How To Train Your Dog With Love And Science - Dog Training with Annie Grossman, School For The Dogs-logo

How To Train Your Dog With Love And Science - Dog Training with Annie Grossman, School For The Dogs

Anchor FM

Journalist-turned-dog trainer Annie Grossman, owner of NYC-based dog training center School For The Dogs and author of How To Train Your Dog With Love & Science (Sourcebooks, 6/2024), is obsessed with positive reinforcement dog training and thinks you should be, too. This podcast will help dog owners 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 at (Formerly known as School For The Dogs Podcast)


United States


Anchor FM


Journalist-turned-dog trainer Annie Grossman, owner of NYC-based dog training center School For The Dogs and author of How To Train Your Dog With Love & Science (Sourcebooks, 6/2024), is obsessed with positive reinforcement dog training and thinks you should be, too. This podcast will help dog owners 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 at (Formerly known as School For The Dogs Podcast)




(212) 353-3647


Gray Areas: Thoughtful conversations about "balance" at a time when punishment has become a spectacle. Plus: the"mice" of at an R+ Floridian utopia

Annie reads a post from Denise Fenzi's page that sparked some interesting comments on labels in the world of dog training. Some dog trainers are considerate about the use of some punishment in training and others work to avoid it at all costs. And then there are trainers who simply don't know what they're doing at all. Like... Dog Daddy. He calls himself "balanced" but no educated pro trainer would give him that label. Maybe the real problem is that to non-professionals, what this Insta-celeb doing is all they know about dog training. TOPICS DISCUSSED: - Frustrations with the dog training industry - Divide between different training methods - The problem of most people's lack of understanding of dog body language - The weirdness of a spectacle-like approach to dog training - Importance of focusing on the dog's well-being - Potential for more animal training entertainment that actually shows off the magic of positive reinforcements KEY TAKEAWAYS: - Dog training should focus on the well-being and training effectiveness of dogs rather than creating a spectacle. - Understanding dog body language is crucial for preventing dog bites and improving communication with dogs. - The divide between different training methods should be approached with open dialogue and growth in mind. - Strength-based training can be effective in both academic and dog training settings. - The well-being and safety of dogs and the public should be the priority in dog training. REFERENCES: - Denise Fenzi's Facebook page: GIVEAWAY: This month's giveaway: Dog Listener hat. Enter to win at Get your own hat ⁠Dog Daddy, Part 1: The face of modern "bad" dog training⁠ ⁠Dog Daddy, Part 2: Zak George calls out animal abuse masquerading as dog training⁠ ⁠Annie sees Dog Daddy live. Also: Get to know Erin Whelan (2020 episode rebroadcast)⁠


Petitions, boycotts, and dog-abuse defenders: An Instagram Live with Zak George

Today I caught up with Zak George to hear the latest about his public feud with Dog Daddy. See Dog Daddy's petition against Zak George at Dog Daddy, Part 1: The face of modern "bad" dog training Dog Daddy, Part 2: Zak George calls out animal abuse masquerading as dog training Annie sees Dog Daddy live. Also: Get to know Erin Whelan (2020 episode rebroadcast)


Annie sees Dog Daddy live. Also: Get to know Erin Whelan (2020 episode rebroadcast)

Annie went to see Dog Daddy live in New Jersey this weekend and reports back about the odd experience of being in a room where what looked to her like animal abuse seemed didn't seem to bother anyone else. The episode then includes a rebroadcast of a 2020 interview Annie did with School For The Dogs trainer Erin Whelan. Erin was a professional French Horn Player. Then she adopted a beagle mix named Oliver and enrolled him in Puppy Kindergarten at School For The Dogs. Then she did the School For The Dogs Professional Program. Now, she is a trainer and manager at School For The Dogs. She and Annie discuss switching careers, what it means to teach dogs virtually, human body language, and training as a kind of benevolent con game -- not like Dog Daddy's con! Dog Daddy Part 1 -- all about DD Dog Daddy Part 2 -- a conversation w/ Zak George Enter November Giveaway at Apply to the SFTD Professional course at Sign up to hear about upcoming sales ate Get a Mendota leash that doesn't say "Tie Me Up Daddy" at


Dog Daddy, Part 2: Zak George calls out animal abuse masquerading as dog training

Zak George, one of the most influential dog trainers of the 21st century, has been using his large virtual platform to bring attention to the problematic methods being used by the Internet-famous dog trainer known as Dog Daddy. Zak and Annie discuss the origins of this work, his efforts to get his followers to picket Dog Daddy's events, and more. Annie also talks about why the conversation about whether or not it is advisable to use force in dog training feels especially important right now. Find Zak George on Instagram or Youtube: November giveaway: Enter to win a Hot Dog Trainer mug at Listen to previous episodes about Dog Daddy: The SFTD origin story in "How We Got By" (Plus: Enter to win a "Hot Dog Trainer" Mug) Dog Daddy, Part 1: The face of modern "bad" dog training Karen Pryor's daughter Gale's article about her mother's dementia My scientist mother has recorded how dementia affects her brain Annie is on Instagram at @annie.grossman Like this podcast? Subscribe! Rate! Woof!


The SFTD origin story in "How We Got By" (Plus: Enter to win a "Hot Dog Trainer" Mug)

Annie reads from How We Got By, a new book by Shaina Feinberg & Julia Rothman which includes a chapter about how School For The Dogs got started. She also gives an update on the bizarre/sad Dog Daddy world tour, and shares how excited she got when she first read about a man being called "the hot dog trainer." Who was the handsome fella? November giveaway: Enter to win a "Hot Dog Trainer" mug this month at Apply to the SFTD Professional Course through Nov. 30th. Get How We Got By on Amazon: Hot Dog Train Instagram: @annie.grossman @schoolforthedogs


Why you (maybe) shouldn’t dress up your dog for Halloween (Replay 2021 episode)

Annie talks about why she is generally against costumes for dogs and suggests some alternatives to dressing up your dog on Halloween. She also discusses some feedback she got about last week’s episode, which featured an interview with the lawyer representing the woman who was mauled by Cesar Millan’s dog. Lastly, she shares two anecdotes: one about how she is using a Buy Nothing group on Facebook to get neighbors to help her train her dog (unbeknownst to them) and the other about how her attempt to use negative reinforcement to get her daughter to brush her teeth ultimately back fired (in a sort of hilarious way). Like this episode? Leave a review on iTunes! Follow us on Instagram: @schoolforthedogs @annie.grossman Episode with the lawyer suing Cesar Milan:


Dog Daddy, Part 1: The face of modern "bad" dog training

A trainer who goes by the name "Dog Daddy" has millions followers and has recently incited arguments on social media: His critics accuse him of harming dogs and calling it training; his fans accuse his detractors of being sissies who can’t face reality. These two vociferous groups are facing off online and at his in-person events around the world. Annie puts the saga into the context of a larger (and longer) story about the use of force and coercion in dog training, and gives a nuanced explanation of what defines "balanced" training and what defines trainers that takes a "LIMA" approach. She also investigates Dog Daddy’s background and unconvers some surprising information about how he initially positioned himself to potential clients. PLUS: The podcast has a new jingle, to go with its... new name! School For The Dogs Professional Course is taking applications! Apply at LIMA guidelines and the Hierarchy of Procedures for Humane and Effective Practice: Judge Rottenberg center: Dog Daddy page: Brandon McMillan’s training maraca: Zak George on Instagram: Cesar Millan’s “Shh”: Jeff Gelman on how Positive Reinforcement ruined his life: Facebook Page: The Truth About Griffin Shepherds


Join us in our Online Campus (plus: The story of the Hag Capisco)

Sometimes you stumble on something amazing and free. Maybe that's how you feel about this podcast? That's how Annie felt this week when her dream office chair appeared outside her door... You can buy good dog training (or great chairs). That's what School For The Dogs sells. But you can also get a lot of valuable dog training advice for nothing, if you're lucky. You, dear listener, just got lucky. Visit our new Online Campus to take advantage of a huge amount of free and low cost resource for dog owners. Join us for free Office Hours with a trainer every Thursday at 6PM ET. Podcast exclusive: Get one month of full access to all our on-demand offerings, plus 12 Office Hours with a trainer per month. Listen to the episode for the link!


Dom Hodgson is coming to NYC to talk to pet biz pros! Plus: What do you think a good dog training "pledge" should include?

Annie has been on podcast-hiatus working on her book, but... she's back! Join her for a conversation with longtime friend of the podcast, British pet marketing guru Dom Hodgson, who is coming to New York City to lead a seminar at School For The Dogs later this month. Dom shares his thoughts on the current state of the pet service industry and gives some really excellent advice on how to turn happy customers into brand cheerleaders. Sign up for Dom's April 23rd seminar Grow Your Pet Business FAST See the proposed School For The Dogs "Good Dog Training Pledge" at


Bonus Ep. A 3.5-year-old, falls on her scooter and gets yogurt: A tale of classical conditioning? Plus: Online Campus' support groups and more

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!


Dealing With A Reactive Dog In Your Home: A Q+A. Plus 3 Special Announcements

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, perhaps a little too aggressively, responded with critical questions about this trainer, Michaelle called her out on it. By way of apology, Annie offered to coach her through some of the issues she was dealing with, gratis. They discuss her foster dog Baozi's reactivity in the home, including his, growling, barking, sometimes sudden biting and lunging, his many triggers, and health issues that may be affecting his behavior. Rather than focusing on quick fixes for these unwanted behaviors, Annie approaches the issue by suggesting ways to get to the root cause for lasting and mutually beneficial behavior change. Note: School For The Dogs Podcast is going on hiatus for a few months! But you can join Annie inside the new School For The Dogs Online Campus. Join at and get one month free. Post in the Online Campus that you're a Podcast Fan and get free access to School For The Dogs' Body Language Basics on-demand course, a $47 value. Related: How to train "Touch": How to train "Look": Body Language Basics:

We're just "snowflakes" who don't use "bonkers": A frank conversation with dog trainer Beth Berkobien of Rehab Your Rescue of Dallas, TX

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 caused him to completely shut down, she moved away from aversives. Many years later, she works primarily with rehabilitating rescue dogs. She joins Annie on this episode to discuss her journey as a dog trainer. Together they also listen to “bonker”-based dog trainer Jeff Gellman’s rant on dog trainers who prefer to use methods that don’t cause their dogs (and potentially others) additional harm. They also discuss an apparent societal tendency to blame people for their failures, and of balanced trainers to blame clients when their training protocols are ineffective. Annie finishes by reading some extreme training methods from a dog training book from the 1970's: The Koehler Method of Dog Training by William Koehler. Links: Learn more about Beth Berkobien at and on Instagram @rehabyourrescue Just When You Thought the Barbara Woodhouse Days Were Over | Animal Rights & Wrongs ( Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness by Donna Haraway Walden Two by BF Skinner Related episode: Episode 44 | Are you talking to your socks? Marie Kondo, Cesar Millan & training humans with snake oil --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Hello, Beth. Thank you for being here. Maybe you can just go ahead and introduce yourself ‘cause I'm worried I'm gonna say your last name wrong. And tell me the name of your business and where you're located. Beth Berkobien: Absolutely. Yeah, everybody worries about saying my last name. I am Beth Berkobien of Rehab Your Rescue. We're located in Dallas, Texas, but I do sessions virtually all over the world. I have some clients in South Africa, in London, in Seattle, so we are very accessible... Full Transcript at


The words dog trainers use to describe their methods online: Anamarie Johnson, MA, CBCC-KA, on her survey of top US trainer's websites

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 about "nature" and some of the stranger New Age-y language used by aversive and R+ trainers alike), they talk about what's she's learned from working in shelters and more. Sign up for Anamarie's free presentation about her paper, August 8th at 3PM ET: Read the paper abstract: Training Dogs with Science or with Nature? An Exploration of Trainers’ Word Use, Gender, and Certification Across Dog-Training Methods Anamarie's previous visit to the podcast in 2018: Episode on cues and commands:


The woman behind Woof Cultr: Meet Mandy Boutelle

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 Francisco. When she started doing off-leash group dog walks, she knew she had to learn more about dog training and behavior in order to manage her rowdy young pack. This led her to decide to become a dog trainer. At the start of the pandemic, however, she and her husband decided to move to Oregon and to spread the gospel of positive reinforcement dog training in a unique way: By printing bold-but-simple statements about training and behavior on t-shirts. Links: DigiWoof | Web Design & Digital Marketing for Dog Trainers and Pet Pros


"It's not personal. It's just a dog thing." Sara Caron, SFTD CPT, on how training shifted her POV

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 For The Dogs Professional Course last year. She got another puppy shortly before starting the course which allowed her to see some remarkable differences in a dog raised with science-based/reward-based training methods versus one who was not. In this episode, Sara and Annie discuss some of the parts that have made the School For The Dogs Professional Course a life-changing experience for its graduates: The individualized attention, access to the SFTD community of trainers, classes, in-depth material, and the guest speakers. They also discuss the process of finding one’s place in the professional world of dog training. Apply to the Professional Course at: Applications for the next cohort are due June 30. Cohort begins Aug. 30. Want to learn more? Book a free consult at: --- Partial Transcript: Sara Caron: I developed this deeper relationship with dogs where, prior, dogs might have to me been one thing and dog training might have been one thing, but now it kind of has its – I can see its links to my own life and all these cultural things that we deal with. Yeah. So it just kind of kept getting more and more interesting to me. Annie: Sara Caron. I am so happy to have you here. Why don't you introduce yourself and we can just go from there. Sara: Sure. I'm Sara Caron. I'm a recent graduate of the School For The Dogs professional Cho. And I'm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Annie: You know, I think I told you this, but my dad's family's from Milwaukee. Sara: Oh cute. You did tell me that. Annie: Although I've never been there, but the main association I have with all things Wisconsin is that my grandmother when she would yell at my dad would be, I remember her always saying “Baaaab.” Sara: Yeah. That sounds about right. Yeah. Annie: His name was Bob and I remember drawing a cartoon of her when I was like seven and I spelled it out like B-A-A-A-A-B. Sara: That's adorable. So yeah, I'm from Chicago. I grew up in the city, but I've been living here long enough that that sounds very, very familiar. Annie: So I guess let's maybe just talk chronologically about how you got to the professional course. And then I guess we can talk a little bit about what that experience is like, because we are welcoming in our next cohort at the end of August, and I would love for anyone else who's interested in becoming a professional to sort of hear about what the experience was like for you. Full Transcript at


Meet Leeyah Wiseman SFTD-CPT, School For The Dogs' "Reels" maven and recent Professional Course graduate

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 hands: Separation anxiety. Her work figuring out how to deal with this issue in a way that felt right led her to decide to become a dog trainer. Annie and Leeyah discuss how she worked with her dog to improve his anxiety, what she got out of the Professional Course, and popular notions of what it means to "be" positive. Find Leeyah on Instagram @galdogtraining and @schoolforthedogs! Like this podcast? Please rate and review on iTunes! Learn more about the Professional Course at Next cohort starts in late August! ---- Spoil your smart pooch with a Brainy Box! Listen to the episode for a special discount code to our new monthly subscription box. --- Leeyah: I feel like just being – it felt like we were just there, and we were able to see how things played out in real life when tough training questions come up. When random training questions come up. When things happen like a dog peeing on the floor in the middle of a session. Or a dog needs a different type of assignment because they're struggling with something. And, you know, how to kind of answer questions that are tough, how to move training sessions along in a real way. ‘Cause in the course we kind of had a module on that as well. And then seeing it actually, especially seeing the trainers that do it the same way in the course, because it's like the School For The Dogs' method. It was kind of like a whole big picture of everything. [music] Annie: If you follow us on Instagram, TikTok, then you have seen Leeyah Wiseman who is a recent graduate of of School For The Dogs’ Professional Course. You are about to get to know her a little bit more. You can learn more about the Professional Course at I am thrilled to have you on the podcast yet again. Maybe you can just introduce yourself. Leeyah: My name is Leeyah Wiseman and I took the 2021 professional course, and I also do social media for School For The Dogs. So I do a lot of the coordination for the Instagram page and some talks and things like that. Annie: Which are really awesome and fun. And I love how you just go for it. Leeyah: Yeah. You gotta, you really have to. I mean, it's kind of like, if you don't then you're not gonna really make good content. Nobody's gonna watch something that you're not like being authentic in. Annie: Yeah. And you just gotta put yourself out there. I think it's a lesson about so many things. And some people really can't do it and when you do do it, you're accepting risk, right? Leeyah: Yeah. Annie: And you're accepting, you're opening yourself up to the possibility of failure and criticism, which can be no small thing. Right? Full Transcript at


Private socialization lessons for "Misfit" dogs of NYC: A conversation with two SFTD (human) clients

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 individuals of any species, which is perhaps one reason why we have several programs specifically for Misfit dogs. In this episode, Annie talks to two School For The Dogs clients who have been attending a couple of unique types of private sessions: Dog Socialization and Misfits Day School. New York-based dog owners Alyssa and Jen talk about how these sessions have helped them help their "Misfit" dogs. Learn more at ***** NEW: Subscribe to Brainy Box, and you'll get a new enrichment toy and new treats every month. Get 15% off for a limited time. Code in episode! Learn more and sign up at Like this podcast? Subscribe, rate and review on iTunes! Follow us on Instagram @annie.grossman @schoolforthedogs --- Partial Transcript: Alyssa: You know, I hear people say all the time that their dog is so socialized because when they got them as a puppy, they let them say hi to everyone and they let them say hi to every puppy. And so that's why they credit their dog to being so well behaved. And it just really gets under my skin because, you know, I did that too with him because I honestly didn't know better. And it really, I think, backfired. Because now when we walk down the street, he searches for humans or dogs to say hi to him. And it just doesn't always work out for every dog. And so I think having a well socialized dog takes a lot more work than exposing him to every human and creature that you encounter when they're young. [music] Annie: Do you have a dog who doesn’t necessarily get along with every other dog? One way to deal with those issues: send your dog to a good school. At School For The Dogs, we have several programs designed to help dogs exist more comfortably around other dogs and to help their owners set them up for success. I’m Annie Grossman, owner of School For The Dogs in New York City, and today I’m speaking with two clients who have been making use of two of our very special programs that we run out of our East village studio. One is called Dog Socialization, and the other is called Misfits Day School. If you’re wondering if one of these programs might be right for you and your dog, you can learn more at Alyssa: My name's Alyssa Perry. I am dog owner to Michael, who is a two year old mixed breed dog of some sort. And I adopted him right before the pandemic, so in February of 2020, and I ended up seeking out your services because he is quite a handful. I love him very dearly, but he occupies a lot of my time, and good and better time now. More productive time than before I came to you all. Annie: You had done some training though, before coming to us, isn't that right? Alyssa: Yes. I guess just because we had got him in February of 2020, we, I had done some virtual training, and then I did do some training where I was relocated in Philadelphia. Some in person training there too. Full Transcript at


How to train "Look" (Rebroadcast of 12/4/18 episode)

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 suggests focusing on your training mechanics before jumping to setting criteria for your dog. In this episode, she clearly breaks down how to build a stellar "Look" cue from scratch, in just six quick steps, using only sixty tiny treats. Notes: Treat suggestions - Tricky Trainers (and other brands that make these pencil-eraser sized morsels) can be broken up into at least four pieces, meaning you'll go through only 15 treats in your session: Lamb lung breaks up into neat pieces without getting greasy or crumbly: Dogs and presidents: "Look For The Silver Lining" ukulele cover by Renei Yarrow: Partial Transcript: **music** Annie: Hello, everyone. Thank you for listening. Today I’m going to walk you through what I call the Invisible Triangle method of teaching “look.” I think look is a really excellent thing to teach any dog, any age some people call it “watch me” or “attention,” whatever you want to call it, basically you’re teaching your dog to connect their eyes to your eyes on whatever cue you give. And of course that cue, today we’re going to use “look” you could be using their name, you could say “eyes,” you could say “bubblegum babaganoush.,” it doesn't matter but you are to give it some kind of cue. Of course, if you don’t give it a cue and you just teach them that locking eyes with your eyes is always a good thing that certainly not a bad thing to teach either. I generally think that everything we train our dogs to do, pretty much, comes down to targeting- targeting being teaching them to touch one thing to another. Of course, pretty much the first thing I teach every dog I work with is to hand-nose target so to touch their nose to my fingers, to my hand or to touch their nose to an object. And while there are lots of reasons I like to teach this specific exercise, the big reason is that I think of it as a building block exercise that you can use to teach lots of different things because really what you’re teaching is if you touch X to Y then good thing happens and basically everything you’re ever going to train your dog comes down to something that can fit into that equation. Sit is if if you touch butt to ground. Down is if you touch body to the ground. Go to the crate, well, that's if I touch body to crate. And I think that teaching look is really just the same thing except that if I touch my eyes to my human eyes good thing happens . And like I just said, certainly if that becomes just the default behavior, it's never going to be a bad thing since if your dog locks eyes with you, you certainly have your dog's attention and that's a great starting place for getting your dog to do whatever it is you want or need him or her to do... Full Transcript at


Elise Mac Adam, SFTD CPT, on how the grief of rehoming a dog led her to the School For The Dogs Professional Course

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, Elise and her dogs were among their first clients. Elise, her sons, and her husband, have worked with half a dozen of School For The Dogs trainers over the last decade, with three of their dogs. She has, overall, clocked more sessions than any other single client. Eventually, she had to make the difficult decision to rehome one of her terriers. She and Annie discuss how rehoming a dog can feel like both a success and failure at the same time, and the silver lining of this difficult experience: It led her to decide to enroll in the School For The Dogs Professional Course. Apply to the Professional Course at Next cohort begins August 31. Episodes featuring other graduates: --- Partial Transcript: Annie: Elise Macadam is here with me today. I am excited to talk to you because I think you're the only person – you're probably the person I've known longest who's been on this podcast. No, I guess I talked to my friend, Daisy, who I've known since I was 14, but second to maybe Daisy, in 200 plus episodes. You are someone who knew me from my previous life. Elise: I knew you from many previous lives, probably. Annie: And who I have now known as a friend, as a client and as an apprentice. Elise: Yeah. We go way back. Annie: And you've known me as well. You wanna tell the story of how we first met? Elise: So I met you when I was ghostwriting a book about wedding resources in New York City. And you were writing engagement column. Annie: Yeah, I was writing, I was at the New York Observer in, it must have been 2002? Elise: Yeah, probably. Annie: And I was the assistant to the editor and I wrote a weekly column where I interviewed three different couples who were getting married, and it was called The Love Beat: Countdown to Bliss. And it was a bit of a scramble sometimes to find couples, ‘cause this was long before social media. I had all these like hacks of finding couples. I remember seeing a woman with a big diamond ring on the subway and like writing her a note, slipping her a note once or going to places where people register and like going up to people. Elise: Oh, that's so awesome. I didn't know you did that. Full Transcript at


An academic study of corgi butts on the Internet (and other animal content online): Univ. of Alabama's Jessica Maddox on Ukrainian kittens, cloned influencers, and the neoliberal "economy of cute"

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 relating to social media pets. Maddox offers an academic take on why people create Instagram accounts for their pets, are drawn to stories about Ukrainian rescue cats, and more. What does Youtube have to say about the practice of tying puppies to train tracks so that someone can post a video of their rescue? Why do some brands prefer to work with pet influencers over human ones? Are we living in a new era of anthropomorphizing our pets in a non-private arena, or is this just a new iteration of an age-old practice? And: Is it possible to breed an NFT cat? Maddox addresses these questions, and more. The secret life of pet Instagram accounts: Joy, resistance, and commodification in the Internet’s cute economy More about Jessica Maddox The Internet Is For Cats: How Animal Images Shape Our Digital Lives Why the Internet Is Obsessed With the Cats and Dogs of Ukraine Crypto Kitties Instagram accounts mentioned: @lolabarksdale @wander_with_willow @thecalfvet @drhunterfinn Follow School For The Dogs on Instagram: @schoolforthedogs Follow Annie on Instagram: @annie.grossman --- Partial Transcript: Annie: So Jessica Maddox, tell me your exact title so I get it right. Jessica Maddox: Yeah. I am an assistant professor of digital media technology at the University of Alabama. I earned my PhD in mass communication from the University of Georgia in 2018. Annie: And tell me about your field of study. Jessica: Yeah, so I, largely speaking, just study social media and how social media contribute to internet pop culture. So, I've always been interested in things like selfies and memes and YouTube and TikTok and Instagram and the like. And several years ago, I became very interested in researching cats and dogs and horses and bearded dragons and all of the internet's pets. Because I was finding in my line of work that there really wasn't a whole lot of research being done on something that is so much a part of how we are online. Full Transcript at