Dog learns to Talk using Speech Buttons

by Nancy Hassel,

If you have not yet seen the amazing dog Stella who has learned to communicate via speech buttons, kind of like the “that was easy” button – you are about to.   When broke the story, we immediately checked out Stella’s Instagram page, to learn more.  When I first looked at the page it was at a little over 2,000 followers, and now not even a full two days later already almost at 90,000 followers.  (Congrats to Stella and her mom & dad!)Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 8.57.26 AM

There is no surprise at the viral aspect of what Stella can do – it is not just another dog doing tricks, but something many pet parents wish their dogs could do, talk to them.  Communicate in a way that is more human than dog.  As we put more human emphasis on our dogs, I can see a lot of people wanting this for their relationship with their dogs.

We know how smart dogs are, and I have always felt they are way smarter than we actually give them credit for.  Of course, just like people, some dogs are smarter than others.  But this example of Stella showing what she wants through speech, and linking words together on her own is quite fascinating.  

Stella’s mom, Christina Hunger, MA CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist who discovered how her dog could talk.  From Christina’s blog, “Inspired by my passion for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and by my love of dogs, I’m using my speech-language expertise to show how much dogs can say when given the opportunity to learn.I’m using my speech-language expertise to show how much dogs can say when given the opportunity to learn.”

My own dog Cody, well he is one of the super-smart dogs, and he not only talks verbally, (you know in doggie language, and mimics some words), he also communicates what he wants, especially when his treat ball is empty!  I am sure that many people can say the same about their own dog.    But also how quickly Cody catches on to things and learns, amazes me – he has untapped potential in my opinion and you know I ordered some of those buttons to see if he can get it as Stella does.  (And if he doesn’t that’s ok.)

What I like about how Stella’s mom taught her, is not forcing her to touch the buttons, in other words not putting her paw on the buttons but rather showing her with her own foot.  There is an adorable video on their Instagram page showing Stella learning when she was a wee pup.  

If you’re interested in learning how Christina taught Stella, I highly recommend you read – you know R-E-A-D her blogs to learn how.   With any kind of dog training, it takes repetition and a ton of patience for the pet parent.  Often dogs would learn a ton more if their parents had more patience and willing to put in the time with training.  

Want to know more?  Check out their Instagram page Hunger4Words and Christine’s blog is  Thanks, Christina for showing the world what Stella can do – it’s going to be fun to watch the growth.  

And if you want to see Cody saying “I wuv you” and doing his best Chewbacca impression, head over to his Instagram page: AdventureswithCodytheBluenose.Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 9.03.52 AM

Do you think your dog can communicate like Stella?  We would love to know!


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