Classical Companions w/ Elisabeth Weiss

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Photo by Donovan Wagner, Hiilite Creative

Photo by Donovan Wagner, Hiilite Creative

About The Episode

Elisabeth Weiss grew up in Vienna, Austria. From a young age, music was a big part of her life. In particular, classical music. Her father was a musician of the genre, as well as the director of a music conservatory in Vienna. She tried piano, but found her musical calling in the violin.

This path eventually led her to New York, where one of her teachers went and where she also had an Uncle living at.

When first moving over, she stayed at a hotel where she met a little black Briard dog, who she fell in love with and was inspired by to get her own Briard. That sparked having dogs ever since.

Her dogs always would listen to Elisabeth practice her violin. They would get to know the music in a unique and synced way, memorizing the pieces and all the timing (as well as howling along at points).

One of her dogs, Cosi, ran into some health issues. Elisabeth would put on some classical music and she saw how it relaxed the dog. She ended up teaching Cosi to play piano to help give her more self-confidence, as well as increased stimulus reaction with endorphins coming from the sounds reflecting the play.

This music-playing became part of her dog training within her own dogs, but eventually also transferred into her training other dogs. The first of which was Lolabelle, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson’s dog. After that, she ended up getting increasingly more into the dog behavior world and eventually took it on as her full-time job.

At a certain point, Elisabeth realized that music should take a step down on her priority list and focus on making dog training her primary career path. It made sense on several levels - it benefitted her more personally, practically, and fulfilled the desire to do something to help improve and contribute to the world.

Now, Dog Relations NYC has been her full time job – offering various forms of training and consultation, with a unique element being her ability to teach music to the dogs. She knows how to hit just the right notes with them.

About The Guest - Elisabeth Weiss

Elisabeth Weiss is a dog trainer who runs her own company “Dog Relations NYC” where she offers in-house consulting, training programs, online coaching, physical therapy, and more. She is perhaps best known for teaching dogs how to play music - a technique she even used with Lou Reed’s dog, who was her first client. Originally, Elisabeth was a violinist, and she has brought that background into her dog training, too. And now, while music still is part of her life, her own dogs and the ones she works with have taken #1 priority and brought more fulfillment to Elisabeth’s life as a result.

Featured Links

  • Dog Relations NYC website -

  • Dog Relations NYC on Facebook -

  • Dog Relations NYC on Twitter -

  • Dog Relations NYC on Instagram -

  • Heart of a Dog - Official Trailer (Laurie Anderson) -

Jack Sommer