Like an AudioBook, but better!

I love audiobooks, and not enough dog books are available in that format. So I decided to make a new series, "Reading Between the Lines." My BAT 2.0 book was the first, and Kathy is bravely pioneering this format by going second with her book, Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace.

In this book, world-renowned dog trainer Kathy Sdao reveals how her journey through life and her decades of experience training marine mammals and dogs led her to reject a number of sacred cows including the leadership model of dog training. She describes in narrative fashion how she has come to focus her own training philosophy which emphasizes developing partnerships in which humans and dogs exchange reinforcements and continually cede the upper hand to one another.

In these all-new sessions, my favorite dog training authors will read their own books and offer spontaneous commentary as they go along. This is an excellent way to experience the material. Plus we also meet up with the authors online, live, to get your questions answered.

Kathy's Q&A sessions meet on 3 Mondays at 10AM PST November 1, 22, and December 13 (those are optional, don’t worry if you miss out they will be recorded).

We start out live on Nov 1 in which Kathy will read the first few pages and answer questions. The next sessions are pure Q&A.

Video/audio recordings of each chapter are released as soon as they are finished so it's never too late to sign up!

Photo of Kathy taken by Michael Hanson Photography.

  • Suitable for professional dog trainers and veterinarians, as well as families with dogs.

  • Recorded video and audio of the entire book, read by the author, with off-the-cuff commentary and live Q&A sessions.

  • Unabridged, complete books, plus commentary!

  • You'll also get access to the recordings of the live sessions.

  • Great way to fit reading into your schedule, plus you get author feedback!

  • Signing up for a lot of online dog training? Save some money! Diamond Members get ALL webinars and courses in the school for only $29.99 a month.

Feedback on Reading Between the Lines

(from BAT 2.0)

5 star rating

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Caitlin Hill

I already love this series SO much. Too many dog books are not on audible, and as a neurodivergent person who has a reeeeally tough time with long-form readi...

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I already love this series SO much. Too many dog books are not on audible, and as a neurodivergent person who has a reeeeally tough time with long-form reading, but who easily absorbs info through audio format, I appreciate this series so much. When I really need to, I can dig deep and read a book (and I have read - well, most of - BAT 2.0!), but it’s really really hard to make myself do it. It even borders on aversive at times. I’m not alone in this, including among pro dog trainers, so I predict this series will make reading all the greats much more accessible to a lot of people. I greatly appreciate the lengths Grisha goes to to be accessible to people, financially, from a learning standpoint, and otherwise! Thanks a bunch!

Read Less
5 star rating

So grateful for the audio/video version!

Kira Moyer

Thank you so much for providing an audio/video version of this book for those of us who learn more easily by listening! I really appreciated being able to li...

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Thank you so much for providing an audio/video version of this book for those of us who learn more easily by listening! I really appreciated being able to listen to some chapters multiple times when needed too. The speed was perfect for me but the feature that allows you to change the playback speed is awesome. I could see myself using it in the future.

Read Less

About the Book

"Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace"

What if the secret to great dog training is to be a frequent "feeder" rather than a strong leader? A skilled reinforcer rather than a strict enforcer?

Over the past two decades, countless dog trainers across the world have embraced the liberal use of positive reinforcement. Often accompanying this trend, however, is an underlying emphasis, inherited from more coercive models of dog training, that each human in the family must be the dog's leader.

But adopting the role of leader using what is known as the "Nothing in Life is Free" training protocol can result in stifling rules that constrain a person's ability to share affection and attention with their dogs. This focus on human leadership puts puts the burden on dogs to "earn" their rewards rather than placing the primary responsibility on the humans to be generous, precise, creative "feeders" (i.e., reinforcers).

In this book, renowned dog trainer Kathy Sdao (one of my personal heroes) reveals how her journey through life and her decades of experience training marine mammals and dogs led her to reject a number of sacred cows including the leadership model of dog training. She describes in narrative fashion how she has come to focus her own training philosophy which emphasizes developing partnerships in which humans and dogs exchange reinforcements and continually cede the upper hand to one another.

Also available in paperback.
Cover of Kathy Sdao's book, Plenty in Life is Free

What’s included

Chapters are being posted weekly!

  • 1

    Start Here

    • Welcome! School Overview

    • How to Access Your Materials

  • 2

    VideoBook: Kathy Reading the Book with Spontaneous Commentary

    • Acknowledgements and Intro

    • Chapter 1 - Doubt of Control

    • Chapter 2 - Discord Explored: My Cognitive Dissidence

    • Chapter 3 - Halving a Cow

    • Chapter 4 - Are Alpha Roles Better than Alpha Rolls?

    • Chapter 5 - If Not NILIF?

    • Chapter 6 - Putting the Heart Before the Force

  • 3

    AudioBook: Kathy Reading the Book with Spontaneous Commentary

    • Audio Files will go in lessons here

  • 4

    Live Sessions

    • Livestreaming Instructions for Nov 1, 2021, 10:00 am Pacific (Zoom)

    • Live Session Recording 1 will go here

    • Livestreaming Instructions for Nov 22, 2021, 10:00 am Pacific (Zoom)

    • Live Session 2 Recording will go here

    • Livestreaming Instructions for Dec 13, 2021, 10:00 am Pacific (Zoom)

    • Live Session 3 Recording will go here

  • 5

    Completing the Course (essential for CEUs)

    • What's Next?

  • Video & More

    Get a video of the reading + commentary, an audio for easy listening, plus you can ask Kathy questions in the Q&A sessions. Q&A is also recorded.

    1.5 CCPDT Trainer and Behaviourist CEUs.

  • Great Examples

    Great way to fit reading into your schedule, plus you get author feedback! Listen in and watch as Kathy reads through and comments on her book. It's a great way to see change in action.

  • Learn in Community

    Students are also eligible to continue the conversation in the Grisha Stewart Learner Support Facebook Group.

    Diamond members can also always post in the special FB group for Diamonds too!

About the Author

Applied Animal Behaviorist

Kathy Sdao, MA

Kathy Sdao is a superstar in the animal behavior world, one of my personal heroes. She's been a full-time animal trainer for thirty-five years, first with marine mammals and now with dogs and their people. At the University of Hawaii, she received a master’s degree as part of a research team which trained dolphins to understand sign-language. She then worked for the United States Navy to train dolphins for open-ocean military tasks. Kathy also worked as a marine-mammal trainer at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma Washington. After leaving the zoo world, she co-created Tacoma’s first dog daycare.

Kathy launched Bright Spot Dog Training in 1998. Services include consulting with families about their challenging dogs and mentoring professional trainers who want to maximize the power of positive-reinforcement training. Kathy is proud to be an original faculty member for Karen Pryor’s ClickerExpos; she’s taught at thirty-nine of these popular conferences. Kathy has also lectured at venues across the United States, Canada and Europe, and in Australia, Israel, Japan and Mexico. In 2012, she published her first book, "Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace."

Ready for Story Time With Kathy?

It's your choice: buy this book reading individually, as part of a class, or don't buy it at all: or get it (and a lot more) for FREE as a Diamond Member.

  • $29.00

    $29.00Reading Between the Lines: Kathy Sdao 'Plenty in Life is Free' (Audio/Video Book. Starts Nov 1)

    One-time payment to add streaming video and audio recordings to your online library. Your access will not expire.
    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 webinar. Over 70 courses with several hundred hours of video, growing every month! Also special events, student coupons, and other perks just for Diamond members.
    Go Diamond

If you choose to purchase a Diamond membership, it will go for a month from the start date and then renew automatically each month after that. You can easily cancel renewal at any time and your access to the content will just expire on your renewal date.