Category: On-Demand

Don’t Just Grab the Pussycat: the Power of Consent in All Species (1.75 Hours)

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hug-dogDid you know that your dog might not actually like being picked up? Or that "not running away" is not the same as your cat consenting to be petted? Did you know that putting your hand out into a dog's space is actually NOT a polite thing to do in the dog world? Or that most of the photos of 'happy dogs' getting hugs on Facebook are probably not actually happy?

Consent before touching (or lack thereof) was a hot topic in the 2016 US election and also before that with some well-publicized crimes. It has continued to stay in the consciousness of the Western world with the #metoo movement, supreme court confirmations, and various other events. One of the interesting and tragic things about consent is that it is applied differently to different genders, species, and cultural groups.

This seminar was recorded live in December 2016 and is available for you to view at any time!


This online seminar explores boundaries and consent:

  • Boundary setting in humans and non-human animals
  • How consent can only be given in the moment. Authentic consent cannot be given after the fact or in advance.
  • Effects of contact without consent
  • Benefits of asking for consent before physical contact
  • How to ask for and receive consent from non-human animals
  • Comparison of different animal training techniques and how they relate to consent
  • How helping your dog communicate consent and cut-off signals can improve your dog's behavior and your relationship with your dog
  • How clear consent of your own boundaries can improve your relationship and sex life with your human partner(s)
  • How to defend your animal's right to give/deny consent
  • How discussing consent in contact with animals can educate humans about boundaries with one another

(topics subject to change)

Presentation is online with live video, powerpoint, and recorded videos. The presentation will be recorded, so don't worry if you can't make the date.

ADULT CONTENT WARNING: This seminar is not just about dog training, but about personal contact between humans. I recommend only adults register, as there will be some discussion of consent and safe words between humans for intimate contact (including sex). This is not your usual dog training seminar.


Grisha and Bean, Photo by Kaden Weaver

Grisha Stewart is an author, international speaker, and dog trainer who specializes in dog reactivity. She founded Empowered Animals and the online Animal Building Blocks Academy in Alaska and Ahimsa Dog Training in Seattle, which has earned many awards, including Best of Western Washington.

"Ahimsa" is a Buddhist doctrine of nonviolence to all living things, which reflects Grisha's focus on force-free methods to promote the well-being of dogs and their humans.

More info about Grisha:

About This Online Seminar Recording:

  • Recorded live December 13, 2016
  • Stream on your computer or mobile device (not a download or a physical DVD)
  • Run time: 1 hr 45 mins
  • CEUs are not available for this seminar.

Save on your webinar by getting a Building Blocks membership at the same time. Members get discounts here in the Campus Store, plus unlimited access to tons of video lessons.

Purchase: Consent Webinar

Webinar $39

Webinar $31.20 (save 20%) + 1-year Pro Membership** $39.95

* Student Members get access to tons of how-to videos, discounts in our Campus Store, and access to other resources in our community. Does not automatically renew.
** Pro Members get all of the Student Member benefits, plus bigger discounts, Animal World Superstars interviews, and more features for dog trainers. Hobby trainers are welcome - you need not be a working professional. Does not automatically renew.

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