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‘Amazing’: Woman teaches her dog to ‘speak’ and it’s blowing people’s minds

Using a specially-designed buzzer button pad, the intelligent pooch tells its owners when she wants to go outside and play among other things.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 17, 2019 7:14:17 pm
dog learns to talk, woman teaches dog to talk, dog talk in sentence, dog aac device, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, dog uses words to communicate, viral news, odd news, What is trending, indian express It all started as an experiment when Hunger and her fiance programmed one record-able answer buzzer to say “outside.” (Source: HungerforWords/ Instagram)

While most people would be happy and content to just teach their pets the obedience code, one woman is making headlines as she has trained her pooch to talk. her dog, Stella can communicate full sentences and the videos are blowing away people’s mind online.

Christina Hunger, a 26-year-old woman from California, who is a speech-language pathologist “believes everyone deserves a voice” and thus trained her one-year-old Catahoula/Blue Heeler mix to speak in proper sentences. Using a specially-designed buzzer button pad, the intelligent pooch tells its owners when she wants to go outside and play among other things.

It all started as an experiment when Hunger and her fiancee programmed one recordable answer buzzer. “We thought this button would be a good size for Stella to activate with her paw. Every time we said ‘outside’ to Stella, we modeled use of the button by pushing it with our foot,” the woman wrote in her blog ‘Hunger for Words’.

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Stella uses language differently when she’s in a heightened state versus when she’s calm! • Today when she heard some noises outside and wanted to go investigate, I told her we were staying inside. • Stella responded by saying, “Look” 9 TIMES IN A ROW, then “Come outside.” She was clearly in a more frantic state, and her language use matched that. We all sound differently than normal when we’re in distress, Stella included! • I’m impressed that Stella is communicating with language during her more heightened states, not just when she’s calm and in a quiet space. This shows me that words are becoming more automatic for her to use. It’s similar to when a toddler starts using language to express himself during times of frustration instead of only crying. That happens when it’s easy for the toddler to say words, not when he’s still learning and it takes a lot of focus to talk 🧠🗣 • • • • • #hunger4words #stellathetalkingdog #slpsofinstagram #speechtherapy #AAC #ashaigers #slp #corewords #SLPeeps #slp2be #earlyintervention #languagedevelopment #dogsofinstagram #dogmom #doglife #dogs #guarddog #animalpsychology #doglover #dogvideos #sandiegodog #catahoula #blueheeler #smartdog #dogcommunication #mydogtalks #animalcommunication #interspeciescommunication #loveanimals

A post shared by Christina Hunger, MA, CCC-SLP (@hunger4words) on

The therapist developed an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) system for her dog. “Every time we took Stella outside, we pushed ‘outside’ button before opening the door. After a few weeks of modeling, Stella showed us she was aware of what was happening. When I would ask ‘outside’, Stella wanted to go outside and she began looking down at the button, looking up at me, and barking,” Hunger explained.

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Last night, right before this video was taken, I accidentally said “ball” on Stella’s device while I was actually reaching for a different word. But, Stella took this very seriously! She picked up her ball, dropped it on her device, and said “Good” (Translation: Good idea, Mom!) • I started recording right after she said “Good” and caught the rest of her thought: “Happy ball want outside!” • Like all AAC users, Stella thrives when we talk to her using her device and say words that she loves. She never needs to know it was on accident! 😉 • • • • • #hunger4words #stellathetalkingdog #slpsofinstagram #speechtherapy #AAC #ashaigers #slp #corewords #SLPeeps #slp2be #aacawarenessmonth #earlyintervention #languagedevelopment #dogsofinstagram #dogmom #doglife #dogs #animalpsychology #doglover #dogvideos #sandiegodog #catahoula #blueheeler #smartdog #dogcommunication #mydogtalks #animalcommunication #interspeciescommunication #loveanimals

A post shared by Christina Hunger, MA, CCC-SLP (@hunger4words) on

Cut to present, Stella now knows nearly 30 words and can communicate using multiple words. Hunger keeps track of the dog’s progress on social media accounts and the posts have left many intrigued online. In her latest post, the woman said Stella uses both paws to push buttons, drawing parallel to humans learning to type using both hands.

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I AM MIND BLOWN 🤯 Last night after coming inside, Stella said “Come eat come play.” I was pretty sure she meant that she wanted to eat dinner then play, but I asked, “Do you want to eat or play?” to clarify. • Stella licked her lips, paused, and responded, “Want come eat.” After Stella ate, she immediately dove at her toy and started playing. • AHHH! This is amazing for so many reasons! Stella told me a sequence of two things she wanted to do. Then, I asked her a question containing two options, and she answered with a short phrase confirming her original message! Stella even expanded her own phrase from “Come eat ” to “Want come eat.” The speech therapist side of me is completely amazed, and the dog mom side of me is incredibly proud. Yay, Stella!! • • • • • #hunger4words #stellathetalkingdog #proud #slpsofinstagram #speechtherapy #AAC #ashaigers #slp #corewords #SLPeeps #slp2be #aacawarenessmonth #earlyintervention #languagedevelopment #dogsofinstagram #dogmom #doglife #dogs #animalpsychology #doglover #dogvideos #sandiegodog #catahoula #blueheeler #smartdog #dogcommunication #mydogtalks #animalcommunication #interspeciescommunication #loveanimals

A post shared by Christina Hunger, MA, CCC-SLP (@hunger4words) on

And much like humans, the smart dog has learnt the basics about communication. “She frequently says ‘look’, waits for us to turn toward her then conveys her message or vocalises right before she uses her device,” Hunger said in her post.

Immensely proud of Stella’s cognitive skills, the Hunger said, “She’s learning and demonstrating rules of communication that I haven’t even tried to teach. It’s amazing to see the language and social skills that Stella acquires naturally.”

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