‘Come Play!’: Dog learns how to talk using custom soundboard and already knows 29 words

Have you ever dreamed about having a real conversation with your four-legged buddy?

Well, this dog owner figured out a way to talk to her puppy, and you can probably do it too!

Christina Hunger, a 26-year-old speech-language pathologist, has found a way to communicate with her dog, using a custom-made soundboard.

Her puppy is the adorable 18-month-old Catahoula/Blue Heeler mix, Stella.

Any time Stella wants to express her thoughts, she just taps her paw on a button, and the custom soundboard says the words for her. Christina made this awesome device by herself, programming all the commands and words Stella would most probably say if she could talk.

Hunger’s invention has been working wonders. Besides, Stella is an amazing student.

She already knows 29 words! What’s more, she can even put together some phrases as well.

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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

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“Happy Ball Want Outside!” Clearly she wants to go outside and play with her ball, but she ‘says’ it in the most adorable way ever. Christina shares:

“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!)”

The proud owner adds that when they talk to her, Stella reaches to her soundboard, saying words that she loves. In order to learn better and faster, she doesn’t need to know it was by accident.

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Stella adapts her message when she isn’t feeling understood, just like we all do! If someone doesn’t understand us or we don’t get the response we were expecting, we change the words we’re using to explain ourselves better. • Watch this sequence of Stella telling us, three different ways in a row, that she wanted to go play! • First, Stella said “Come play.” When we didn’t come play, she added more details and said, “Outside play love you.” Finally, she got as specific as she could and told us, “Park.” Stella is truly a great communicator! • • • • • #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

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Christina is amazed by how quickly Stella learns to express herself.

“Stella adapts her message when she isn’t feeling understood, just like we all do! If someone doesn’t understand us or we don’t get the response we were expecting, we change the words we’re using to explain ourselves better.”

As you may have noticed, at first the puppy says only “Come Play”. Her dummy people obviously can’t understand her, so she says a few more words, so they can get her wishes. In the end, the clever girl is getting even more specific. As her owner says, she is truly a great communicator!

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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

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Sometimes, when Stella hears a disturbing sound from outside, she immediately warns her people.

How impressive is that!

“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!”

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Don’t you just hate it when your dog talks back to you?? 😂😂 After Stella finished her breakfast this morning, I said and modeled on her device “Stella all done eat.” She immediately responded “no,” and walked back to her dishes while licking her lips. • While this made me laugh, I also think it’s pretty amazing because Stella is really starting to appropriately respond to what we’re saying and participate in short conversations 🙌🏼 • • • • • #hunger4words #talkingdog #slpsofinstagram #speechtherapy #AAC #slp #corewords #SLPeeps #slp2be #aacawarenessmonth #earlyintervention #languagedevelopment #dogsofinstagram #dogmom #dogs #animalpsychology #doglover #dogvideos #sandiegodog #catahoula #blueheeler #smartdog #dogcommunication #mydogtalks #animalcommunication #interspeciescommunication #loveanimals #respectanimals #thedodo

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“Don’t you just hate it when your dog talks back to you?? After Stella finished her breakfast this morning, I said and modeled on her device “Stella all done eat.” She immediately responded “no,” and walked back to her dishes while licking her lips.”

Well, this here is quite amusing. The cheeky puppy even talks back to her mommy. As well as hilarious, this is also quite remarkable.

It shows that Stella can properly respond to what she’s been told.

Shout out to Christina and her sweet little talking pup. Thanks to them, perhaps soon all of us will be able to communicate with our pets and really connect with them. Or at least find out if they like us for who we are or only for the yummy snacks we give them.

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