Like an AudioBook, but better!

I love audiobooks, and very few dog training books are available in that format. So I created a new series: "Reading Between the Lines." My BAT 2.0 book was the first, and animal behaviorist Kathy Sdao is bravely pioneering this format by going second with her profound 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 read their own books and offer spontaneous commentary as they go along. This is an excellent way to experience the material. Kathy's reading of this entire book is in video and audio format now in this 'course.'

We also met up with live with Kathy (online), to get our students' questions answered, which resulted in some phenomenal conversations, and those recordings are also in your course player.

Recorded in December, 2021. 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 recorded Q&A sessions with the online audience.

  • Unabridged, complete books, plus commentary!

  • Great way to fit reading into your schedule, plus you get behind-the-scenes updates!

  • Signing up for a lot of online dog training? Save some money! Diamond Members get ALL webinars and courses in the school for one low monthly fee.

Feedback on Reading Between the Lines

(from BAT 2.0 and this book, "Plenty in Life is Free")

5 star rating

Listening to an Author reading her own words is fantastic

Tima Priess

Lovely, helpful, and peaceful book. As a dog parent, not a professional trainer, I found the reading to be validating, and very helpful. I've not read many...

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Lovely, helpful, and peaceful book. As a dog parent, not a professional trainer, I found the reading to be validating, and very helpful. I've not read many training books and found this so interesting as a personal journey towards a philosophy of positive change and caring for creatures. So important to have the emotional landscape of the trainer available and presented so openly. Thank you. Enjoyed it. I am not a huge fan of audio books. I knit while I’m listening but tend to get distracted. Having the author read on camera, and make comments occasionally on what she has previously written, was engaging and made a difference for me personally, in understanding the material and staying present.

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5 star rating

Amazing way to "read" the book

Ellen Liekens

The book has been on my 'to read' list for a long time, but I hadn't come around to it. I'm really thankful to be able to read the book in this manner. Kathy...

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The book has been on my 'to read' list for a long time, but I hadn't come around to it. I'm really thankful to be able to read the book in this manner. Kathy reads with so much enthusiasm and inspiration, it truly has been wonderful to follow this course along. Thank you Kathy and Grisha for organizing this.

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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!

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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.

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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

    • Book Excerpt: Table of Contents, Glossary, Resources, Index

  • 2

    VideoBook: Kathy Reading the Book with Spontaneous Commentary

    • Acknowledgements and Introduction (20 minutes)

    • Chapter 1 - Doubt of Control (13 minutes)

    • Chapter 2 - Discord Explored: My Cognitive Dissidence (30 minutes)

    • Chapter 3 - Halving a Cow (25 minutes)

    • Chapter 4 - Are Alpha Roles Better than Alpha Rolls? (54 minutes)

    • Chapter 5 - If Not NILIF? (100 minutes)

    • Chapter 6 - Putting the Heart Before the Force: Dog Training as Spiritual Practice (90 minutes)

  • 3

    AudioBook: Kathy Reading the Book with Spontaneous Commentary

    • Audio Files are in lessons in this section

    • Acknowledgements & Introduction (20 minutes)

    • Chapter 1 - Doubt of Control (part 1: 3 minutes)

    • Chapter 1 - Doubt of Control (part 2: 10 minutes)

    • Chapter 2 - Discord Explored: My Cognitive Dissidence (30 minutes)

    • Chapter 3 - Halving a Cow (25 minutes)

    • Chapter 4 - Are Alpha Roles Better than Alpha Rolls? (54 minutes)

    • Chapter 5 - If Not NILIF? (100 minutes)

    • Chapter 6 - Putting the Heart Before the Force: Dog Training as Spiritual Practice (67 minutes)

  • 4

    Q&A Sessions

    • How to Attend the Live Q&A Sessions

    • Q&A Session Recording 1 (39 minutes)

    • Q&A Session Recording 2 (33 mins)

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

    • Q&A Session Recording 3 (36 mins)

  • 5

    Completing the Course (essential for CEUs)

    • What's Next?

  • Video & More

    Get a video of the reading with commentary, an audio for easy listening, and video of three 30-minute Q&A session recordings.

    1.5 CCPDT Trainer and Behaviourist CEUs.

  • Great Examples

    Great way to fit reading into your schedule! 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 w/Author Commentary)

    One-time payment to add streaming video and audio recordings to your online library. Your access will not expire.
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  • $29.99 / month

    $29.99 / monthDiamond Membership All Access Pass

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