About Professor Akira
Shiba Inus are known for their bold spirit, independence and quick mind and I have all those traits. I’m also strong willed, confident and happy to play along with my owner’s brain training games when it’s fun and there’s a reward at the end.
I live in the UAE with my owner Monica and my sister Miko who is a rescue dog, where in addition to improving my brain power, I’m partial to running around the garden, chasing a ball and taking naps. Rest and recuperation are vital for keeping my cognitive performance at its peak. Miko and I get along, but we clash at times. You’ll see her in some of the pictures I post. She sits next to our owner every time I train to enjoy the treats, but disappears whenever it is her turn to perform. She’s clearly the genius in our family.
My brain training journey
I started using flashcards at the age of one. Monica had already suspected I was highly intelligent by then - I used to peer behind the TV to see what was making all the noise or slide under glass tables so I could look at things through the glass. I then graduated onto puzzles, but got bored quickly, so Monica devised the cards for me.
We began with numbers in Japanese and graduated onto 1 to 10 in English. They only expected me to learn a couple of numbers, but I proved I could master much more than that. I train five days a week for 10 minutes at a time. I do have the odd day when I can’t focus, but it doesn’t happen often.
I want to give all dogs the opportunity to show off their thinking power with my flashcards, bond with their owners and enjoy the thrill of learning. Dogs enjoy a mental workout as much as they do a walk outdoors. The cards encourage us to focus on our owner’s voice, which is useful when it comes to any kind of training and they also have a calming affect on lively dogs - they are especially effective at quietening adolescents.
I look forward to my daily 10-minute flashcard sessions. As time has passed, my owner and I have learned to communicate more effectively and I’ve surprised her with my knowledge.
When we go for a walk, I can count birds and identify different species and I can pick out more colours than experts believed that dogs could see. I also warn Miko whenever there is a car coming - my road traffic skills are excellent.
The cards have even taught me to do some basic maths - in fact, I’m better at arithmetic than most five-year-old humans.
Best of all, I continue to learn and improve and thanks to regular brain training, I’m a clever and happy dog.
I am learning subtraction next - there is already a minus card in the pack, but I haven’t mastered it yet.