School For The Dogs Podcast-logo

School For The Dogs Podcast

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:

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:
More Information


United States


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


A modern dog owner's guide to sidewalk leash greetings

As much as we want our dogs to be social beings, the sad fact is that city streets are not an ideal place for leashed dogs to socialize. The close confines of the sidewalk can keep dogs from having enough space to greet each other properly, and leashes too often can become uncomfortably taught, leading a dog to think that even just the sight of another dog predicts yanking and choking. This episode addresses: -Avoiding other dogs on the street -Using the presence of other dogs on leash as a...


Let’s talk about the future of dog food with The Farmer's Dog's Brett Podolsky

When Brett Podolsky's dog was chronically unwell, he had an idea: What if he bought the same ingredients listed and in the commercial brand he was feeding her, and made her fresh food? The change in her health was drastic, and led to Brett, who was then working as a comedian, convincing his best friend, Jonathan Regev, to start a subscription-based high-end dog food company with him. Now three years old, their Brooklyn-based company, The Farmer's Dog, has secured some ten million dollars in...


Katie Sturino, mom to @ToastMeetsWorld, on Instadog stardom

Katie Sturino is many things: A publicist, an influencer, a fashion blogger, a product developer and more. You might know her from The12ishStyle, the blog and Instagram account where she suggests celeb-worthy looks that can be worm by larger ladies who identify as "body positive" or "body neutral." She also has a product line, MegaBabe, which tackles problems like boob sweat. But all of her successes have sprung from her passion for being a "dogager" or "momager" to a brood of dogs who've...


Teach a foolproof DROP and COME using Classical Conditioning

There are two types of conditioning we use in dog training: Operant (aka learning by consequence, or "Skinnerian Conditioning") and Classical (aka learning by association, or "Pavlovian Conditioning"). When we teach new behaviors, we tend to focus on Operant Conditioning. In this episode, Annie talks about the differences between these two kinds of teaching/learning, and reveals how, in many cases, Classical Conditioning can produce very reliable behaviors with little effort. Notes:...


A Better Mousetrap: Building the perfect bully stick holder

If you have a dog, you've likely encountered bully stick chews. They're great for keeping dogs occupied, but there is always the risk of swallowing them, especially when they get chewed down to their ends. Several products have recently hit the market, each of which tries to solve this problem in a novel way by sheathing, clamping, or holding the chews in such a way to make it impossible (ideally) for a dog to choke on them. Annie surveys some of these products, and interviews the inventor...


Let’s talk about in-home dog grooming with Ani Corless

Ani Corless is a dog groomer and the owner of the NYC-based business Luxury Groomer. Unlike most groomers, Ani goes into her clients' homes to groom their dogs. Annie and she discuss her path to becoming a groomer, some common mistakes that well-intentioned dog owners make when grooming their own dogs, and the various ways that in-home grooming can benefit dogs, dog owners, and groomers alike. Learn more about Ani at Annie and Ani discuss the annual "Creative Grooming"...


Ask Annie: Navigating dog runs and managing elevator manners

In this Q+A episode, Annie discusses how to deal with dogs in elevators, and how to navigate dog parks. She also talks about what to do if your dog gets off leash, and how to help a dog who attacks her brother whenever they pass another dog. Have a question for a future episode? Visit Show notes: Products: Fleece Activity Mat: Wall-Mounted Slow Feeder:...


Let’s talk about SFTD's origins with co-founder Kate Senisi

In 2011, Annie Grossman and Kate Senisi were both trying to figure out how to make a business out of dog training. They met through the Association for Professional Dog Trainers' message board, and discovered they lived a block away from one another in Manhattan. They also discovered they had complementary talents: Kate had an eye for detail, a background in graphic design, a head for organization, and a passion for dealing with aggressive dogs; Annie had an entrepreneurial spirit, writing...


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 covers: -The downsides of "luring" a behavior or "molding" it -The trap of trying to teach a behavior by asking for it repeatedly -The difference between a "cue" and a "command" -How to add a cue -The never-ending process of "shaping" a behavior -How to fade a lure and turn it...


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've set the stage to up the chances that you'll get lots of behaviors you want (see The Dog Training Triad Part 1), you'll need to figure out how to reinforce those behaviors. In this episode, Annie discusses: -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 life" rewards -The importance of...


The Dog 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 addresses the...


Let's talk about dog parties with Hayley Mehalco

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 modern...


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...