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Do training buttons that teach dogs to talk actually work?

Dog (and cat) talking buttons work—but only if you put in the effort


Every once in a while, a dog or cat (but usually a dog) goes viral on TikTok for “saying” something profound through the help of talking buttons. It all started with Bunny, the sheepadoodle that propelled FluentPet, the pet communication button company, into fame after her surprising ability to coherently communicate — much like a human! — shocked the internet.

Now TikTok is full of talking-animal videos. One recent tearjerker shows Furbo cam footage of a pet heartbreakingly saying goodbye to her family — through talking button communication — before dying. All of it is stunning to watch, and all of it raises the question: Do training talk buttons really work on our pets?

Pets can learn to use talking buttons in 2 days to 3 weeks

Each pet is different, but depending on the pup and depending on how much effort you put into the learning process, talking button companies have seen success with their products anywhere from one or two days to as much as three weeks. That being said, some pets won’t ever get it. 

The truth about talking dog buttons is that it’s really difficult to teach your dog how to use them without putting in a lot of hours and a lot of hard work. It takes consistency and time (and willingness on your pet’s part), so most pets probably won’t end up holding a conversation with you.

Still, it’s entirely possible. Bunny is living proof of that.

Best training buttons for talking pets

FluentPet Starter Kit

FluentPet is by far the most famous talking button brand, with a record of success and big-time name recognition. This kit includes six sound buttons, three colorful HexTiles in hues dogs can make sense of, and 49 stickers featuring images that represent words or ideas. Some of the stickers are customizable, so you can choose which words to start with.  Each FluentPet button uses your voice, so nothing is pre-recorded. When you're ready to expand, there's the FluentPet Basic Vocab Kit.

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Hunger for Words Talking Pet Essential Words

Unlike some button systems, the Hunger for Words Talking Pet Essential Words kit comes fully pre-recorded so there is no setup required. Six buttons are included— “walk,” “play,” “water,” “outside,” “eat" and “I love you” — as well as informative guides written by a speech therapist.

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MyDogTalks Dog and Cat Communication Training Buttons

This kit comes with six buttons, 12 stickers total, and interlocking mats that make up a visual representation in your dog’s mind about what vocabulary is. Each icon illustrates clear, simple-to-understand pictures, and the mats can be organized into groups or categories that best support your pet’s learning process.

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Mighty Paw Smart Bell 2.0 Potty Training Dog Doorbell

Even if your pet can’t fully grasp an entire vocabulary set out in buttons, chances are they can make sense of the potty doorbell. This concept features only one button: a doorbell. And it comes with only one purpose: to show you when they have to go relieve themselves. 

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VocalPups Dog Buttons for Communication

This starter pack comes with the four basics every dog needs to get past before they can move onto more complicated language: “out,” “play,” “food” and “water.” Each button is color coded, easy for paws to press, and comes in one-size-fits-all so every breed and pet size can enjoy. The set also includes video lessons with tips on how to teach your dog each word.

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Stephanie Osmanski writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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