The Professor Akira Method is a way of brain training your dog founded by Monica Elkhalifa. She created the technique as a way to make your furry friend smarter and happier.
My name is Monica Elkhalifa, I am the Founder of The Professor Akira Method of brain training for dogs. I believe that all dogs can benefit from brain training and be smarter and happier – and it is a brilliant bonding exercise for their humans too.
I started training Akira, my Japanese Shibu Inu, five years ago. He had a lot of energy, and walks weren’t tiring him out. We started with a few basics such as numbers 1-4 and simple colours and shapes. Now Akira can count to ten in English and Japanese, master sums, plus answer questions about the world around him using my method of flashcards.
To get started, the key is to teach your dog the ‘tap paw’ command. This takes patience, but once your dog has mastered it, other elements of the training will get quicker. I would recommend 5-10 minute sessions, little and often worked best for Akira. Build from basic card recognition to comparing two cards and solving a problem. There are lots of videos on my website to give you inspiration!
The Professor Akira Method is reward-based training, When – and only when – Akira gets an answer correct, he will get a small amount of chicken, but we only do brain training after he has eaten his evening meal.
I taught Akira to count by teaching him numbers in chronological order, but he had the capacity to learn the same concept in different languages – if anyone else has a ‘bilingual’ dog, please do reach out on social media as I would love to see what other languages dogs can count in.
Many people tell me that they think their dog wouldn’t be ‘clever enough’ to master the Professor Akira Method. I can reassure you by saying that if your dog enjoys hide and seek, or can find a treat in a puzzle ball, they will benefit from cognitive stimulation. And if you have a younger, more energetic pup, you might find that brain training will calm them and help establish a routine.
Lockdown has been tough on us all – with fewer walks for us humans, and fewer adventures for our dogs. A set of Professor Akira flashcards costs £20 and will last your dog a lifetime – if you need support to get started, do drop me a line via my website.
Find out more about The Professor Akira Method.