Many dogs and their owners have battled to find the perfect outlet for pent-up energy, whether it’s a desire for socializing, cerebral stimulation, or physical activity.
Monica Elkhalifa, who lives in Abu Dhabi with her husband and two dogs, Miko and Akira, discovered that the time she spent at home with her pets during lockdown was the ideal opportunity to put their intellect to the test and improve their training.
Elkhalifa started teaching Akira, a six-year-old Shiba Inu, additional instructions and ideas since he was bored with the little walks Elkhalifa could give him. He already understands over 90 words, basic arithmetic, and even a little Japanese after just a year!
Elkhalifa started creating her own curriculum approximately 5 years ago, after being frustrated by a lack of online dog education tools.
The initial stage was to teach Akira how to react to a flashcard with a paw tap, and then to correlate the drawings on the cards to the actual environment (like numbers and objects). With 10-minute sessions five times a week, the most severe training began during the 2020 lockdowns.
Akira has shown to be an excellent student as a result of his hard effort. He can identify around 90 words, as well as a few different colors. He can use flashcards to add two numbers and indicate the proper result, as well as answer yes or no questions. He’s currently working on subtraction, demonstrating that his abilities go beyond memory and pattern recognition.
While his abilities are undeniably excellent, the controlled testing setting, as well as Elkhalifa’s body language and tone, may have had a factor. Animal intelligence researchers attempt to create methods to assess animals’ grasp of ideas such as numbers and words in a variety of ways to ensure that they are actually comprehended.
“Shiba Inus are very independent and clever. I really felt that he needed something extra apart from his physical exercises,” she explained to the Good News Network.
ProfessorAkira.com is where she sells the flashcards and approach. Watch Akira demonstrate his abilities in the complete video below!