Pet owners have an idea in their heads as to how they would like their pet to behave. The truth is that no one sets out to have a dog with behavioral problems. Yet sometimes, we must cope with the fact that our dogs exhibit troublesome qualities. These include behaviors such as incessant barking, chewing on your possessions and furniture, separation anxiety, and much more.
Of course, we want to address the root of the problem rather than simply addressing the manifestation. This is where it’s important to seek professional help from a certified dog training program.
There are some huge benefits to enrolling in an online dog training course. The most obvious is convenience, as you’re able to schedule the lessons around your other commitments and can take as much time as you need reviewing each lesson. Online classes also tend to be a little easier on your wallet, which is always a plus.
Brain Training for Dogs uses a series of 21 fun games to reach this goal. The 5 course modules are taught in a series from easier to advanced, laid out in the form of traditional education: Preschool, Elementary, High School, College, University, Graduation, Einstein.
About the Course Creator
First, let’s take a look at the founder of Brain Training For Dogs.
Adrienne Farricelli is a CPDT-KA certified dog trainer. She implements a program that emphasizes tapping into your dog’s own natural intelligence. It’s no secret that dogs are highly intelligent animals and Adrienne appeals to this by using techniques that encourage learning. The theory behind the work is that once your dog knows what to expect from you, it’s easier to form a symbiotic relationship.
After a trainer has become a CPDT-KA he or she must participate in Continuing Education in order to retain the credential and to keep up on the latest developments in dog training.
Adrienne has written articles for many well known publications, including USA Today.
This is the very foundation of all that you’ll learn, the very first step in the process. You’ll get to know Adrienne and her background, her certificates, as well as her way of training. There’s also a quick introduction to the course, which emphasizes the importance of bonding with your dog through games and providing him with mental stimulation.
Next in this module, you’ll go over the structure of the course. Basically, your dog will have to go through multiple levels, which are arranged from the easiest to the hardest.
Each level has its own passing grade. Most people will start at the Preschool level, where they can teach their dog or puppy basic skills and ultimately prepare him for the next tasks. The grades are determined by the time it takes for your dog to complete a task. Only when your dog passes the minimum grade at one level is he ready to move on to the next.
You’ll also be able to see the items that are required to finish each training. Most of the exercises only require some kind of food or dog treats to reward your dog. The rest of the items are optional or can be replaced with common household items.
To sum up this module, there’s a whole class on clicker training and how to use a clicker to mark a wanted behavior. Although you don’t have to use a clicker to follow this course, there are some benefits to it that will be explained in this lesson.
This part of the course teaches basic obedience training. We’re talking about simple commands such as “sit”, “leave it”, “stay”, etc. However, these skills are required in order to tackle most behavior problems in dogs, as well as for teaching your dog some of the brain games in this course. The emphasis here is on developing patience and impulse control.
This section is dedicated to helping you perfect your training methods and making sure your dog isn’t overly dependent on food lures and heavy hand gestures. Instead, you’ll learn how to add verbal cues, so your dog can still perform the behaviors you thought him, even when you don’t hold a yummy piece of chicken in your hand.
This is where the fun part begins! Using the knowledge you acquired in previous lessons, you can now start climbing your way through the brain training levels. All the way from Preschool up to Einstein!
To really conduct a solid review of Brain Training For Dogs, I needed to take a detailed look at the actual content offered.
The course starts with an introduction module to help you train successfully. After the introduction are the Obedience lessons.
I found this section delightful and easy to follow. Adrienne provides multiple ways to train most lessons, some with props which is very helpful when training alone.
My favorite lesson in the Obedience section is Take It/Leave It which is often under taught and yet vitally important to your dogs health and well being!
The first module after Obedience is Preschool. It may seem counterintuitive to call it that as your dog has (hopefully) already done well with the obedience and has a good foundation to his or her education.
However, the Preschool lessons include target training and two attention games which are highly important to being successful as your dog moves forward.
Often a building block training system works best when you work in order and don’t move on until your dog demonstrates a solid understanding of the task.
An Extra Thought: I would not have formatted Preschool after obedience as the games in this module will only increase your obedience training response.
Next is Elementary where your dog will get have fun with games like the “muffin tin” and “ball pit”. Adrienne suggests the use of “high value” treats for times where your dog is harder to motivate. I don’t think that will be the case with the muffin tin game and it’s worth investing in a 12 pack of tennis balls!
An Extra Thought: The ballpit game is one where you’re not likely to have the items you need on hand. There are substitutions provided, though I can’t imagine it’s quite as fun.
From Elementary you’ll go to High School. This section is neat because your dog will learn how to calm down on cue and includes games that are the basis for scent work. Scent work is fun, engages the dogs mind and body, and gives your dog purpose.
After High School comes the College module. This one continues with more scent work and games that encourage patience as well as build confidence.
An Extra Thought: I felt like some of the games in this module were not necessary to progressing training with the exception of Open Sesame. This game teaches a skill that is vital and potentially lifesaving. I’m thrilled this program offers training for critical behavioral skills that other programs do not typically offer standard.
From College to University, your dog is moving up in the world! This module is definitely introducing more advanced concepts, but again, the information is provided in an easy to follow format. The Hide and Seek game is one I taught often in my group classes.
It is an excellent foundation game for search and rescue or service dog training but really, you will be surprised how often you will use this skill with your dog!
After all these modules, you will move to Graduation and beyond that, Einstein (Genius).
Between these two modules you will learn games that will increase scent discrimination, prepare your dog for agility training (as with other games in this program) and perform interesting tricks.
If you plan to go into agility training, retrieving, search and rescue, service dog or other advanced programs, these lessons will be good for your dog to know.
The Name Game helps your dog associate items with names and will make training in agility easier as your dog must learn left, right, go out, name identified behaviors.
An Extra Thought: These aren’t necessary for a well behaved dog, however, if you decide to teach them, you will be amazed at the things your dog can do!
There’s a couple of extra bits of information that I thought were worth mentioning in my Brain Training For Dogs review.
Firstly, the membership also includes an incredible wealth of information that is categorized and easy to find. Topics are Puppy Training, Behavior Problems, and, my favorite, Case Studies.
The information is not displayed in the same lesson format as the Brain Games course, but the articles are informative and detailed without being too much.
- The course creator is a real, certified dog trainer
- 100% force-free training techniques
- Access to 100+ articles on dog behavior
- Lots of mentally challenging games
- Free obedience class and puppy training
- Beginner-friendly for anyone who’s new to dog training
- Cost is fair and equivalent to an hour with a dog trainer
- 60-day money back guarantee
- For some games, you’ll need items that aren’t necessarily available
- Currently, there aren’t many video instructions
Yes! It is well worth the price! And if you become a member and decide it wasn’t what you were expecting, there is a money back guarantee. It satisfies me that this trainer is willing to stand behind her work!
Adrienne addresses the most common issues faced when training your dog right up front.
If you don’t skip around, and follow the modules in order you should have a well behaved and mentally stimulated dog!
She offers support via email, but chances are you’ll find a lot of answers to issues in the archives.
Overall, a massive wealth of knowledge for a very reasonable price!
Thanks for reading my Brain Training For Dogs Review!