This is Bunny, the Sheepadoodle, whose owner claims she can now speak to people!
Bunny has learned to press buttons that say English words out loud, meaning she can effectively ‘talk’ to her humans.
And according to Bunny’s owner, Alexis Devine, this means she can communicate just as well as a toddler can.
Remember when Bunny was exploring her relationship to the word “friend” a while back? Well recently, she seems to be gathering information about “love you”. It is, of course, such a nebulous concept. How would you explain love to someone who was completely unfamiliar with it?
By pressing different buttons, clever Bunny can form basic sentences which let Alexis know what she needs or wants.
“It’s based on AAC - augmentative and alternative communication - which is a device that speech-language pathologists used to help non-verbal people communicate,” says Alexis.
“I give each button a word or a phrase, and through thousands of tiny repetitions and reinforcements, Bunny learns the association with the button and uses them.”
In just 10 months, wonder dog Bunny has learned the meaning of 43 buttons out of a possible 52 available to her.
And what can she say?
Bunny can communicate when she wants to ‘play’ but can also mention objects, places, adjectives and adverbs, subjects, and even very cute phrases like ‘love you.’
“Many of those we’re still working on, but she uses the majority of them pretty frequently,” says a very proud Alexis.
"If I’m ignoring her during interviews or when I have friends over or I’m on the phone, she’s very chatty,” she adds.
“Throughout the day she will let me know if she has to go outside or wants to go to the park or play ball."
And Bunny can also communicate how she is feeling to her owner, especially if she wants a cuddle.
“If she is happy, sometimes she will just narrate what is going on. If I’m sitting on the couch, she’ll say ‘mum, couch’, says Alexis.
“The funniest thing she’s ever said - and it happens to be one of her longest conversations - was ‘home, concerned, soon, poop, yes’.
“It was so earnest and intense - like, ‘I’m very concerned that we’re home, I have to go poop now.’ It reminded me of a toddler, it was very funny.”
Sounds like genius to us!
Over the COVID-19 pandemic, there's been a huge trend in dog-lovers teaching their pet new tricks. But no-one really expected a dog to come out of lockdown, talking!
But it's not unusual according to Alexis.
"I probably know of 50 accounts personally who are doing this,” says Alexis.
“I’m sure there are hundreds of other people doing this. It’s remarkable.”
Reckon your pet pooch could start asking you for an extra bone or a longer walk?!
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