Read This Before You Train Your Dog with Talking Buttons - Pet Hub USA

Read This Before You Train Your Dog with Talking Buttons

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Do you know what your dog is trying to tell you? Do you want to? Talking buttons are a way of training your dog to express their desires by pushing a button of a recorded word. Most dogs can understand 89 words and phrases on average. Learn how to train your dog to communicate with buttons.

10. Prepare Your Supplies

Dog using talking buttons

In addition to the talking buttons themselves, it’s best to clear and prepare a permanent space for your buttons to reside. Keep them in a place where your dog will feel safe. It’s also a good idea to use a non-slip mat on surfaces like wooden floors or tile, or a piece of cardboard on carpet. You’ll need treats as a reward system for training.

9. Choose Command Words

Dog using talking buttons
Youtube | Justin Lennox

Choose simple words or phrases your dog already knows. For example, start with things like “walk,” “potty,” “food,” “toy,” “water,” “outside,” “play,” “ball,” etc. At first, it’s much easier to use familiar words to teach your dog to press buttons to express its wishes and get a certain result. You should wait until these words are used consistently before you add additional buttons.

8. Introduce One Button at a Time

Dog using talking buttons
Youtube | Luna the Pitty

Focus only on one button and one word at a time. For example, it might be good to start with the word “outside” or the phrase “let’s go outside.” Something that the dog knows and you can demonstrate easily.

7. Select a Spot for the Buttons

Dog using talking buttons
Youtube | Seattle Times

Choose where the buttons will be placed in your home. To start, while your dog is learning, it’s best to put them in one spot only. Ultimately, all the buttons don’t have to go in the same location. Once your dog understands the buttons, those related to outside functions could go by the door. Food- and play-related buttons could go elsewhere. 

Dog using talking buttons
Youtube | WoofWoofTV

One button should relate to a single event associated with one word or phrase to avoid confusion. For example, “walk” and “potty” are two different events that happen outdoors. Similarly, to your dog, “outside” and “potty” may mean the same thing and a single word and button may serve for that event. Strategize using words your dog already knows.

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5. Add Buttons to Your Routine

Dog using talking buttons
Youtube | CatersClips

Think about your daily routine with your dog. For example, with daily walks. Press the “walk” button yourself every time you take your dog for a walk. Gradually, your dog will associate pressing that button and going for a walk. And whenever they press the button, walk them. Do the same with other words and buttons, such as “potty,” “food,” “water,” etc. 

4. Keeping Your Dog Interested

Dog using talking buttons
Youtube | Rachael Ray Show

Even if your dog is eager to please you, don’t try to teach your dog to talk with the buttons for too long. Short sessions are best for keeping them interested. Don’t allow them to get bored so that it diminishes future interest. The process takes time, repetition, and dedication.

3. Use Treats

person holding brown wooden stick with white and black short coated dog
Photo by James Lacy on Unsplash

Find a treat your dog loves and doesn’t get very often. It’s a strong motivator, even for dogs without a high food drive. But be careful, if you use too many treats your dog could associate the buttons with getting a treat rather than expressing its desire. Less is more. Keep the treats limited.

Read More: Read This Before Making Homemade Dog Treats

2. Keep Sessions Short and Fun

Woman training dog to communicate with buttons
Fluent Pet

Going slower with short sessions will make the process of teaching your dog to use the buttons take longer. However, shorter sessions work better for keeping your dog interested. They won’t get bored and will find the lessons more entertaining. Adding buttons to your existing routine and teaching through demonstration takes longer but can be quite successful.

Read More: 7 Simple Tricks Anyone Can Teach Their Dog

1. Stay Positive

Golden Retriever - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

Teaching a dog to use talking buttons takes time. Keep a positive attitude within yourself and toward your dog. Don’t express frustration. Your dog will pick up on it and associate it with the buttons. They’ll prefer to avoid the buttons to not risk upsetting you. Focus on small successes, such as your dog sniffing the buttons, and give praise.

Read More: 7 Ways to Teach an Old Dogs New Tricks

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