Pet owners have an idea in their heads as to how they would like their pets 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 the 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.
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.
Adrienne’s course focuses primarily on force-free dog training. This means exactly what it sounds like. In force-free training, there’s no external punishment applied in the form of a painful shock, shouting, or another outwardly intimidating factor. Instead, the stress is removed from the dog and he’s encouraged to participate in training because he wants to rather than because he has to.
This is a great alternative to getting frustrated and scaring your dog. By removing the barrier of fear and intimidation, your dog instead is working to actively please you and to produce those results. This means that he will remember what makes you happy and do his best to emulate it in the future.
There’s a lot of competition in the dog training world. In dog training, you never want to learn from someone who’s overly strict and dismissive. Any good dog trainer needs to have a healthy dose of compassion and love for our animals if they’re to achieve the best results. Many dog trainers use different methods, but Adrienne’s is different from the majority in many beneficial ways.
For one thing, she’s stimulating your dog’s natural intelligence instead of simply appealing to his instincts. Likewise, she places a lot of emphasis on trying to understand the cause of the dog’s behavior rather than only addressing the manifestation. For example, if your puppy tends to be a little destructive when you’re away at work, the likely cause is separation anxiety. It’s far better to understand and treat this behavior rather than getting angry and treating him like a bad dog.
Now that we’ve got it out of the way, let’s move on…
Brain Training for Dogs Review: The Member Area
In the main member area, there are two dog training courses:
- Brain Training for Dogs
- Behavior Training for dogs
I’ll talk about both of them in-depth later on. But first, I’d like to point out a few of the pages and bonuses that come with this program, and in my opinion, are necessary for your dog training success:
Course Resources – On this page, you’ll see a list of all the important items you’ll need in order to follow Adrienne’s games and exercises. She even suggests common household alternatives in case you want to start training your dog immediately.
Article Archive – This page contains over 100 articles that explain in detail how to deal with common behavior problems, such as aggression, barking, marking, phobias, and more. There’s even a whole section directed towards puppies. You’ll also learn professional training techniques from Adrienne herself, which is basically a course on its own!
It’s important to note that all of the articles are only available to online course members and can’t be found elsewhere. You also have access to a small video library which focuses mostly on teaching your dog tricks, which is a nice little addition.
Case Studies – Here, Adrienne shares some of her client’s work with her students. This way, you can almost feel as though you’re actually peeking over her shoulder as she’s working with other dogs and their specific behavior problems, such as separation anxiety, jumping, etc.
You’ll learn about the potential causes that lurk behind these behaviors, as well as the training techniques that were used. At the time of this post’s writing, there are only two case studies, but Adrienne is always adding new content, so it’s worth going back to this page on a regular basis.
Private Forum – Once you’ve become a member of the course, you’ll have free access to a private forum where you can leave your questions. This forum is quite new, but it seems to be gaining momentum. While Adrienne can’t be expected to promptly answer each and every post, she usually replies within a day’s time.
Brain Training for Dogs Review: Inside the Course
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!
The preschool level starts with target training and also includes two other games that will teach your dog how to focus. These skills may seem trivial at first, but they’ll be important later on. In this module, you’ll learn the airplane game (See the video below). While it may be very simple, this game goes a long way towards having your dog look at you as the source of rewards.
The elementary level focuses on your dog’s sense of smell. These fun games will encourage your dog to use his nose and hunting skills in order to find his kibbles or treats. Here, you’ll learn the ball-pit game, which is all about wearing your dog out while still providing him with a fun time.
The high-school level features more games that will challenge your dog’s olfactory receptors. Adrienne’s recommended game for this module is having your dog bob for tasty treats. Not only does this stimulate his mind, but it also develops patience, problem-solving, and keep him occupied and happy. Plus, there’s a special game that teaches dogs how to settle down when they’re overly excited.
College-level presents harder dog nose work games, including a super important game that teaches your dog how to control his anticipation when going outside. You’ll also learn the shell game, which tests your dog’s agility.
The university level contains more advanced tasks that help you to increase the bond with your dog and shape a better-behaved dog. This level combines the skills you and your dog have learned up to this point. There’s an emphasis on impulse control, as well as obeying verbal commands. The goal of one of the games is to stop your dog’s barking out of the window.
Graduation and Einstein levels are mainly targeted at boosting your pet’s brainpower. The games will teach your dog how to perform nifty tricks and some say even useful. From tidying up his toys to recognizing an object by name and perhaps the most unusual – playing the piano!
At the bottom of the tasks, there’s an exam grade table that lists the time taken to complete them and a grade next to it. Once your dog completed all the levels he can take the Einstein challenge, where he will be challenged to beat Einstein’s score for each game.
The course’s website is extremely intuitive. First of all, the site is mobile-friendly and very easy to read even on small devices, so feel free to use your phone or tablet when you follow the lessons. You can also get to any page of the course using the navigation bar once you’re logged in. On top of that, each page includes a table of content and navigation links to the previous or next page. For better ease of use, there are illustration photos and video examples as well as hover tooltips for glossary terms and other important tips that stand out from the rest of the content.
Please note that this isn’t a video course and all the lessons are text-based, much like a book. Of course, if you’re more video inclined, this may not be the course for you. However, the content is very digestible and it’s easy to go through it without feeling overwhelmed with too much information. This program is also a great fit for busy people who don’t have much time to devote to dog training. This is mainly because the lessons are divided into small chunks, which not only make them easier to read, but they also take only about 10-20 minutes to practice.
When you finally get to the brain training part, you’ll be reminded which cues your dog needs to know in order to perform each one. The instructions are broken down into easy-to-follow steps and there’s even a part that helps you troubleshoot different problems you might encounter, as well as a way to increase the challenges if your dog finds it’s too easy for him.
I’ve been using the course for about a month and I have to say that I’m really impressed with the fast site speed. Some websites that offer courses are usually on the slow side, whether it’s because of a poor hosting or bad optimization. Also, the site uses a security certificate that protects your information, which is always a good practice, especially when you have to enter sensitive information such as email, password, and alike.
I must admit I didn’t try the technical support, simply because I didn’t have a reason to. If you do need assistance, support is offered to registered users via email (which can easily be found right after you log in). If you have a question regarding training, make sure to check the article archive first, as it contains a lot of gold nuggets. Adrienne also tends to respond in the private forum. However, for any issue with the site or payment, it’s probably best to contact the support desk directly.
As for the date of this review, this online dog training course costs just $47.00, which is approximately the average cost for a dog trainer per hour. Not only will you gain professional training skills and build a better relationship with your dog, but you’ll also save money on dog trainers and animal behaviorists. Besides, the information in this course can serve you for many years to come as dog training never really ends. Every once in a while, you’ll need to have refreshing sessions with your dog so that he can stay on track.
The Behavior Training Course
I personally decided to start with the behavior training course before diving into the main course. The behavior training course is divided into addressing specific problems. Adrienne makes sure to specify different reasons for the behaviors, as well as an optimal course of action. In some cases, you’ll have a link to a case study that walks you through the methods of correcting a specific bad behavior.
Even though my dog already follows most of the basic commands, I decided not to skip the obedience training. Like Adrienne mentions, it’s generally a good idea to work with your dog from time to time on these basic commands and even practice them in different places.
Here, too, the instructions are very clear and since I’ve already done this with my dog before, he got the hang of it pretty quickly and the sessions were fun and simple.
Brain Training for Dogs Review: Is It the Best Online Dog Training Course?
The brain training online dog training course is full of valuable tips and information to help you not only make your dog a a genius who can play the piano, but also to help you shape a better behaved dog, which rarely happens when you simply throw him a ball or play tug of war.
Today, we know that mental activity is just as important as physical activity and the best way to go is to find the perfect balance between the two. That’s exactly what this course is about.
Keeping your dog mentally stimulated is often the key to preventing some of the most common behavior problems we tend to see in our dogs. In fact, it can even eliminate bad, unwanted behaviors, as long as you’re consistent and give your dog something that will exercise his mind.
Most dog owners that are new to dog training are sure to benefit from this course, especially if their dog is showing signs of behavior issues due to boredom or mental inactivity. It’s also a fantastic refresher guide for seasoned trainers and basically for anyone who wishes to improve the relationship with their dog or simply wants to have fun with him.
If you like to read testimonials from more happy students, you can check out this sales page. Furthermore, if the program isn’t what you expected it to be, you can always request your money back within 60 days. This is how much Adrienne believes in her product and why you should too.
- 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