How Your Dog Can Communicate With You

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Talking Buttons for Pet – How Your Dog Can Communicate With You

Have you ever wanted to teach your dog to talk? We know our dogs comprehend a lot of English, but what if they could communicate with us directly? Can you train your dog to communicate? In a nutshell, the answer is yes.

Christina Hunger MA, CCC-SLP, a speech-language pathologist in San Diego, has developed a way to educate her dog Stella to speak to her by utilizing adaptive speech technology – speech buttons pre-programmed with phrases that Stella may choose from to indicate desires, needs, and ideas. Christina Hunger has a viral Instagram account called “Hunger4Words,” where she documents her dog’s learning and a website with extra information.

Stella uses her wide vocabulary of words programmed into recordable buttons in short video clips to describe not just what she wants to accomplish, such as going to the beach, but also more abstract notions, such as sentiments and emotions, as well as word matching.

In a recent video, Stella utilized her soundboard (a set of pre-programmed buttons) to alert her owner that something was happening outside their home and that she wanted to see it by pressing many buttons in fast succession. This new training allows canines to communicate more effectively with humans and better grasp how our dogs see the environment.

Train Your Canine to Communicate with Talking Buttons

If you’ve ever wondered what your dog thinks, now’s your opportunity to find out. It is not compulsory to be a dog trainer or speech pathologist to understand better what your dog wants. You may now learn how to train your dog to communicate with talking buttons. Making use of recordable dog communication buttons is a fun method to improve your existing communication with your dog. It’s also something that, with a little effort, every dog can utilize to convey basic things like wanting to go for a walk or play.

Where to Get Talking Buttons for Pets

Many shops provide recordable dog training buttons – Stella even has her own set! There are high-end buttons available from medical and therapeutic supply firms, but there are also low-cost choices. Each button has a recording duration of 30 seconds (much more time than you need for just one word). Some owners purchase foam floor tiles and velcro to connect the buzzers to prevent their dogs from slipping.

A Guide to Helping Your Dog Speak with Communication Buttons

Teaching your dog to “speak” using talking buttons may appear overwhelming. Still, many canines should be able to learn it, at the very least, on a basic level. Patience and constancy are essential. If you rush the process, your dog will likely push buttons without fully comprehending the significance of the buttons they push. Dogs pushed through the training procedure are also less likely to utilize the buttons independently to communicate actively.

  • Once you have your buttons, you should teach your dog how to utilize them. The simplest method is associating buttons with items of high importance in your dog’s life. Playing, walking, going into the yard, and so forth are all examples. Essentially, you want to start with terms your dog already associates with and activities your dog appreciates. Struggling to think of phrases that already have significance for your dog? For my dog, I chose “potty,” which meant going out into our backyard at my place. I recorded “toilet” onto one of the buttons. I placed it strategically in my house, where we would pass to get to the backyard.
  • Once you’ve created a button, it’s time to put it to use. At this stage, you will press the button whenever you and your dog are going to perform something related to the button. For example, whenever I let my dogs out, I pressed the button that said “potty,” and then my dog and I went outside. The idea isn’t to compel your dog to press the button or even to train your dog to push the button in the same manner you might for a button-pushing trick. When using buttons for communication, you want your dog to mirror you. Suppose they see you hit the button before doing a specific action. In that case, they will eventually learn to push the button themselves to cue that they want to undertake the activity. Again, persistence and patience are essential.
  • After you push the button, your dog will eventually link the button and the desired activity. At this point, your dog will mimic you and press the button. When your dog presses the button, lavish him with praise and instantly give him what he requested. In this case, when my dog presses the “potty” button, we have a small party, and I quickly take her to the backyard.
  • As your dog gains knowledge with only one button, you may gradually introduce other buttons for different elements of your dog’s day. You can also incorporate toys and activities into your dog’s day by rewarding them when they press the button.


Consider how many words your dog already understands, ranging from cues for learned tasks and behaviors to people, things, and events like the names of toys, parks, and beaches. All the words your dog knows (as well as additional items and situations) may be named for your dog using this training method. And, in time, your dog may be able to utilize its recorded buttons to ask for those things and “converse” with you. Many individuals install a doorbell and train their children to ring it when they need to leave. I prefer to think of Christina Hunger’s recordable dog training button approach as a promising, more technologically sophisticated, and an accurate variant of this training.

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did getting this information.  Don’t forget to share it with your friends. Also, remember always visit your veterinarian for any illness you could have; this post is for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with your veterinarian.

See you in the next post!



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suggested products


Talking Pet Starter Set

by Hunger For Words

Get started training your dog to talk with four recordable buttons and an professional guide written by Christina Hunger, creator of the talking dog movement.

Learn how to identify and build off your dog’s communication routines to give them a voice and unite on a deeper level than you ever could have pictured.


  • 4 recordable buttons with easy to understand
  • Expert teaching guide.
$ 29.99

Prices reflect our most recent research and are subject to change.


Dog Talking Button Tester Kit

by FluentPet
Screen Shot 2022-07-21 at 2.47.20 PM

With two FluentPet Sound Buttons and two HexTiles, this kit lets you determine if talking sound buttons are right for your learner.


  • 2 FluentPet Talking Buttons
  • 2 FluentPet Solid Color Compact Hextiles
  • 67 Ideogram Stickers
  • 6 Pre-Installed Batteries
$ 39.95

Prices reflect our most recent research and are subject to change.

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