The areoplane game is a simple little training game is brought to you by professional, certified dog trainer, Andrea Farricelli who is the created of the unique and popular online dog training course: Brain Training 4 Dogs.
This game has been taken exclusively from the course and is used to help you keep your dog's attention and get them to avoid distractions. These are essential for an obedient dog, which is exactly why I wanted to share it with you today. Here's how it works:
Objective: Your dog must make eye contact despite the distraction of a biscuit.
You Will Need:
Dog biscuits or other large treats like the ones below. If your dog likes raw carrots, they are also a good option.
This little brain game will teach your dog that looking into your eyes is what magically grants him a treat. Whether you own a puppy, an adult dog, or a rescue dog, this game is a great way to bond and help him view you as a source of rewards and pleasure! It also improves your dog’s ability to pay attention to you despite distractions.
The only things you will need to play this game are some larger treats that protrude from your fingers (a dog biscuit may work well at first) and the ability to act like an airplane, so let’s get started!
How to train the aeroplane (or Airplane) game
Find a quiet area with few distractions. When you’re ready to begin, hold a dog biscuit in one of your hands, letting it protrude from your fingers so your dog sees it. Now, stretch your arms out as though you were an airplane, while keeping the biscuit in clear view.
Here I am doing my best airplane impression! Notice the large treat protruding from one hand.
If your dog is highly food motivated, he’ll likely look at the treat in your hand and perhaps even drool. If he’s the type of dog who gets frustrated, he may bark or paw at you, and if he’s a jumper he may attempt to jump up and grab it! Ignore these behaviors and keep the treat firmly held so he can’t get it.
Now, wait patiently until your dog looks into your eyes. The moment he makes eye contact with you, say "yes" and let the treat fall to the ground so he can get it.
Bing! your dog has just discovered that eye contact is what makes you drop the “bomb” (treat)! As he gets good at this you can use smaller, bite-sized treats. This will help him pass the exam with “flying” colors (ha, get it?), as he won’t spend precious seconds chewing on a biscuit!
In some cases, your dog may not notice the treat in your hand. If so, try moving the hand with the treat around a little to grab his attention. If you really need to, you can lower the hand, let him sniff the biscuit, then raise it back up into position. This may lead to jumping, but ignore the jumping behavior and wait for him to make eye contact.
If your dog still doesn’t make eye contact, you may need to give him a little hint. In the Brain Training for Dogs course, there's a game called "look into my eyes", which involves making a "smacking" noise with you lips to get your dog's attention.
To regain your dog's attention, you can make the "smacking" sound to get him to look into your eyes before dropping the treat.
Increase the challenge
Once your dog gets the hang of this game, you can make it more intriguing by replacing the dog biscuit with even higher-value items like your dog’s favorite bone. You can even add a touch of unpredictability by hiding different treats in your hand so your dog doesn’t know what they are until you let them fall to the ground.
To add even more fun and unpredictability, randomly change the hand that holds the treat.
When you’re ready, start your timer (a stopwatch works well) and complete three repetitions of “The Airplane Game” exercise in a row. This means holding up a treat with your arms outstretched, waiting for your dog to make eye contact, then dropping the treat—and repeating this two more times. As soon as you’re finished, stop the timer and check the grade table on the following page to find out how well your dog scored.
Here’s a video of Einstein and me completing the exam:
You may have noticed that I use a clicker instead of saying “yes.” In the Brain Training for Dogs course I will teach you all about clickers and how to use them to take your training to the next level.
Einstein’s Tip: to complete the challenge faster, use small treats that your dog eats in one bite and don’t toss the treat across the room, just let it fall to the ground. This one’s a joint effort between dog and owner to get the ‘A’ grade!
Keep track of your dog's progress with this handy table. Right click to save table as an image for printing.
More Brain Games
As I mentioned earlier, this game was taken from the Brain Training for Dogs program.
In the full Brain Training for Dogs course you will discover 20 more great games you can play with your dog to skyrocket their obedience, behavior, and intelligence.
The course also contains simple techniques for teaching basic obedience, and plenty of training tips and secrets I’ve picked up over my years of experience as a professional trainer, so don’t miss out.
Get access to Brain Training for Dogs here:
You will also get access to Behavior Training for Dogs and Adrienne’s Archive, which provide force-free solutions for just about ANY doggy behavior problem you could possibly think of.
These bonuses are free to you when you invest in Brain Training for Dogs today.
Thanks for reading,
Adrienne and Einstein