Ep. 33: Plenty in Life is Free With Kathy Sdao

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Marissa Martino of Paws & Reward Dog Training in Boulder, CO interviews Kathy Sdao of Bright Spot Dog Training in WA.

In today’s episode, they talk about a very important concept that can make an impact in these 3 areas:

  1. Improving your dog’s behavior
  2. Improving your behavior when interacting with your dog
  3. Enhancing your relationship with your canine companion

The concept is called Plenty in Life is Free which may seem contrary to the ever-popular dog training concept: Nothing in Life is Free. 

The old narrative:

Nothing in Life is Free = do not give your dog anything (access to attention, love, food, water, etc.) until he complies with what you have asked of him (sit, down, stay, etc.).

Kathy first decided this concept might not be the best option for pet parents after another trainer recommended this protocol to implement with her dog, Nic, after he bit two of Kathy’s friends. Kathy felt the protocol, one she had recommended to many, many clients before, was not addressing the root of the issue. She also felt the intention behind the concept felt hierarchical, controlling and not in the best interest of her relationship with her dog. So, Plenty in Life is Free was born – both the concept and her book!

The new narrative:

Plenty in Life is Free = Noticing the good choices your dog is already making and rewarding these behaviors. Kathy discusses her wonderful protocol called SMARTx50. To read about this protocol, please read Kayla’s awesome blog post.


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