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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: schoolforthedogs.com/podcast Have a dog or puppy ...
 
The objective of the Great Pets Radio is to provide listeners a forum which addresses the health and behavior of their companion animal friends. Many, if not all, issues that pet owners face each day are of a medical or behavioral nature. With Brian's experience of training over 35,000 dogs and Dr. Jim's knowledge of Veterinary Medicine, callers are treated with informative, compassionate and unparalleled advice. Great Pets Radio also focuses on pet related current events. It's one thing to ...
 
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show series
 
Matthew talks with Kate Laskowski about a recently published update to her work on the development of individuality in genetically identical organisms. If you missed the original episode, be sure to go check up Season 2 Episode 8! Read the paper here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-34113-y…
 
In this episode, Amy speaks with guest Zuleyma Tang-Martinez, emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of Missouri - St. Louis. They open by discussing the social function of individual odors and the potential factors driving the evolution of individual recognition systems in animals. Then, they chat about work by Zuleyma (and others) challe…
 
In this episode, Amy speaks with guest Andy Sih, a Distinguished ​​Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis. They open by discussing the concept of animal personalities (a.k.a 'behavioral syndromes' or 'consistent individual differences in behavior'). T…
 
SFTD Podcast is still on hiatus, but Annie is popped on to say "Hi" and tell a quick story about her daughter. Join Annie in the Online Campus! --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/dogs/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/dogs/support
 
In this episode, Matthew speaks with guest Kate Laskowski (@KateLaskowski), an Assistant Professor in the Department of Evolution, and Ecology at the University of California, Davis They discuss what it means for animals to display individuality, how frequent individual repeatable differences are, and Kate's work in Amazon mollies that attempts to …
 
In this episode, Amy speaks with guest Gerry Carter (@gerrygcarter), an Assistant Professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at The Ohio State University. They open by discussing cooperation and conflict in animal social structures. Then, they dig into variation in individual food-sharing relationships in bats, and th…
 
Annie was recently browsing her local dog Facebook group, when she came across a post by a woman named Michaelle who was reaching out for training help with her reactive foster dog. Several of the replies recommended a trainer in the area who was not professionally certified, and Michaelle posted that she had decided to work with. When Annie, perha…
 
Texas-based trainer Beth Berkobien has a master's degree in animal behavior, specializes in dog aggression, and offers virtual training sessions internationally. She was raised on a farm with field-trial Labradors and grew up around punishment-based dog training using aversives. After being encouraged by a trainer to use an e-collar on her dog that…
 
In this episode, Amy speaks with guest Karen Warkentin, a Professor of Biology and a Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Boston University. They open by discussing the adaptive value of phenotypic plasticity, particularly at critical moments in complex life cycles. Then, they dig into the mechanisms underlying environmentally-cued …
 
Anamarie Johnson, a former School For The Dogs trainer and current PhD candidate in Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology at Arizona State University, returns to the podcast to discuss her research on language used by dog trainers on their websites. In addition to discussing some of her findings (like what it means when a trainer talks…
 
Hang out with any Positive Reinforcement dog trainer and they're bound to have a shirt in their wardrobe from the online store Woof Cultr: An apparel company that has a very niche market: Force-free trainers. Woof Cultr is the brainchild of Mandy Boutelle, who originally left a career as a hairstylist to become a certified dog walker in San Francis…
 
In this episode, Amy speaks with guest Nora H. Prior (@NhPrior), a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Psychology at Cornell University. They open by discussing the many types of social relationships that animals experience throughout their lives, and the impact that these diverse social interactions may have on the involved individuals.…
 
Sara Caron had a leash-reactive dog, and as she started to research a quick fix for the problem, she threw out a wide net and tried lots of things. With guidance from this podcast, she began to see a way of dog training that made sense to her. When felt she had reached a plateau in her own solo study of animal behavior, she enrolled in the School F…
 
Leeyah Wiseman is a recent graduate of School For The Dogs Professional Course. If you follow us on TikTok or Instagram, you probably know her from the videos she does for SFTD. While she never thought of herself as a "dog person," she ended up adopting a puppy, George, and falling in love with him. But then she realized she had an issue on her han…
 
In this episode, Matthew speaks with Jesse Goldberg (@jesseGlab), Associate Professor and Robert R. Capranica Fellow in the neurobiology and behavior department at Cornell University. They first cover Jesse's perspectives on some basics of neurobiology-- what he identifies as a brain's function and the brain's role in creating predictions and contr…
 
The term "misfit" originally referred to people who were considered to be not great fit for their surroundings -- an ill fit. I miss fit. At School For The Dogs, we see it as our goal to help dogs -- whenever possible -- exist comfortably in an environment that may not be the best fit for them. New York City certainly isn't the best fit for many in…
 
Everyone is impressed by a dog whose eyes meets a human's gaze with magnet-like intensity on cue. Teaching a dog to "touch" his or her eyes to your eyes is a great exercise to practice no matter what the pooch's training level is. When teaching this attention-based behavior to a dog-- whether you use a word such as "Look" or the dog's name -- Annie…
 
In this episode, Matthew speaks with Swanne Gordon (@Swanne Gordon), Assistant Professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. They talk about diversity in both nature and in the biological sciences. The research focus of the conversation focuses on Swanne's experimental and modeling work to understand polymorphism among aposematic wood…
 
Elise Mac Adam and Annie first met in 2002 when Annie wrote up Elise's engagement announcement for her column in The New York Observer. Both of them were terrier lovers, writers, and native Manhattanites: They became fast friends. When Annie and Kate first started School For The Dogs in 2011 and running classes out of Annie's Manhattan living room,…
 
Jessica Maddox, an assistant professor of digital media at the University of Alabama, is the author of the forthcoming book The Internet Is For Cats: How Animal Images Shape Our Digital Lives. Her research has largely involved looking at how people share and consume photos of animals on the Internet. She and Annie discuss a variety of topics relati…
 
In this episode, Matthew speaks with Tamra Mendelson (@tamram), Professor of Biological Sciences at UMBC. They talk about Tamra's work studying sexual signal evolution. They discuss the processing bias hypothesis, with a focus on the importance of the ease of processing a signal on the receivers preference for signals. They talk about evidence that…
 
Karen Pryor turns ninety on May 14th! Annie is celebrating today and... plotting continued celebrations on this podcast in the coming year. If you're a Karen Pryor fan, join the celebration! If you're not, you'll enjoy learning why she is so worthy of it. In this episode, Annie interviews BF Skinner Foundation president Dr. Julie Vargas, about the …
 
Before she became a dog trainer, Jenny Efimova was working human trauma survivors for a living. Her job involved being empathetic and meeting people where they were. It wasn't immediately obvious to her that a lot of the lessons she'd learned at work could be applied to someone in her home who was suffering: Her dog. Her young rescue, Larkin, was i…
 
In this episode, Matthew speaks with Jenn Smith (@JennSmithSocBeh), associate professor of biology at Mills College. They talk about Jenn's work directing a long-term study of the social behavior of California ground squirrels, including the opportunities and risks presented by remote data collection technologies. They also discuss Jenn's work conn…
 
In his work as a set designer, Saturday Night Life staffer Ken MacLeod had seen many well-trained dogs, and had even done commercial work with his own Jack Russell, Mac. But then he got a dog named Scooter and he realized that every dog has different needs. This realization led him to decide he wanted to become a certified dog trainer. Today, he sp…
 
Oftentimes, the toughest thing about training dogs is dealing with people. Strangers out in public, however well-intentioned, can be major obstacles to a fruitful training session, further complicating things in what is most likely already a high-pressure environment for your dog. Annie feels for dogs who are basically bullied (often unintentionall…
 
The Netflix docu-series Bad Vegan is about the owner of a raw food restaurant (which happened to be located on Annie's street) who was conned out of millions of dollars by a narcissistic sociopath who claimed he could make her dog immortal. The story leads Annie to think aloud about how genius manipulators use coercion, punishment and classical con…
 
Did you know that The Dog Whisperer and Jada Pinkett Smiths are longtime best friends? Two weeks ago, Will Smith calmly and confidently sauntered up on to the stage of the Oscars and slapped someone who said something he didn't like. His vibe and techniques struck Annie as a bit Dog Whisper-y. Maybe that's because she was aware that Cesar Millan, a…
 
Annie interviews Katya Lidsky, a writer, podcaster and frequent dog fosterer who lives in Austin, TX. She recently started a podcast called The Animal That Changed You, and interviewed Annie about an animal that changed her (head over and check out the episode! https://www.katyalidsky.com/podcast). Katya, who refers to herself as a "soft core" anim…
 
Annie recently received an email from a producer who had a request: Were there any School For The Dogs students who were big men with tiny dogs? Or people who had big dogs who wouldn't mind their dogs being humorously mocked on Youtube? The request came via Douglas Widick, a Brooklynite who had recently brought his young Scottie, Skye, in for playt…
 
High-fat diets are popular right now in the human realm, but should your dog be "low carb" too? Annie speaks to Daniel Schulof, who left a career in law in order to help combat the canine obesity epidemic by getting people to stop feeding their dog food that is high in carbohydrates. He is the author of Dogs, Dog Food, and Dogma, and founder of a n…
 
Every day, School For The Dogs trainers meet one-on-one with puppy owners in private sessions designed to help pave a path of success for all the species in that unique, particular household. Annie attempts to take an unbiased peak at what happens in these sessions by cold calling two clients who recently attended private ninety-minute sessions wit…
 
Susan Mravca is an entrepreneur with a mission: To help people spend more time with their dogs, without their dogs bothering them. Bully sticks, she found, are great at keeping a dog occupied, but she didn’t like having to hold her dog’s chews in place in order to keep her from burying it or swallowing it. She decided to try to design something tha…
 
In celebration of School For The Dogs' recent ten year anniversary, this podcast's fourth anniversary, and Annie's birthday last week, she shares two gems for anyone who loves dogs and loves reading, or writing, about them. One is an obituary for Finn, a Manhattan-based dog who died last month. He belonged to Dr. Alexandra Horowitz of Barnard's Dog…
 
In 2014, Meredith Witte decided she needed a Border Collie. The fact that she lived in a studio apartment in Manhattan did not deter it. But how was she going to train a puppy? The day the dog arrived, she called Annie. At the end of their first training session, Meredith was in tears. But they were good tears! Fast forward eight odd years: Meredit…
 
***February 2022 Special: New to School For The Dogs? Book a free virtual consult with a trainer at http://schoolforthedogs.com/freeconsult*** This episode is a rebroadcast. It first aired on May 15, 2020. There is one behavior we teach every dog we work with at School For The Dogs: Touch! This is an easy-to-teach building block that you can use to…
 
Someone in a dog-related Facebook Group reported being bitten by a dog in School For The Dogs' neighborhood. The person wanted the dog owner to pay his medical bills -- this seemed, to Annie, to be reasonable. But then a client reached out to Annie, upset about the rancor in the comments section. It seemed like an angry mob was forming to lobby tha…
 
When Ionelee Brogna decided to bring a Miniature Schnauzer puppy into her NYC apartment a couple of years ago, she knew she didn't want to employ the punishment-based or "balanced" methods that her family had used on their dog back in rural Massachusetts. But she wasn't sure what other options there were. Her research led her to... this podcast! An…
 
James Joyce said that Catholicism means "Here comes everybody." But does "everybody" mean our Yorkiepoos, too? Earlier this month, Pope Francis made the remark that "many, many couples do not have children because they do not want to, or they have just one – but they have two dogs, two cats… Yes, dogs and cats take the place of children [...] And t…
 
Dog parks aren't appropriate for every dog, and urban dog parks have their own unique challenges--a revolving population and small foot prints, to name a few. If Annie had her way, all dogs parks would have life guards! She gives some reasons why you might think twice before bringing just any dog to any dog park. If you've decided the dog park migh…
 
Introducing a new series: Best Pet Ever! Wherein Annie talks to interesting people about their interesting pets. Inspired by Betty White's 1970s show, The Pet Set, Annie interviews one of her closest friends, Jessica Vitkus. Jessica is an East-Village based writer and TV producer — she was Annie's boss ten years ago on the Animal Planet show, Too C…
 
School For The Dogs' Behavior Therapy Trainer Jen Nastanski came to work at our New York-based facility after two decades of working with dogs at professional and competitive levels. She tells Annie about getting trained to be a trainer at PetSmart, getting involved in competitive Obedience using positive-reinforcement-based techniques, teaching (a…
 
While doing the NYC's annual workplace Sexual Harassment Prevention course, Annie noted that people are being told to assume that many things other than the word "No" may mean "No." This might be a good thing, but it's also potentially confusing! In the world of dogs, she's seen how the word "No" can also be a confusing concept, as it is frequently…
 
Spencer Williams, the founder and CEO of Bozeman, Montana-based company West Paw, grew up on a working ranch where the dogs slept outside, worked hard, and, when they played, they did so with sticks. And... they were happy! Some twenty-odd years ago, he decided he wanted to help modern non-working dogs be that happy too, and wanted to do so in a wa…
 
A School For The Dogs Instagram Reel that was meant to help dog owners understand how to tell if a trainer is a "positive reinforcement" trainer or not resulted in a battle in the comments section about what kind of dog training methods are best. Annie considers how the very title of "positive reinforcement dog trainer" is problematic, and talks ab…
 
Earlier this week, TikTok user @becs.richards posted a video of herself chasing her cat around her house while holding her Christmas tree like a bayonet; in the text that goes with the video, she explains that she saw a TikTok explaining that if you traumatize your cat with your Christmas tree before you put it up, the cat will leave the tree alone…
 
It costs a lot to run a small business in New York City, which can be a conundrum for a mission-driven business like School For The Dogs. Annie talks about some of the ways that she and Kate have worked to offer services and goods at prices that can make "Good Dog Training" accessible to everyone, and what it means to "shop small" in a world when t…
 
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 …
 
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 d…
 
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