Help Bring Fun and Force-Free Dog Training Methods into Every NYC Home!
Two years ago, two Manhattan-based young women, Anna Jane Grossman, a journalist, and graphic designer Kate Senisi left their careers to become dog trainers. Together, they started School For The Dogs, a science-based dog training center run out of the converted living room of the floor-through apartment where Anna Jane was born raised. The school, which specialized in working with rescue dogs, quickly gained a following both citywide and internationally thanks to its efforts to make training fun, affordable and accessible. It's been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Guardian and was even the answer to a question on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.
On 12/29/13, an electrical fire originating in the wall of Anna Jane's apartment destroyed both her living space and the School For The Dogs teaching space.
They are now looking to rebuild in a new location. A bigger and better space will give School For The Dogs the chance to bring positive reinforcement-based dog training to a wider swath of New Yorkers in order to help people live more happily with dogs in small spaces, with the ultimate goal of working to keep dogs out of shelters.
Why NYC Needs School For The Dogs
- New York City is more densely populated with dogs than ever before, but there is little guidance out there for city dog owners looking to properly raise puppies, acclimate dogs to metropolitan life, and learn about some of the amazing things of which dogs are capable. Our new center will be the city’s first stand-alone school offering pet lovers the best information on canine behavior, and aid in finding training solutions that effective, affordable, fast and even fun.
- City dogs live in cramped spaces with humans who have demanding schedules. School For The Dogs’ new facility will be a welcoming place where we will provide structured guidance on how to give your dog the best possible enrichment during the time you can spend together. Using engaging toys and smart training, we will lead you to make your dog as happy and smart as possible, with the goal of reducing behavioral issues, improving health, and creating the best possible relationship between city-dwelling humans and canines.
- Currently, dog parks are the only place that humans and dogs can congregate together, without anyone being leashed up. But it's hard to control the population at a park, and the result is an environment that is not necessarily conducive to good canine play. What's more, dogs generally play one-on-one and may feel overwhelmed at a dog run. That is why we will be offering custom dog playdates, where dogs can be paired with pals in a controlled, safe environment with trainer supervision.
What We Need & What You Get
School For The Dogs is looking to raise money to put down a security deposit (four months of rent) on a new training space, and outfit it with dog training supplies. We are currently scouting a variety of spaces in downtown Manhattan. The ideal space will have an open layout (a minimum of 600 square feet) and will be bright and airy. The goal is to create a comfortable space where people will be excited to spend time with their dogs in order to facilitate optimal learning for both humans and canines.
To Thank Donors We're Offering Perks Including:Original limited edition prints of art created by their spokesdog Amos, done using his nose on an iPad (The Daily Mail compared him Picasso)
Lessons at our new studio, during which we will teach you anything from getting your dog to create his own iPad art to instilling a really good “heel.”
Pet portrait photography by Leila Grossman of Grannis Photography
Treat Pouches from Etsy’s Give A Dog A Home
A "Snood" dog hat from Etsy's shop Courtanai
Cases of Evermore Dog Food
And Dog Selfies!
"Annie and Kate took the time to explain general dog training concepts, how to use a clicker, and the research behind how positive reinforcement shapes a dog behavior. This knowledge is key because it helped us realized how everything, even the tiniest leaf that you let him chase on the sidewalk, plays a role in shaping his behavior and habits. It really gave us perspective on what 'dog training' even meant. Weeks later, we have a well-adjusted city pup who rides the subway with us to work, sits for food and walks, and calmly lets us wipe his paws, ears and tush when he comes home at night. We've even used the basic training patterns we learned to teach him tricks on our own. I cannot recommend School For The Dogs enough." - Tina
"My boyfriend and I adopted Sparkie, a three year old Yellow Lab/Shiba Inu mix, from a shelter and had our orientation with Kate a week after. Kate, having worked extensively with dogs in and from shelters, suggested we let him settle in for a month (amongst a lot more advice before we even signed up) and then begin training. In that month we learned what behaviors we wanted to train him for and Annie did an amazing job when we started doing the training. Our little guy will now sit, stay, and comes on command, will pay attention when we say his name, maintain eye contact when necessary to stabilize him from distraction, and walk by our sides with a loose leash rather than zig zagging all over the street.” - Chris
“The best part about these training methods is that I never feel like I’m breaking my dogs’ spirits. Using positive, force free techniques means my dogs’ personalities continue to shine through while my husband and I are able to get the behaviors we want. Kate taught us to read our dogs’ body language, and as a result, our dogs are more confident with us because they know we’re going to be able to understand what they need from us.” - Emilee
“Apple was afraid to go out on the porch, afraid of the broom, the vacuum, you name it, Apple feared it. Now Apple can’t wait to go on the porch and watch everything around her. She goes down the front steps and does not pull. Apple for some reason was frightened by something on the TV and would not come in the living room. Our last lesson with Annie, she worked with Apple and I followed up and 2 weeks later Apple is back in the living room laying on the chairs and on the sofa, watching TV with me. Thanks so much, WE LOVE YOU!” - Maria
And now, some gratuitous puppy videos: