Trained Dogs End Up Back In Shelters Far Less Frequently

Help us provide training for dogs and their families that are unable to afford it. Please Donate Today!

Trained Dogs End Up Back In Shelters Far Less Frequently image


raised towards $25,000 goal




Help us provide training for dogs and their families that are unable to afford it. Please Donate Today!

Our Mission

School For The Dogs is committed to transforming the lives of dogs and their owners with access to qualified professionals teaching proven science-based, positive reinforcement training methods.

Our Objectives

  • Educate the public about canine learning methods and behaviors. We’re committed to using our platform and the platforms of like minded trainers to create content made with the goal of informing the public about how to train using non-aversive, reward-based techniques.
  • Facilitate affordable access to certified dog trainers by pairing trainers with dog owners in need. Trainer time is either donated or paid for through the fund.
  • Offer scholarships to those aspiring to be professional trainers looking for help funding their education.
  • Support mission-driven dog trainers by publicizing their businesses. Our goal is to highlight the work of outstanding trainers through recognition posts and awards, and to help veterinarians make informed suggestions when recommending trainers in their areas.

How You Can Help

Your contribution is significant in supporting our mission to provide a harmonious future for dogs and their humans by ensuring that our high standards of training are accessible to them. Your vital support will brighten the future for dogs and their owners through the knowledge, fun, and compassion our methods provide. We warmly invite you to work with us as we make every effort to turn this vision into a tangible reality.

About Us

School For The Dogs is the brainchild of Annie Grossman CPDT-KA KPA CTP and Kate Senisi, CPDT-KA. For over a decade, Annie, a journalist and former Animal Planet associate producer, has been a vocal critic of the dog training industry's lax standards, a lack of professional licensing for trainers, and the non-regulated use of abusive tools and techniques used by those considering themselves professionals. On her podcast, Annie has talked extensively about our inherently unequal relationship with pets, the history of animal training, and the thoroughly disturbing, enduring popularity of regressive trainers who are uneducated about the science of behavior.

Annie’s book, How To Train Your Dog With Love & Science, will be published in June 2024.

Since 2011, School For The Dogs has helped more than ten thousand dog owners, primarily New Yorkers, train their dogs using methods rooted in positive reinforcement, informed by the latest research on animal learning and canine behavior.

This non-aversive approach was not de rigueur in New York City in 2012 when Annie and Kate began working together. It was difficult finding a facility they could join that would accept their positive reinforcement training approach. And so School For The Dogs was born in Annie's Manhattan living room. In the years since then, operating out of a two story brick-and-mortar facility in Manhattan’s East Village, they have become known as among the city's best educators of dogs; puppies, elders, challenged, fearful. They are particularly knowledgeable about working with the unique needs of urban dogs. Their acclaimed class "Sidewalk Psychos," developed by Kate, has helped transform the lives of people who feared they'd never be able to walk their dog down the street without stress. The School offers a unique Professional Course to a half dozen applicants who are chosen to participate in a six-month virtual certification program for aspiring trainers.In addition, the School provides reinforcement of its methods with enrichment toys sold on-line and in their retail store.

In 2018, Kate and Annie began offering scholarships to students who indicated financial need and had dogs for whom one-on-one training could mean a better chance at not having to be rehomed. The fund comprises contributions from clients who have had transformative experiences working with School For The Dogs trainers. The fund has paid for nearly fifty scholarship recipients to work with positive reinforcement trainers in an intensive manner. In 2024, they hope to extend the reach of the fund to help facilitate connections between vetted trainers and financially compromised dog owners as well as to disseminate information to dog owners about perpetrated outdated and misinformed dog training approaches.

We are hopeful you will join us in fulfilling our mission. Thank you for your consideration.

Joey’s Story

“We rescued our boy Joey who had been terribly neglected and possibly abused, and even though we were giving him as much love and support as we could on our own, we were at a loss in terms of how to handle his behavioral issues. Unfortunately, despite all the interventions that we tried based on our own research, the situation was only getting worse. We loved Joey so much, but we knew that things were not sustainable if they would have continued the way they were going.

“We were feeling scared, hopeless, and discouraged. Finally, we found School for the Dogs and Anna, and that's when things finally started to turn around. Being students with extremely limited resources, we knew that we couldn't afford to pay for the type of care that Joey needed, and we felt so sad and guilty that we were not able to provide the best possible life for him. When we were approved for the scholarship program, we finally saw the first glimmer of hope for our family.

“Anna completely changed our perception of what is possible when it comes to training dogs. Her methodology, which involves lots of positive reinforcement and not punishment, helped to strengthen our relationship with Joey, and to understand his needs, preferences, and communication style better than ever before. It almost feels like she taught us to read his mind, and to anticipate his reactions, which gives us a much better handle on them. She taught us new commands and feasible ways for us to continue implementing Joey's training on our own. She also helped to guide us through the intimidating process of seeking out medication for Joey, helping to round out the support that he needs.

“Today, we are so proud and grateful to report that things are finally getting better, not worse. Joey is moving in the right direction, and we are more confident than ever before that we know what to do to help him be calmer and to even keep himself under control. I was most impressed with how Anna employs principles of psychology into her training, recognizing both the individualized and universal needs of her students (including dogs and humans alike). I used to joke that it seems like she is 'psychic' with dogs, but now I understand that by knowing what to look for and how to approach different situations, anyone can learn to communicate and work with their dog more effectively, no matter how far-gone things may once have appeared. We will be eternally thankful to School for the Dogs for the amazing work that they do, as well as to the generous benefactors of the scholarship program for enabling us to attain the resources we needed to finally enjoy greater peace and happiness in our home. Thank you to Anna and everyone else at School for the Dogs for all the incredible work that you do for our community!”

-- Abe L.