Some of the most well-known games that we like to play with our dogs are Fetch and Tug-Of-War. They are both great for increasing exercise and building their bond with you, as well as being useful for teaching your dog to drop what’s in its mouth.
On the downside, these types of games don’t really require much brain power from your dog. Mental activity can be just as tiring as physical activity and ideally your dog should be getting the right balance of both to keep their mind and body healthy.
Brain Training for Dogs by Adrienne Farricelli is an e-book containing games and puzzles for you and your dog to play and work on together. It also comes with some excellent video examples for each game, so it’s easy to see exactly how they all work.
Mentally Challenge Your Dog
The games are divided into various levels using a school setup – for example you start at Pre-School then move up to Elementary, then High School and so on so forth, until they reach Graduation and finally the Einstein level!
There are challenges at the end of each section where your dog can earn a grade from A to F. All dogs can earn an A grade, but some may need a little more time than others.
The idea is to gradually increase your dog’s mental aptitude and build their confidence.
The great thing is, the e-book does not assume that your dog already has basic training. It starts with some simple obedience training such as Sit and Down and there is a choice of techniques described such as clicker training or verbal markers.
So, if you are new to dog training - no problem, just start with the Obedience 101 section, otherwise you can skip this and head straight for school!
The Dog Brain Training Games
Each level or grade is comprised of three brain games, so in total there are 21 games.
In Preschool, your dog will learn how to touch a chosen target with their nose and paws and learn how to focus on you by making eye contact.
By the time you have completed the Einstein level, your dog will have learnt how to play the piano and even know how to tidy the house!
Each game has a step by step guide with picture examples, as well as a video guide that shows Adrienne and her dog completing the challenge.
If your dog is having trouble learning any of the tricks, there is a troubleshooting section for each game that advises how to simplify the process.
So even if your dog is prone to losing interest quickly, the criteria can be lowered so that they can don’t get frustrated. Once they start to get the idea, the difficulty can be increased to teach them an advanced version of the game.
When your dog has mastered the trick, it’s time for the exam.
Each exam is basically a challenge where your dog is required to perform the trick that they have just learned. The grade that they earn depends on factors such as how many seconds it took them to complete the challenge.
All you need to get started are some treats & toys to reward your dog and an optional clicker.
Some games require other tools, but you can use alternatives that you will most likely already have around the house, such as Post-it notes or muffin tins. For the piano game, you will require a battery-operated keyboard/piano.
Bonus E-Book - Behaviour Training for Dogs
As a bonus, with this e-book you also receive Behaviour Training for Dogs, which contains advice for combating common dog behavioural problems such as whining, digging, barking and chewing.
As with the Brain Training e-book, this is also very well written and it is full of useful tips along with picture examples.
Both the Brain Training for Dogs and Behaviour Training for Dogs are available for the low price of $17 (price correct on date of review - may be subject to change). It’s obvious that a huge amount of work has gone into these books and they are certainly not just a one-time read. They can be used again as a refresher course for your dog or just for general future reference. At $17, we think the product is excellent value for money.
We have found this book to be invaluable as both a training tool and a new way to have fun with my dog. It is a fantastic way to strengthening the bond between you and your pooch, as well as keeping them sharp. Most of all, the way the book is written makes it good fun and extremely rewarding.
We can highly recommend adding it to your collection.
Now you will have to excuse me, as my dog Ollie and I are off to play The Treasure Hunt game!