Help NYC's School For The Dogs Rebuild

An innovative dog training center in Manhattan suffered a devastating electrical fire on 12/29/13 and is now looking to rebuild.
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Anna Jane Grossman
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Small Business
NY, New York
United States
2 Team Members

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.”

Custom drawings of pets by Robert Grossman and Lili Chin

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!


What Our Clients Are Saying

"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: 




Find This Campaign On
$20,095USD
raised by 204 people in 1 month
100% funded
No time left
$20,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 30, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    Cute Puppy Email

    Every little bit helps! To thank you for your show of support, we will email you a personal thank you that will contain a very cute picture of a puppy.

    10 out of 3000 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $5USD
    Receive a Selfie From A Dog

    One of our pupils will take their own photo on an iPad or iPhone and will send it to you (or to someone else if you'd prefer -- just give us their email address).

    8 out of 200 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $10USD
    Reward-Based Dog Training 101

    You will receive School For The Dog' one page intro to using reward based dog training. We condense all the important stuff down to the essential stuff any dog owner can use to quickly see differences in a dog's behavior.

    6 out of 6 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $20USD
    Your Pet's Photo On Facebook

    We love putting cute dog photos on our social media pages! To thank you for your support, we will feature your dog on our Facebook page with his or her name and a little information about your special furry buddy.

    24 out of 40 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $20USD
    A Classical Music CD For Dogs

    We are almost always playing CDs from the Through A Dog's Ear collection in our puppy classes. Developed to be "psycho acoustically" helpful to dogs, we have seen first hand that these simplified arrangements of classical music can soothe some dogs. Actually, we've found they calm us down as well! Through A Dog's Ear is the brainchild of Lisa Spector, who has arranged to donate us a few CDs. Thanks, Lisa! (See more at http://throughadogsear.com/)

    2 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $40USD
    Handmade Dog "Snood" Hat

    Transform your dog into a teddy bear with a crochet bear "snood" from the Etsy shop http://www.courtanai.etsy.com.

    1 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $50USD
    iPad Art Created By A Dog

    Our school Spokesdog, Amos, creates drawings on the iPad using his nose. A lucky handful of donators will receive a numbered full color giclee print of one of his muttsterpieces.

    8 out of 40 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $75USD
    iDog Class at Our NYC Studio

    Teach your dog to use an iPad or iPhone in one of our internationally-acclaimed 90-minute classes on how to use touch-screen devices to train dogs. These small classes will be held at our new studio.

    1 out of 4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $75USD
    Pet Resume

    Putting in an application on a new apartment? Looking for a gift for the pet owner who has everything? Have a dog applying to college? Perhaps your pooch could use a resume. Cathy Klein of http://PetResumes.net is donating her adorable "resumes," which will show off (and consecrate) your pet's best qualities.

    0 out of 3 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $80USD
    "Doggie Language" Poster

    We love Lili Chin's 15"x24" poster of how to interpret dog body language, starring her Boston Terrier, Boogie. Both an education guide to reading postures and just a super cute piece of art. (Check out more of Lili's work at http://doggiedrawings.net).

    3 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $80USD
    Custom Crayon Dog Sculpture

    Artist Hoan Tran of the Etsy shop Wax Nostalgic Carved Crayons (https://www.etsy.com/shop/CarvedCrayons) will render your pet out of the tip of a crayon. Amazing! These tiny sculptures must be seen to be believed.

    1 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $90USD
    90-minutes of Dog Training

    We are offering a limited number of discounted one-on-one 90-minute introductory dog training sessions to new clients, to be held at our new studio in downtown Manhattan. These may be taken in the form of a credit to give as a gift. Lesson will be an opportunity for dog owners to address problem behaviors or get some fun tips on how to play with your dog in an engaging, educational way.

    0 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $90USD
    Hudson Whiskey (Signed!)

    Did you know that unaged whiskey is known as known as "white dog?" Tuthilltown Spirits, New York finest distillery, is donating a limited number of their Hudson unaged corn "white dog" whiskey. These bottles will be signed by the distiller, my stepdad Ralph Erenzo. The bottles cannot be shipped; they will be available for pickup at our new studio in Manhattan!

    5 out of 6 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $100USD
    Treat Pouch & Dog iPad Art

    You'll get a giclee print of iPad created by Amos-The-Yorkie-Poo (same as perk at $50 level) and also our favorite bait bag, handmade by Mimi of the Etsy shop GiveADogAHome. These sturdy belted bags have several extra pockets. They're a great blend of form and function-- practical and pretty!

    5 out of 6 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $100USD
    Evermore Food

    You'll get eight 16-oz boxes of our preferred dog food, Evermore. This stuff is so healthy and delicious that its creators (our pals Hanna Mandelbaum and Alison Weiner) ate it themselves for a month. The case will be shipped to your door (continental US only).

    3 out of 3 claimed
  • $120USD
    Video Chat Training Session

    For dog and dog owners living outside of NYC, we will conduct a one-hour training session held via Google Hangouts, Skype, Facetime or phone. These sessions may address behavioral issues, provide information on what to look for when adopting or buying a puppy, give a solid introduction on welcoming a new dog into your home, or may be an opportunity to develop some advanced training skills.

    5 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $250USD
    Portrait By Lili Chin

    Lili Chin, an artist who specializes in drawings of dogs, is graciously donating a portrait of your pet. This 8.5"x11" drawing will be shipped to you, and will be suitable for framing, idolizing, posting on Facebook, etc. (Check out more of Lili's work at http://doggiedrawings.net).

    3 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $300USD
    Caricature By Robert Grossman

    My dad, Robert Grossman, is an illustrator whose work has appeared in thousands of magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and The Nation. Pops has offered to do a limited number of 5"x7" pen-and-ink drawings of donors and their pets. Thanks dad! (Check out more of his work at http://robertgrossman.com).

    10 out of 13 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $500USD
    Small Custom Pet Portrait

    A portrait sitting and 11"x14" mounted print of your pet (or pets) by Grannis Photography's Leila Grossman. Leila (my sister!) will be holding several sitting times in 2014 in both Nashville and New York City.

    4 out of 10 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $500USD
    Lego Dog Sculpture

    Have Gawker's Jesus Diaz do a custom LEGO sculpture of your pet in miniature. The sculpture will have fully movable arms and legs. Check out a sample of SFTD's spokesdog, Amos at http://bit.ly/LEGODOG

    1 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $750USD
    Medium Custom Pet Portrait

    A portrait sitting and 16"x20" canvas print of your pet (or pets) by Grannis Photography's Leila Grossman. Leila (my sister!) will be holding several sitting times in 2014 in both Nashville and New York City.

    0 out of 10 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    Large Custom Pet Portrait

    A portrait sitting and 20"x20" aluminized print of your pet (or pets) by Grannis Photography's Leila Grossman. Leila (my sister!) will be holding several sitting times in 2014 in both Nashville and New York City.

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $1,000USD
    Dave Willardson Pluto Painting

    Dave Willardson, a longtime family friend, is the illustrator who did the movie posters for dozens of Disney movies, including Beauty & The Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin. Today he creates what he calls "Pep Art" of Disney characters. He has donated a "Pep" version of Pluto. This 11"x14" original painting is one of 13 paintings in his "Fetch" series, and normally sells for $2000+. The image can be seen at http://bit.ly/PLUTODOG

    1 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
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