positive reinforcement-based dog training plan. They are: Management, Timing, and Rewards. This episode is about Management, and is the first of a three part series on the Triad. Simply put, management is all about making the right options the easy options for your learner in order to up the chances of getting the behaviors you want. In this episode, Annie looks at the many ways in which we can set up our dog students for success by...


Let's talk about dog walking with DivaDog's Shelley Goldberg

In New York City, a good dog walker can be hard to find. Dog owners open up their homes to them, and put their most beloved and vulnerable family members in their care, but a majority of walkers have no training or even interest in their chosen career. DivaDog is a walking company that strives to bring professionalism to the industry. Annie interviews its owner, Shelley Goldberg, about her three decades in the business, her hiring and management practices, and finding meaning and soulfulness...


Let's talk about dog photography with Milla Chappell

This episode is all about Real Happy Dogs, the NYC-based photography business started by Milla Chappell, who is known for her photojournalistic approach to capturing the lives of dogs and their humans in situ. Milla tells Annie about growing up as the daughter (and granddaughter) of veterinarians, and how she went from getting graduate degrees in linguistics and English to becoming a wedding photographer, before eventually finding a way to marry her passion for animals, her interest in...


Ask Annie: Curtailing jumping and helping scaredy dogs

Annie answers questions from listeners dealing with jumpy dogs, and also addresses how to acclimate a nervous dog to all the stimuli she needs to interact with on a daily basis. Have a training question? Leave a voice message at or at 917-414-2625, or email You'll learn: -Why dogs want to jump & why most attempts to punish jumping don't work -How to use treats effectively on the street -How to have people approach your dog on the street (& how to tell...


What you need to know about the dog flu

In NYC in the last month there have been nearly 100 dogs diagnosed with the dog flu. To learn more, I interviewed Dr. Andrea Y. Tu of Park East Animal Hospital and Veterinary Behavior Consultations of NYC. H3N2 is believed to have originated in birds and was first detected in dogs in South Korea in 2007. It was identified in March 2015 in the Chicago area; it most likely spread from dogs rescued from South Korea and brought to the US for adoption. In this episode, Dr. Tu covers addresses...


Let's talk about dog parties with Hayley Meholco

Not long after throwing her own English Bulldog a princess-themed birthday party, Hayley Mehalco decided to leave her job as an event planner at one of New York's poshest hotels in order to become a full-time party planner for the canine set. In this episode, Annie learns about the ins and outs of Puppy Parties NYC, a business that caters to "dog Instagram socialites," and talks about her own former tendency to roll her eyes at such things. Annie also asks some larger questions about...


A modern dog owner's guide to nipping

Nipping is something that tends to drive new puppy owners batty. A lot of the advice you'll find on the Internet suggests scolding a pup for nipping; usually people are told they should use a high pitched voice (as if to emulate another puppy) or to berate the dog in the deepest voice possible. There are still lots of professionals out there who will advise that conversing with a puppy will curb the problem, if done in the right tone of voice. In this podcast episode, I suggest thinking...


Our Student Basket: Helping Geneticists Extend the Life of Purebred Dogs

School For The Dogs' clients Samantha Schwartz and Ben Ment wanted to find a mixed-breed Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, figuring that it'd be less prone to health issues than a purebred Bernese. When Samantha's email inquiries to breeders got posted to social media, she ended up being cyber bullied by hardcore breed enthusiasts/purists around the world. Samantha tells Annie about how this unexpected and bizarre turn of events led her and Ben to Basket, a puppy from the Bernese Mountain Dog...


Let's talk about Pavlov with dog trainer Anamarie Johnson

Anamarie Johnson has been with School For The Dogs for three years, and, in that time, has won us all over with her pep, humor, and training chops. In this episode, we discuss her background in rescue work, her childhood pets (fruit flies and incestuous cats), the wonders of classical conditioning and why squirrels at her college were painted orange and green. Show notes: Please make sure to subscribe & rate 5-stars on iTunes! Annie Grossman owns and operates...


Let's talk about veterinary house calls with Dr. Lisa Lippman

Dr. Lisa Lippman, a visiting vet in Manhattan, isn't just a knowledgeable medical professional: She is also a savvy business woman who is using the Internet to build her in-home practice. She and her comedian boyfriend Richie Redding, with whom co-hosts the Pets & Punchlines podcast, chat about the benefits (and occasional downsides) of having a vet come to your home, the "zoobiquity" movement, the 28-pound cat whose star turn that jumpstarted her practice, and more. Show notes:...


Let's talk about dogs in the workplace with Carly Strife of Bark

Annie interviews Carly Strife, COO and Co-founder of Bark, the company behind the incredibly successful BarkBox subscription service, which has earned more than half a million subscribers since it launched in 2012. Carly talks about the concept of turning dog toys into human entertainment, and she and Annie chat about the benefits and challenges involved in creating an office that caters equally to both people and pets. Show notes: 8 tips for training the...


Our Canine Cousins: On Behavior & Evolution

Humans and dogs have more in common than what initially meets the eyes. As non-extinct land dwelling mammals, we are both species that are in a special category that makes up 1/20th of 1/20th of 1 percent of all the species of animals who have ever lived. Annie attempts to look at the dog/human relationship from the long lens of the evolution of life on Earth, and helps us think about about what we can extrapolate about dog behavior based on what we know about ourselves. Show notes:...


Let's talk about dog food with Hanna Mandelbaum of Evermore

Annie interviews Brooklyn-based dog food entrepreneur (and sometimes trapeze artist) Hanna Mandelbaum on why it matters what we feed our dogs. Together, they consider some of the many choices, including dry vs. canned, frozen vs. fresh, and cooked vs. raw. Show Notes: Evermore Petfood: Facebook Group: School For The Dogs:...


A modern dog owner's guide to house training

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. If you have a question for Annie or want to request a guest,...


What is “Good” dog training?

There are lots of approaches to training dogs, but they’re not all equally “Good.” Annie breaks down common labels for the kind of training School For The Dogs promotes, including “positive reinforcement training,” “clicker training,” and “science-based training.” If you have a question for Annie or want to request a guest, join our Facebook Group at Show Notes: School...