Are You Ready to Thrive?

What does "thrival" mean to you, versus simply surviving? For me, it meant learning to live wholeheartedly, to prioritize authenticity and vulnerability, so I finally got to know and love myself. That gave me more time with my dogs, better relationships, and a lot more peace!

I created this course to build community and 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.

  • Make more efficient use of your time, doing 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.

  • 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.

    Some of the course members are currently meeting every week on video chat.

    Let's do this together!

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...

Read More

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!

Read Less
5 star rating


María Weiss

Demanding, very good

Demanding, very good

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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."

I'm ready when you are!

Let's start walking each other home.

I'm a human, just like you, and I've found a lot of useful resources over the years. I consider this more of peer-to-peer sharing, rather than an expert teaching a course.

The information in this course is so important, especially during the pandemic, that I wanted to make it pay-what-you-can (even FREE if that's all you can afford right now). Keep in mind that paying at least something for the course may help you prioritize doing it.

This is an at-your-own-pace course, but during the this time I am also doing weekly Zoom meetings for students with music and self-care tips (I also stream those meetings into the Facebook group).

Thanks! See you on the inside! -Grisha

Get the course individually or with a membership.

Access the course as long as your membership is current.

  • $99.00

    $99.00How to Human: Thrival Skills for People Who Love Dogs

    One-time payment to add this online course to your library. Your access will not expire. Use the code that best fits your budget: 25PERCENTOFF, 50PERCENTOFF, 75PERCENTOFF, FREE
    Buy Now
  • $29.99 / month

    $29.99 / monthDiamond Membership All Access Pass

    Best value! Get all live and on-demand streaming content on the site. Over 55 courses with several hundred hours of video, growing every month! Also special events, student coupons, and other perks just for Diamond members.
    Go Diamond
  • $19.99 / month

    $19.99 / monthGold Membership

    Access to all archived courses. Membership automatically renewed monthly.
    Go Gold

Have some questions?

  • I have a Student or Pro membership on already. Will I get a membership here automatically?

    The Diamond and Gold memberships are much more all-inclusive than the previous memberships, so there isn't a straight transfer.

    But don't worry, you'll keep access to everything that came with your membership level, for the duration of your membership.

    The products that were for sale on the old site (courses, webinars, feature films, ebooks) were not included in the Pro and Student memberships, anyway, so you won't get access here unless you bought them individually. When this site is really ready, you will have access to all of the content you paid for and I will also send members a way to try out the new memberships at a discount.

    If you purchased any items specifically (ebooks, webinars, courses, etc.) those WILL be transferred to your new account when all is said and done. Thanks for your patience. :)

  • What should I pay?

    You can pay whatever works for you. No one in the course will know what you paid, or didn't. This is a really hard financial time for most of us. I know you might have been affected. Just pay what you can. If you pay nothing or less than the full amount, that's totally fine. You can pay me back by fully participating in the course and learning everything you can. It would also help if you could share the course on social media. If you end up being financially stable, later, you can get a membership or buy the course for a friend.

  • How long will this course take?

    I designed this course to take 6-12 weeks. It "Pause to Practice" exercises to do after each section, and those were done biweekly the first time we did this course live. You can focus on parts that seem most relevant and go at whatever pace you want.

    People who take it stay in the discussion group and continue to circle back to the material.