205 episodes

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 training question? Visit AnnieGrossman.com/ask or leave a voicemail at 917-414-2625

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/dogs/support

School For The Dogs Podcast - Dog Training & Animal Behavior with Annie Grossman Annie Grossman

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.8 • 156 Ratings

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 training question? Visit AnnieGrossman.com/ask or leave a voicemail at 917-414-2625

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/dogs/support

    Happy Birthday Karen Pryor! Dr. Julie Vargas, daughter of B.F. Skinner, on the importance of this nonagenarian's work in the field of positive reinforcement-based animal training

    Happy Birthday Karen Pryor! Dr. Julie Vargas, daughter of B.F. Skinner, on the importance of this nonagenarian's work in the field of positive reinforcement-based animal training

    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 importance of this incredible scientist, writer and entrepreneur who, over the last thirty years, has done more than probably anyone else alive to help show people how we can use operant conditioning and secondary reinforcers to train dogs with rewards: aka, clicker training. 

    When her husband bought Sea Life Park in the 1960s, Pryor was tasked with training the dolphins to perform. She got her hands on a paper written by students who were working in BF Skinner's Harvard lab, and it outlined the basics of operant conditioning and how to use a secondary reinforcer, like a whistle, to pinpoint the moment a desired behavior occurred. It further described how to then use successive approximations to shape the behavior using reinforcement. She  took what she had learned about dolphins and wrote a book about about using positive reinforcement in everyday life: Don't Shoot The Dog!, then started doing seminars on how to use a clicker with dogs in the 1990s. In the 2000s, she started running Clicker Expo, a conference which brings the worlds best positive-reinforcement trainers together several times a year, and began training dog trainers through her Karen Pryor Academy. 

    Follow us on Instagram, @schoolforthedogs, where we are giving away her book Reaching The Animal Mind and a signed clicker this weekend. 

    Learn more about Dr. Vargas: 

    https://www.juliesvargas.com/

    Learn more about Karen Pryor:

    https://karenwpryor.com/biography/

    Learn more about the BF Skinner Foundation: 

    http://bfskinner.org

    Books: 

    Don't Shoot The Dog!

    https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Shoot-Dog-Teaching-Training/dp/1860542387

    Reaching The Animal Mind

    https://www.amazon.com/Reaching-Animal-Mind-Clicker-Training/dp/0743297776



     


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    • 26 min
    "We don't expect this sort of robotic, one way dictatorship in other relationships..." Meet Dogminded's Jenny Efimova, KPA CTP

    "We don't expect this sort of robotic, one way dictatorship in other relationships..." Meet Dogminded's Jenny Efimova, KPA CTP

    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 increasingly afraid to go out on walks in her neighborhood. The first professionals she worked with told her she was the issue: She wasn't “confident” enough with her puppy, and he thought he was the boss.  It didn't feel right to her, and the suggested methods didn't work. In fact, they felt like they were making matters worse. Then she started working with a trainer who explained how to use positive reinforcement in training, and it was a behavioral game changer for her and her dog Larkin. This led her to become a certified dog trainer herself, through the Karen Pryor Academy. Today she trains online and in Brookline, MA. She also runs an Instagram account @dogminded.

    Annie and Jenny discuss the challenges that come with cultural expectations of how both dogs and dog owners should behave. They confront the popular idea that if you are not a stern leader with your dog, you are spoiling them, and consider whether there has been any cultural shift in changing the conversation about what it means to be a compassionate dog owner. They also discuss how interspecies relationships and examining our expectations of our pets can help us learn to be more humane and compassionate in general.

    Learn more about Jenny at:

    https://www.dogminded.training/

    Follow Jenny on Instagram: @dogminded

    Follow School For The Dogs @schoolforthedogs 






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    • 50 min
    Live From New York, It's... Positive Reinforcement Dog Training! Saturday Night Live set designer Ken MacLeod on becoming a professional dog trainer

    Live From New York, It's... Positive Reinforcement Dog Training! Saturday Night Live set designer Ken MacLeod on becoming a professional dog trainer

    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 splits his time: Part of every month, he can be found building sets for SNL, and the rest of the time, he is training out of his Hoboken, NJ-based studio, My Positive Pup. He talks to Annie about getting certified,  the emotional nature of working with dog owners, behavior lessons learned learned on the ski slopes, and how the old saying "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar" can be true for both people and dogs.

    Learn more about My Positive Pup at https://mypositivepup.com/

    Learn more about L.E.G.S.® Applied Ethology Family Dog Mediation® Professional Course (thinkific.com) https://kimbropheylegscourses.thinkific.com/courses/legs-applied-ethology-family-dog-mediation-professional-course

    Learn more about the Karen Pryor Academy at https://karenpryoracademy.com/




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    • 46 min
    You can say "hi" to my dog, but DON'T BE A DICK ABOUT IT! How well-intentioned people make dogs anxious on the street (and how you can help them be better dog lovers)

    You can say "hi" to my dog, but DON'T BE A DICK ABOUT IT! How well-intentioned people make dogs anxious on the street (and how you can help them be better dog lovers)

    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 unintentionally) by strangers, or even their own owners, during interspecies greetings. 

    If people who love dogs so often make them uncomfortable without meaning to, is it fair to judge people by how they relate to their dogs? Maybe not. Annie reads aloud from an article that she wrote for the Boston Globe about how animal welfare is relative and not absolute. (Stay until the end for a rather shocking bit of trivia about a certain genocidal dictator).

    Episode includes a special Earth Day offer: a coupon code (good this weekend only) for 20% off the REVOL crate by Diggs. 

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    "Animal welfare is a matter of perspective" - Boston Globe article by Annie Grossman
    https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2012/05/12/animal-welfare-matter-perspective/svHGwYm1ySStcy71UsfDzI/story.html

    Related episodes

    Episode 29: A modern dog owner's guide to sidewalk leash greetings

    https://www.schoolforthedogs.com/podcasts/episode-29-a-modern-dog-owners-guide-to-sidewalk-leash-greetings/

    Episode 41 | New "Diggs" for your dog: Zel Crampton's dog crate revolution 

    https://www.schoolforthedogs.com/podcasts/episode-41-new-diggs-for-your-dog-zel-cramptons-dog-crate-revolution/

    ---
    Partial Transcript:

    Annie:

    So, something that drives me crazy is when I'm on the street training with Poppy, giving her treats, and someone else walks by with their dog, and their dog seems interested in saying hi, and I'm working keeping Poppy's focus on me. Not because she has a problem or because she's reactive, just because we're working.

    And then the other person who's just standing there with their dog says like, Oh, it's fine, my dog's friendly. As if what I'm doing has anything to do with whether or not their dog is friendly or not. And it's always frustrating to think about what to say in these situations. I usually say something like, Oh, we're just doing some training or, oh, my dog's friendly too.

    Today, I had a thought of what could be said in those situations. In French, there's a term called L’esprit de l’escalier, which is like, when you think of the perfect thing to say after something is over. I thought if someone says to me, Oh, it's okay, my dog is friendly. I could just turn around and say, oh yeah, well I’M NOT!

    Would probably make both them and their dog leave you alone.

    [music]

    Hello. Thank you for being here. I am Annie Grossman, owner and co-founder of School For The Dogs at East 7th street. You can sometimes find me there behind the desk. I curate our retail store, which is also online at storeforthedogs.com. If you don't know about School For The Dogs, check us out. We do so much great training, both in New York City and virtually.

    Full Transcript at SchoolForTheDogs.com/Podcast


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    • 22 min
    Bad vegans, coercion & canine immortality: What sociopaths can teach us about dog training

    Bad vegans, coercion & canine immortality: What sociopaths can teach us about dog training

    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 conditioning in order to get the behaviors they want from their victims. 

    While many of their techniques do not constitute “good” dog training, we can draw parallels between how they create positive associations in others to make themselves appear trustworthy. Can we do the same to build our dogs’ confidence? Also: Should we trust our pets to be good judges of character in potential partners? Annie offers her answer. 

    --- 

    Bad Vegan on Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/81470938 

    Inventing Anna on Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/81008305 

    Related Podcast Episodes: 

    Episode 84 | Sociopaths as dog trainers, Negative Reinforcement at NXIVM & how to train humans to wear masks 

    https://anchor.fm/dogs/episodes/Sociopaths-as-dog-trainers--Negative-Reinforcement-at-NXIVM--how-to-train-humans-to-wear-masks-ektcb7/a-a3gpaiv 

    Episode 104 | Dog training with Mary Poppins, Professor Harold Hill and Little Orphan Annie

    https://anchor.fm/dogs/episodes/Dog-training-with-Mary-Poppins--Professor-Harold-Hill-and-Little-Orphan-Annie-enm162

    Episode 123 | A conversation with Terra Newell (former groomer, owner of a mini Aussie) about killing her stepfather… and dogs 

    https://anchor.fm/dogs/episodes/A-conversation-with-Terra-Newell-former-groomer--owner-of-a-mini-Aussie-about-killing-her-stepfather----and-dogs-er34gv/a-a4oiink

    ---
    Partial Transcript:

    Annie:

    So I just watched the Netflix docu-series ‘Bad Vegan,’ which is about the downfall of a restaurant called Pure Food and Wine. And this story, I thought, well, this is a show I have to watch for a couple reasons. One, Pure Food and Wine is on my block. Like it's just around the corner from me. I could get there without crossing a street.

    And I never dined there very much or went to its outpost, which was called One Lucky Duck, because it was very expensive. And I always sort of thought one day when I make a lot more money, I will eat here all the time. But then it closed. They specialized in this really interesting and tasty, raw vegan food, like gourmet vegan food, but not just vegan, but uncooked. And the couple times I did go, it was pretty fabulous.

    I was also interested cause the story is specifically about the owner Sarma Melngailis. I actually interviewed her and her former business and romantic partner, Matthew Kenney, 15 or so years ago when I was writing about restaurants for the New York Post.

    Full Transcript at SchoolForTheDogs.com/Podcast


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    • 19 min
    Calm, confidence, love & joy: How Will + Jada Pinkett Smith helped create The Dog Whisperer

    Calm, confidence, love & joy: How Will + Jada Pinkett Smith helped create The Dog Whisperer

    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, aka The Dog Whisperer, was supposedly made famous in part early on because of his connection to a small handful of movie stars, among them, the Smiths. Annie unearths some old Red Table Talk recordings of The Dog Whisperer revealing his origin story to Jada and her mother,. She also reads from a 7-year-old Cesars Way blog post where Jada talks about how the dog training lessons she learned from Cesar has helped her marriage. 

    Cesar Millan on Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith and Gammy (Adrienne Banfield-Norris) in 2018

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=600331890366290&id=538649879867825&_rdr

    Cesar’s Way article from 2015: Jada Pinkett Smith Takes The Lead

    https://www.cesarsway.com/jada-pinkett-smith-takes-the-lead/

    ---
    Partial Transcript:

    Annie:

    Have you ever disliked a celebrity purely by proxy? I'm not telling you that there's a celebrity, I've maybe long disliked by association. I'm just asking you. Have you ever disliked a celebrity because of that celebrity's association with another celebrity? Where one of these celebrities might be in a completely different field than the other celebrity?

    Because there's this one celebrity who has been in the news a lot in the last week. And I don't think I need to tell you how I feel about this person. But I do wanna tell you that this person has probably had a larger impact on the field of dog training than one might realize, on dog training as it exists in the mainstream today. And I wanted to also maybe propose the argument that he has caused a lot more harm to dogs than he's ever caused to people, if only secondarily, if not also in practice. I don't know.

    Purely because this one person's celebrity helped create the celebrity we know as Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer. Now, if you've ever watched The Dog Whisperer, you probably would guess that someone who is an acolyte of Cesar Millan might be very forceful, might feel that they need to be the alpha, as they say, lead the pack, be the protector, be the leader and not take not take lip from anyone. And someone who might feel fine about using physical force, without considering the unintended consequences or fallout of using punishment, be it physical or otherwise, he'd be perhaps someone like Will Smith.

    Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith are long time friends of Cesar Millan’s. And their celebrity is part of what helped him reach such heights in popular culture. I started thinking about this and wanted to do an episode on this and started to look online. I knew that he had worked with Cesar. I mean, I knew that Cesar had worked with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's dog. So I thought maybe I could find clips of him giving the kind of advice that, were you'd apply it to humans, would lead you to slap people in the face.

    Sometimes Cesar Millan is so often talking about humans and the human behavior and energy, and how to be an alpha, and all these kinds of things that make me think of someone actually kind of like Will Smith. Someone who is charismatic and seems like they're beaming love and energy and confidence, but also fine using force.

    Full Transcript at SchoolForTheDogs.com/Podcast


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    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
156 Ratings

156 Ratings

Morganham ,

Honest and insightful

Listened to the latest episode on the Treat Clincher, an informational analysis of new dog product with a realistic look at its value proposition and whether it’s worth its price tag. Helpful commentary for dog owners on a product that could make their lives easier and their dogs’ lives more enriched. Thanks for the deep dive!

ugh202 ,

We get it; you don’t like Cesar Milan.

I love the content that’s actually about dogs, but there are so many episodes just devoted to hating on Cesar Milan. I don’t like the man or his methods either, but it just seems obsessive and it’s not interesting.

Haitee ,

Helpful and informative!

I love how this podcast touches on different topics related to positive reinforcement dog training! Great for all pet parents and pet professionals!

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