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Bunny, the dog who talks with buttons


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I'm sure a few of you have seen the talking dog craze by now, but I recently watched the Hidden Life of Pets and Bunny has been thrown into the spotlight again. Its such an interesting topic, while we know animals are great at non verbal communication, this attempt at verbal communication shows just how intelligent they are. 

 

I've followed Bunnys progress online for a while now and am utterly convinced this dog knows what it is saying. The owner now has a second dog - Otter, a standard poodle, who is picking up button communication even faster. Its awesome to watch. Not only these dogs, but many others are communicating with words. I will try to add a few of my faves but I am not sure the rules surrounding social media links here. I dont have buttons, im not promoting or selling, just thought it a fun topic. Apologies if not permitted. 

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CXMMG9GJ8P7/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

 

 

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CeOiZd1AgQu/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

 

https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cev7hTdl99D/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

 

 

What do you think? Is it a good form of additional communication? Does it add to the dogs experience of life? How can it be used in the future? Do you think its just another passing social media craze? 

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I can’t see the links you’ve added as I’m not on social media. I do have TikTok and can watch the vids without an account though and I’ve seen a lot of videos with dogs pushing buttons. I’ve often wondered if they’re legit communicating or the dog is just tapping anything knowing it gets attention when it does. 

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Well, we know that some dogs (usually border collies) can have receptive vocabularies of thousands of words, and this is very easy to prove, at least for names of objects. You can certainly debate about exactly how much Bunny understands what she is trying to convey, but I don't think that it's surprising that a dog would use these buttons to communicate basic ideas and needs with humans. They do that without buttons, usually with body language. Mine can tell me when she wants to go outside, go to bed, or go for a walk, just through gaze and body position. 

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@Anne I've watched lots of Bunny vids over the years as I find it fascinating. She does actually seem to understand words and sentence structures and communicate back. There are more dogs and vids besides Bunny too when you start down the rabbit hole.

 

I've actually thought about trying it with Jonah for a while now. He is a dog with supposedly simply needs but I know he has a lot of rules for himself too and really seems to conciously think and choose his behaviours at times. Not sure if that was due to how Duane trained him but pei are also known to be an intelligent thinking breed. He has a particular strategy he tries on every night for a treat and we can literally see him thinking he's won and suckered us in again! If he had a treat button would he just push it or would he go through his ritual of deceit first? I'd like to see if I can discover some of what goes on in his head.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 27/06/2022 at 7:38 AM, Selkie said:

Well, we know that some dogs (usually border collies) can have receptive vocabularies of thousands of words, and this is very easy to prove, at least for names of objects. You can certainly debate about exactly how much Bunny understands what she is trying to convey, but I don't think that it's surprising that a dog would use these buttons to communicate basic ideas and needs with humans. They do that without buttons, usually with body language. Mine can tell me when she wants to go outside, go to bed, or go for a walk, just through gaze and body position. 

I've seen videos of a dog that knows sign language and can fetch each toy by its name, signed by the trainer. Its super cute. 

 

Yeah some of what Bunny says is debatable, especially when they talk dreams. Im not sure she gets that one yet. The easy words and concepts I rekon she absolutely gets. The "bird go belly" video is hilarious. I do love seeing her new dog Otter pressing buttons like "bunny friend" its so beautiful. 

 

 

On 01/07/2022 at 10:38 AM, Little Gifts said:

@Anne I've watched lots of Bunny vids over the years as I find it fascinating. She does actually seem to understand words and sentence structures and communicate back. There are more dogs and vids besides Bunny too when you start down the rabbit hole.

 

I've actually thought about trying it with Jonah for a while now. He is a dog with supposedly simply needs but I know he has a lot of rules for himself too and really seems to conciously think and choose his behaviours at times. Not sure if that was due to how Duane trained him but pei are also known to be an intelligent thinking breed. He has a particular strategy he tries on every night for a treat and we can literally see him thinking he's won and suckered us in again! If he had a treat button would he just push it or would he go through his ritual of deceit first? I'd like to see if I can discover some of what goes on in his head.

Bunny rabbit hole :laugh: Im super interested in it too.  There are so many dogs doing it now, and a program dedicated to studying them. I really like Mila, who seems very intelligent as well and pressed the buttons with her nose instead. It will be cool to see the data down the track, patterns of speech, choice of topics and if the dogs ever get bored of it as they age. Or if they can tell their owners of aches and pains as they age. It would be great to know what is going on if a dog is worried or frustrated about something. 

 

I agree body language is generally enough for most of us. But I am so tempted to try these buttons, if only they were a bit cheaper! Its not a cost I can be bothered with, I think any dog could easily pick up an "outside" or "walk" button if they were interested. My dog would sit herself on a "brush" button, I am sure. She asks for a brush all the time without a button! A treat button may be a recipe for disaster haha

 

 

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@WanaHavanese Two buttons I'd like for Jonah are actually please and bored. He is such a gentleman with lots of self imposed good boi rules that I'd love to see if he uses/thinks please (it may have been taught to him before he came to live with us). And bored because he seems pretty cruisy in his old age and isn't into toys or much cuddles. I can't even really encourage him to come for a walk around our big yard like our other dog either. But he loves car rides, outings and of course walks. If I take him to an appointment I try to find a different and empty dog park for us to try out on the way home and I can almost see his little mind thinking oooh where are we going now! I want his life to be as full as I can offer. A treat button would be worn out in a week. He already has a strategy for this that he thinks we don't see right through!

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Ive watched quite a few different dogs on Youtube as well as Bunny.

 

I think it definitely benefits dogs (whether you believe in their communication powers or not) because it's giving their brain a workout.

 

Can anyone recommend what brand/where to buy those buttons?   I don't want to buy junk, but definitely ones I can record my own voice onto. 

 

Keen to give it a go for my rescue girl (well, I've had her for almost 3 years now) and she still has a few leftover fears from her abuse before we got her at 10 months old. (physical and mental abuse unfortunately) but she absolutely loves everyone, she seeks out human attention at our dog park, she is ecstatic when the door bell rings because she thinks every one who comes to the door has specifically come to see and pet her.  :love:   
She's done so well as we've built on her confidence to overcome her many fears, but she is very intelligent and loves brain games.

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1 hour ago, Animal House said:

Ive watched quite a few different dogs on Youtube as well as Bunny.

 

I think it definitely benefits dogs (whether you believe in their communication powers or not) because it's giving their brain a workout.

 

Can anyone recommend what brand/where to buy those buttons?   I don't want to buy junk, but definitely ones I can record my own voice onto. 

 

Keen to give it a go for my rescue girl (well, I've had her for almost 3 years now) and she still has a few leftover fears from her abuse before we got her at 10 months old. (physical and mental abuse unfortunately) but she absolutely loves everyone, she seeks out human attention at our dog park, she is ecstatic when the door bell rings because she thinks every one who comes to the door has specifically come to see and pet her.  :love:   
She's done so well as we've built on her confidence to overcome her many fears, but she is very intelligent and loves brain games.

Someone is selling a set on Facebook Marketplace. You could check the main site to see the price difference. I've seen them for sale on there a couple of times. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/822736381974956/?ref=search&referral_code=null&referral_story_type=post&tracking=browse_serp%3A61153712-32b2-4895-867f-4bb1c02edb0f

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I wonder if maybe that board for sale is incompatible with Aussie electrical out lets, or do they run on batteries?

 

 I think they look a great idea and I'd also like to try them out. My grand daughters dog would be a great candidate. A border collie cross, he is brilliant as a constant companion /therapy dog for her anxiety. My daughter is a hopeless  trainer and GD too young for that responsibility, but this little guy amazes me with his ability to self train. He manages to not only cope with any new situation hes thrown into, but adapts quickly to fit in with dogs, people etc without being a problem for any one. This type of thing would help my G.D to understand his needs and communication much better than she does.

He could not be a better dog for the job if he had been bred for it. He has claimed GD as his. He has taken the role of protector and companion to this little person very seriously. She needs to learn to read him better.

 

I'm often accused of anthropmorphism.  My own 1st dog was much the same. Its the kind of dog I have always sought out since. I will not change my ideas of the intelligence dogs are capable of. I've had far too many demonstrations of it. Not the same as Humans by any stretch, but intelligence still.

 

Eg. My Coda learned best when I just asked her, "Do this"  then put a name to it.

She enjoyed it enough to keep at it after I'd gone, if she couldn't get it right 1st off. Turning on a light switch, she failed 3 times to flip the switch when nosing it so I moved on to some thing she could do before quitting. But the next 3 times I entered the same room, the switch was on.

When I turned a full circle in front of her asking her to do this, she walked a full circle around me- not what I asked, but from her POV, Each side of my body had been visible to her and was again when when she circled me.

 

1st boy used to nose our hands if we were carrying some thing he wanted. Giving it, he tried watering  the lawn with the hose, or carried my package home, leading the horses etc. He taught me to 'listen' and it would be interesting to have the tool of these boards to make that so much easier, or help teaching how to do that.

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On 30/07/2022 at 5:04 PM, Little Gifts said:

Someone is selling a set on Facebook Marketplace. You could check the main site to see the price difference. I've seen them for sale on there a couple of times. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/822736381974956/?ref=search&referral_code=null&referral_story_type=post&tracking=browse_serp%3A61153712-32b2-4895-867f-4bb1c02edb0f

Thanks LG, I had seen that brand before advertised on Ebay, but thought it was a bit expensive....so last night after reading up on some reviews of different ones (on Amazon) I settled on 'Hunger for Words Talking Pet Starter Kit' - has 4 recordable buttons.   With postage around $60 from Usa, but had better reviews than the more expensive ones.

I think I'll make up a mat myself, I'll get some thick kids type foam mat, and double sided tape etc.

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