Over the last 30 years, I must have tried a dozen different dog training programs. Some were okay, others outdated, but even worse somewhere downright rubbish and unsafe for dogs. When I was looking for help, training my first rescue dog ‘Bonzo’, a friend of mine gave me a copy of his Brain Training for Dogs, so in this article, I’ve shared our experience using this program.
Before we go any further, I’m going to let you know that I believe the techniques and philosophies used in this training program are reliable and trustworthy. I’m going to share with you once you can expect from the program and how it will help you and your dog from now on.
Brain Training For Dogs Review
When ‘Bonzo’ first came to me she had severe problems with confidence and interacting with other dogs. We found that Adrienne Faricelli’s brain training for dogs used a force-free approach to training based on positive reinforcement techniques that work.
I’ve seen some dominance programs that, although dogs only behave in a certain manner to avoid punishment, are still pushed as being effective. I avoid them like the plague, and so should you.
Training your dog through the use of fear will only leave them to having
- A lower level of self-esteem
- A complete lack of trust in others
- And a reluctance to learn
How does brain training for dogs work
This program teaches your dog to become a problem solver and they will actively want to take part and every part of their training. By using positive reinforcement instead of fear, your dog’s earning process is accelerated.
During the rest of brain training for dogs review, I will look at how the program is designed and how & why it worked for my dog. But I will explain why I think this is one of the most efficient and reliable dog training programs on the market.
What do you get when you join the program?
This program is priced at $47 and is a one-off fee, and as I am writing this post, this hasn’t changed. Inside you will get two ebooks.
- Brain Training for Dogs
- Behavior Training for Dogs
You will also have access to 21 demonstration videos that will show you how to complete the exercises successfully and you also now have access to members only exclusive area. The program itself couldn’t be easier as each step is described and you have a video to help you along.
They detail the training program itself in the ebooks and the videos are just meant as a guide to help you. Following the most recent update I must admit that the written information and videos provided are easier to follow, not that I had too much trouble the first time, but I can see why some might get confused.
What is Adrienne Faricelli’s Training Philosophy
Adriana and her team follow a very simple training philosophy that is force free and science-based. She believes in training dogs by ‘killing them through kindness’. Her training program will show you the power of positive reinforcement and how using rewards to train your dog will end up being a win-win situation for both of you.
Why does positive reinforcement work?
Using a positive reinforcement-based training program like Brain Training for Dogs will offer you a much higher level of success and if you stick with it, works every time
There are several reasons that positive reinforcement training is so effective, but in my experience because it sets your dog up to succeed every step of the way it just forms a huge bond between you and your dog. Once your dog trusts you it’s nearly impossible to fail.
I also love this training program because I can use it for dogs and any stages of life from seniors all the way to puppies. But you need to know that this method was very effective and still involves some work, and it will prove to be a mental and physical challenge.
The core of the training program is designed using a series of puzzles and games for your dog to figure out. The course is progressive and because of this your dog will go to a learning curve, but it’s not a race, it develops your dog’s mental skills and agility.
It also teaches owners not to use treats for the purpose of bribing your pet, they are a reward for learning. Every one of the 21 exercises including the program comes with a detailed troubleshooting guide as I can guarantee you that not every single one of them will run smoothly.
Training You, the Dog Owner first
What I found most interesting about this program is that I found that I learned as much about dog training as my dog did about their own behavior. Adriana understands that to successfully train a dog you must first train its owner, so providing clear instructions about all the skills that you need makes this program easy to follow.
As we mentioned earlier neither you nor your dog are a robot, so training isn’t always going to be linear. Expecting the training process to always go smoothly is unrealistic, but there is where the troubleshooting part of the program comes into play. They design these to help you and your dog figure out how to solve some functions you’ll need down the road.
Initially, you learn to master using a clicker and trust me when I tell you this is a skill you should value. You also learn to stop your dog snapping your fingers off when they’re trying to get a treat, for example, you learn that the only time you should ever hold treats in your fingers for your dog is you’re teaching them ‘luring’.
How will your training be accomplished?
Adrianne and her team really go above and beyond to provide the members of their program with all the tools they need. It really feels like you have your own dog trainer standing next to you. They cover things that other courses ignore or overlook, which in my experience just results in dogs only listening when it suits them. Not to give the entire game away, but here are some tricks of the trade that you will learn.
- how to reduce your pet’s dependency on treats by using a fading food lure
- Have to simplify the use of hand signals to take some mystery out of training your dog
- How to use simple verbal cues at the right time to prevent confusion
- When to use verbal cues, and when to use hand signals
- Train your dog to act reliably without always having to have rewards using a fading continuous reward system
One of the first things you learn is that in dogs world not all foods are created equal, while they may enjoy some kibble as a treat, getting a piece of cooked chicken is in a different universe. There’s also a difference between using larger or smaller treats, and during the training program you will learn the importance of using both of them.
Here is what you can expect from a lesson.
Every lesson starts with an introduction where you will learn what the aim is and what supplies you will need
The next section will be dedicated to a step-by-step breakdown of how training your dog with this program will look. Undoubtedly regardless of the simplicity of some training steps you will encounter some issues so Adriana and her team include each section on troubleshooting problems.
This is one of the most important parts of the training program involves reinforcing the behavior that your pet has learned by increasing the level of challenge they are facing. Next you’re going to have to test what your dog has learned and test their progress in the training program.
The importance of obedience training
The obedience training for dogs program starts with an obedience section. One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to not skip this section as it teaches your pet the most simple commands they should know.
- Using a lure
- Lie down
- Take / leave it
- Drop it
If your dog cannot follow these simple commands, they will just fail later tests
How is the training structured?
I must admit that as a teacher, I enjoyed the school-like structure of the training program. How you and your dog progresses from preschool all the way to Einstein. Encountering more challenging puzzles and exercises as they progress through the program.
- Preschool is Very easy
- Elementary is Easy
- High School is Intermediate
- College is Difficult
- University is Very difficult
- Graduation is Expert
- Einstein is Genius
As you are your dog’s teacher you will have to give them grades from A from F to a depending on how fast they complete each challenge. Every exam your dog will undertake has a grading curve with its own criteria on whether they should progress to the next grade or level.
Why is force-free dog training so effective?
In this part of the review I will look at the first lesson your dog will learn at preschool level so you can see how effective force-free training can be and what your dog can accomplish
Lesson One is on Targeting
Lesson 1 : Targeting
Aim: To train your dog to touch a target object with its nose on cue.
What you will need:
A target such as a pointer with a Post-it note on the end
Some treats and a clicker
Goal of the lesson
The goal of this lesson is to teach your dog to look at you on command and it also helps increase your dog’s self-esteem, both of which are very useful
Your dog would learn to touch your hand using its nose.
The very first time it does this you will hide your hand, click once and give them a reward.
it’s essential that this click is heard as soon as their nose touches the palm of your hand.
You should complete this exercise several times, adding no cue(voice command)
Once they are doing it successfully start naming the behavior or adding a queue such as the word target
So the next time you present your hand click say the word give them a reward and repeat
Once your dog has mastered this part of the process you can start giving them different targets so the scale can become transferable..
We had some initial teething problems with this very simple skill, but the troubleshooting section of the program was excellent and provided us with solutions to all the problems we were having
The importance of the exam sections
With testing your dog, it’s down to them versus the clock and how often they can touch your hand or the target stick within the time. Whether you’re training it to use it’s paw or its nose, check the time after the third touch. They consider a passing grade 17 seconds.
It’s also a good idea to watch these training videos more than once because you pick up some other useful tips and tricks, for example in this one Adrienna shows you how to use your clicker and treats in the best way to start with. This is important because jokingly an object treats and a clicker while trying to train your dog is much more challenging than you might think.
More Advanced Brain training Games
As you progress to more advanced levels there’s no denying that the training exercises become more challenging, but also they’re interesting and a lot of fun. The goal of each section is very simple, have your dog learn something new and behave in a more desirable fashion. Every section of the trading program has an obvious broader purpose that will help affect the quantity of your dog’s life.
For example, here are some more advanced exercises
Name discrimination – for this exercise teaches your dog to recognize the specific names of different toys. They say your dog can keep up to 200 vocabulary words; I am not sure where there yet.
The tidy up game–we love this game where I talk banjo to pick up her toys and put them in a dedicated toy area
Leg weaving – there’s no denying that this exercise proved to great with bonding with ‘Bonzo’, as she was afraid of people’s legs and feet.
Some examples from the Behavior Training for Dogs ebook.
This is the second book that comes as a free bonus and will prove a very useful tool when it comes to remedying some very common behavioral problems that dog owners and their pets struggle with. Such as
Here is where I found the solutions to two of the biggest issues I had with Bonzo when she first arrived, two problems that I was most interested in resolving were whining, and barking for no reason
Adrienna explains that whining is a genetic and instinctive behavior for dogs, especially when they’re trying to communicate with their mothers.
I failed to remember that my dog was born deaf and blind and had no ability to regulate its own temperature, so this is their only way of communicating to their mother that they’re cold or hungry. Once the pet is old enough and is weaned their mothers have ignored their whining and they stop. My failure to ignore this behavior was where I let both Bonzo and myself down, as all I did was reinforce the behaviour,
Any dog or puppy that is introduced to a new home and can find the whole occasion a little distressing, so they whine to get attention. Obviously as a puppy if they get heat and food from whining this behavior has been positively reinforced when their mother responds by providing them with food and a snuggle.
Whining behavior from grown dogs is different, and it’s important to find out why they’re doing this before you can train them to stop the most common reasons a dog whines are
- To get attention
- Because they’re excited
- They may be nervous
It’s important to identify whether they’re whining from a specific need. They’ve learned the lines between being a puppy and an adult, and they’re just wanting to get attention.
One thing I learned quickly is that an adult dog is whining. It’s most likely it’s the owner’s fault, as we have unwittingly reinforced this behavior.
I learned this lesson the hard way when I first started training dogs a long time ago. Dogs aren’t like they have no ability to distinguish between negative and positive attention. They don’t know whether you’re scolding them or praising them.
How Do You Cease Your Dogs’ Whining
The approach is simple and only positively reinforces behaviors you want your dog to repeat. In other words, if your dog whines for attention you have to learn to ignore them at all costs this is the only way these behaviors will disappear.
But this is where the positive reinforcement comes into play as soon as they stop winning, give them a treat or a toy, or even playing with Then.
Anxiety triggers some dogs whining. For example, my little lady despises the vacuum and whines every single time I take it out of the closet. But slowly I’m teaching her she has nothing to be afraid of, by ignoring her, and when I finish vacuuming, I give her a treat if she doesn’t whine.
Anytime I finish vacuuming and she’s still whining, I have to learn to ignore her. I don’t talk to her. I won’t even look in her direction. But as soon as the winding stops, I have a treat on hand ready to reward her. After I finished vacuuming sessions to eventually start to learn that she had to tolerate it, now she just walks away and tries to ignore the noise.
Anytime I enter the room and she whines at me, I just turn my back and walk away. I know the signs like a long process, but even looking at your dogs when the whine is giving them the attention that they crave. And you positively reinforcing the behavior.
If you stay focused and behave consistently this annoying behavior will soon cease and you’ll quickly be rewarded with a dog that no longer likes to wine
So if you are asking me does brain training for dogs work, I would have to give it a resounding yes.
I have to say that brain training for dogs by Adrienne Faricelli’s s by far the best dog training program I’ve ever used. It tackles a wide variety of issues that you will encounter with your dog and offers solutions that are both straightforward and sustainable. When you look at the price of $47 you may wonder why it’s so cheap especially considering a dog trainer can cost you anything up to $150 an hour. I’m sorry I don’t have an answer for you on that.
But what I know is that these kind signs based on force-free training methods provided me with a unique connection to my dog. We don’t love the brain-boosting sessions that just Inspire us to do more together. Is a highly qualified canine behavior expert and this expertise shines true throughout the program.
Her passion for creating strong bonds between pets and their owners is clear. All she wants to do is to change your dog’s behavior, to make both your lives easier.
Anyone who’s new to dog training should jump at the chance of using this program as it’s both challenging and fun. It offers the complete package from ebooks to your training videos, so all the troubleshooting additions that the team has worked so hard to provide you with. If you have a problem pooch what these issues with you today by giving Brain Training for Dogs a try, neither you nor your dog will regret it.
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