The Professor Akira Method: Instructions
Teaching your dog to tap the card
Choose any card and hold it up to roughly eye level of your dog, numeral or picture-side facing your dog.
Get your dog’s attention by using their name and a command phrase such as “Have a Look”, then tell the dog to “Tap Card” while you tap the card - being consistent with your command words and actions will make the task easier to learn.
Now encourage your dog to tap the card while you repeat the word “Tap Card” - you might want to move their paw gently to the card to start with.
Reward the dog when it does this – remember, if you are giving food as a treat, please make it a healthy and a small amount!
Repeat as often as necessary - we suggest each training session is around 5-10 minutes at the beginning depending on your dog’s attention span and your patience (little and often seems to work pretty well with Akira).
Once your dog has got the hang of tapping the card on the ground, you’re now ready to move up to the next level.
Teaching your dog to identify the right number, animal, colour, etc.
- Start holding up a card, numeral-side facing your dog.
- We suggest starting at number one (1) and teaching numbers chronologically, i.e. 1, 2 and then 3 onwards.
- Get your dog’s attention using their name and your command used previously (for example, “Have a Look”) while tracing the number with your finger.
- Tell the dog the number “two”, and tap the card.
- Then encourage your dog to tap the card, while you repeat “two” followed by “Tap Card”.
- Reward the dog when it does this.
- Keep going, repeating this a number of times.
- Once your dog has got the hang of this, you can start to add more numbers, teaching each card in turn.
- You’re ready to move up to the next level.
Working with a pair of cards
- Facing your dog, hold up two cards so that you can see the words and the dog can see the numerals.
- Get your dog’s attention using their name and your command word (for example, “Have a Look”).
- Then command the dog to choose one of the cards (for example, “Two”).
- Reward the dog if it put its paw on the correct card; otherwise, keep going until it gets it right.
- Then move onto a new pair of cards and repeat the game.
Now you’re away - enjoy.
Professor Akira Flashcards also come in sets of animals, colours, objects and counting – so when your dog has mastered one set, you can keep growing their interest with something new. And when they’ve learnt all that, you can start mixing the sets up.