Cognitive scientists and speech therapists have long used pressable augmentative and alternative communication buttons—each representing an action, place, or object—to communicate with non-verbal individuals. Pioneering speech therapist Christina Hunger, working with her dog Stella, found that these buttons can also help dogs and other animals communicate their needs and wants.
By pressing buttons on which a word or sound has been recorded, a dog can learn to “speak” in simple phrases like “play” and “out”. Give them enough buttons and they will be able to communicate their thoughts on almost anything.
You can start with a starter set of four to six buttons. For this guide, we’ve selected the best options, including cost-effective, fully customizable and light-up versions, as well as the best training program to teach your dog to talk with buttons.
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The best dog buttons in 2022
Best dog buds in general: Fluent Pet Get Started Kit, available at Fluent Pet, $79.95
Fluent Pet’s Get Started Kit comes with six buttons and three non-slip pads for organizing words and actions.
Best Budget Dog Buttons: Learning Resources Recordable Response Doorbells, available from Amazon and Staples, starting at $21.22
Learning Resources Recordable Answer Bells are an affordable way to start teaching a dog to use his words.
Best customizable dog buttons: Talking Products Talking Tiles, available on Amazon, $69.95
Talking Products Talking Tiles are fully customizable with clear covers and up to 80 seconds of recording time.
Best lighted dog buttons: Galpara LED Voice Recorder Buttons, available on Amazon, $22.99
The Gala Voice Recorder LED buttons play sound and light up simultaneously each time they are pressed.
Best potty button: Mighty Paw Smart Bell 2.0, available from Chewy and Amazon, $29.74
The Mighty Paw Smart Bell 2.0 works indoors or outdoors so your dog can communicate when he needs to go to the bathroom or when he wants to come in.
Best Dog Button Training Program: Talk to the Bean, available at Talk to the Bean, $30.00
The Talk To The Beans training program teaches owners and their pets to communicate using buttons.
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