Are You Ready to Thrive?

Beyond survival is the land of "thrival." Learning to live wholeheartedly by prioritizing authenticity and vulnerability helped me finally get to know and love myself (more every day). The changes I've made to my life gave me more time with my dogs, better relationships, and a lot more peace!

I created this course to share the thrival skills that took me decades to learn. It's life's work (or maybe longer), but hopefully this information will complement what you've already been learning. May it help you on your path of joy.

Note: I'm not a therapist, but I'm a human, just like you, and I've found a lot of useful resources over the years that I want to share. I've integrated those resources with what I've learned about being a mammal from dog behavior. It's a perspective that my students have found helpful, so I hope it helps you, too.

  • Eliminate unhealthy habits in a way that meets your needs.

  • Make more efficient use of your time and do things that nourish your spirit.

  • Build more loving, respectful relationships with yourself and others.

  • Express yourself clearly and compassionately.

  • Find healthy ways to meet your needs that helps (or doesn't interfere) with others meeting theirs.

  • Learn how to switch out of survival mode and back to joy.

  • Get practical skills for mourning that can lighten the pain from the loss of your dog or other loved one and unpack their final gift to you.

  • Pay what you can, even free. Also included with Diamond & Gold Memberships. (See the bottom of this page).

Why Take the How to Human Course?

Because your heart matters. Get all of my favorite tools for wholehearted living.

  • Pass It On!

    The more relaxed you are, the easier it is for your dog and the people you love.

    I'm a work in progress, as we all are, but in this course, I share the most effective ways I've come across to have a healthy, happy nervous system. Please note that this course is not meant to replace work with a professional therapist.

  • Convenient Lessons

    Videos and text lessons to fit into your schedule, plus quick quizzes to help you solidify the material. If you don't like reading, even just watching the videos will be useful.

    Course takes approximately 6-12 weeks. Return as often as you'd like.

  • Community Support

    The How to Human discussion group is extremely supportive. You are definitely not the only dog lover who is on a path to thrival. We have dog trainers and others from all over the world in H2H.

5 star rating

How to Human: Thrival Skills for People Who Love Dogs

Evelina Soeswanto

I really enjoy the course, specially after losing my dog Aby on last April. This course is just what I need while I am still grieving. Thank you, Grisha xo

I really enjoy the course, specially after losing my dog Aby on last April. This course is just what I need while I am still grieving. Thank you, Grisha xo

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5 star rating

You NEED this course!

Matt Montes

No matter where you are in your journey through life this course and the community built around it WILL take you to the next level. Whether you're looking fo...

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No matter where you are in your journey through life this course and the community built around it WILL take you to the next level. Whether you're looking for strategies to enhance your communication skills, better understand your own needs and how to ensure they are met, or maybe you are looking to expand the tools in your emotional toolbox. Over the years I've engaged in many continuing education/personal development courses and programs but this has been hands down the most beneficial program I've been part of and the community involvement and support is without equal. Thanks Grisha!

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5 star rating


María Weiss

Demanding, very good

Demanding, very good

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5 star rating


Claudia Videla

I would love the idea of living in a world where people could dare to talk and admit feelings of shame and fear. I honestly believe it would change the way w...

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I would love the idea of living in a world where people could dare to talk and admit feelings of shame and fear. I honestly believe it would change the way we think, experience life and also affect many other aspects in our lives such as the way we see ourselves. The few times I have dared to be honest and answer with the truth when a colleague has asked me "How am I doing?", I have been met with love, understanding and encouragement. Sometimes we have to be brave and stop thinking that we always have to be perfect, stand alone and fend for ourselves. I was really inspired by her honesty and vulnerability.

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At your own pace

This is your path, but you don't have to walk it alone.

I taught this course with live videos in the past. You'll get to see all of those videos and all of the written material, but better yet, you'll also be in great company! Students from previous classes are in the private discussion group. Our community is growing and we look forward to meeting you.

What does this course cover?

A lot! We also have a discussion group and some live support meetings.

  • 1

    Welcome to How to Human!

    • A Message from Grisha

    • How to Use this Course

    • Course Plan

    • This Course isn't Therapy

    • Live Interaction & Community

    • Let's Get Inspired!

  • 2

    Section 1: Changing Habits Efficiently

    • Section Overview Video

    • Which Habits Do You Want? Do Your Habits Serve You?

    • The Power of Habits

    • Thoughts are Behavior, Too

    • You Don't Always Have to Be Positive! Be Authentic.

    • Sweet Dreams! Tips for Sleep

    • Check Your Understanding

    • Pause to Practice

  • 3

    Section 2: Feelings, Needs, Strategies, and Boundaries

    • Section Overview Video

    • Let Yes Mean Yes, and No mean No

    • Essentialism: Saying Yes to What Nourishes You (Less but Better)

    • Resolving conflict and building empathy with Nonviolent Communication (NVC)

    • Boundaries. Noncompliance is not Rejection

    • Check Your Understanding

    • Pause to Practice

  • 4

    Section 3: The Border Collie in Your Head

    • Section Overview Video

    • How Our Brains Work

    • Negativity Bias and Other Brain ‘Fun’ Facts

    • Assumptions (part 1): Labels and Cognitive Dissonance

    • Assumptions (part 2): Cognitive Distortions

    • Assumptions (part 3): Fundamental Attribution Error

    • Gratitude Can Change Your Brain Chemistry

    • Gratitude, Privilege, and Making a Difference

    • History is the Cultural Version of Antecedent Arrangements for Behavior

    • More About Privilege - White progressives, this is for you

    • Other Ways to Change Brain Chemistry

    • Check Your Understanding

    • Pause to Practice

  • 5

    Section 4: Being Present

    • Section Overview Video

    • Be Here Now

    • Taking in the Good

    • Mindfulness

    • Meditation Introduction for Trauma: Roland Bal

    • What is Meditation? Trauma Guided Meditation by Roland Bal

    • Mindfulness Exercises Guide Me Home

    • Everyday Mindfulness

    • Building a Mindfulness Practice

    • Dog Breath Meditation

    • Building Compassion: Your Inner Puppy

    • Wholehearted Living and Badassery

    • Check Your Understanding

    • Pause to Practice

  • 6

    Section 5: Stillness and Unconditional Love

    • Section Overview Video

    • Compassion is the Key to Happiness

    • Compassion and Unconditional Love

    • Lovingkindness Meditation (Metta)

    • Meditation on the Move

    • Relationship Audits: Does This Relationship Meet My Needs?

    • Check Your Understanding

    • Pause to Practice

  • 7

    Section 6: Impermanence, Groundlessness, and Letting Be

    • Section Overview Video

    • Helpful Ways to See This Precious Life

    • 3 Ways to Listen Mindfully

    • What are Transitions?

    • What is Mourning and How is It Different From Grief?

    • The Relationship isn't Gone, It's Different

    • Keep Talking About It

    • Acceptance and Joy in the Midst of Loss

    • Emotional Approach to Retirement Planning

    • Pause to Practice

  • 8

    Next Steps

    • Thank you!

  • 9

    References and Other Resources

    • Books I Love!

    • Online Resources


Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Author

Grisha Stewart MA, CPDT-KA, KPACTP

I'm a dog trainer, author, and international speaker based in Oregon, USA. I enjoy developing creative, empowering approaches to dog socialization and everyday manners. My most recent development is the leash belay technique, which leverages physics to allow handlers to comfortably bring pulling dogs to a gentle stop.

I'm an animal behavior geek, passionate about wholehearted living for all beings, including humans and dogs with a history of aggression, frustration, or fear. My Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT 2.0) technique is now used worldwide to help dogs gain confidence and social skills. A conservative calculation is that well over 100,000 people have learned about BAT so far.

I have always loved teaching. I earned a Master's in mathematics and taught college courses, but I found my true calling in dog training. I have been teaching dog training and behavior since 2003, started traveling worldwide to teach dog trainers in 2010, and started an online dog training school in 2014. My partner and I currently live with Garbanzo (aka "Adventure Kitty" and "Baby Panther") and Zuki (the sweetheart of a dog pictured here).

Huge Impact

Vanesa Vizuete

"Grisha Stewart doesn't need an introduction among the professional dog trainers, the world knows her because of her amazing work. She is also a kind, loving, caring human being who has for the past year embraced teaching people through her How to Human class. I took it last year and it impacted greatly how I live my life."

The more you know about how to be human, the better life gets.

Get the this course free, individually or with a membership.

  • Free

    FreeHow to Human: Thrival Skills for People Who Love Dogs

    I've decided to make this comprehensive class free as a way to give back to community.
    Buy Now
  • $29.99 / month

    $29.99 / monthDiamond Membership All Access Pass

    Great value! Access to ALL live and on-demand streaming content on the site, including this course.

    Diamonds are also part of a thriving, supportive community that loves to dig into every aspect of dog behavior. You'll get help from nearly 100 emotionally intelligent dog training and animal behavior classes, taught by my favorite experts from around the world. Diamonds also get special events, student coupons, and other perks. [Learn more].
    Go Diamond