Dogs are so incredibly smart. We don’t give them enough credit. They can learn so many different tricks and commands that can actually make living life with them a little easier. For example, my grandpa taught his dog to find his car keys and wallet for him. Now, every time he leaves the house it’s a hassle-free exit since his dog is the one in charge of finding his essential items.
But there are some dogs that are actually capable of communication on an advanced level. A wonderful example of this is a 1-year-old Sheepadoodle named Bunny. She is capable of requesting walks and asking to be pet. She can even express her love for her family. She does this all with the help of actual words. Her owner, Alexis Devine, trained Bunny in using a hextile soundboard. It comes with a 45-word capacity, meaning Bunny has got quite the vocabulary for a dog.
She’s been using her soundboard since she was a puppy. Every time she’s got something to say or wants to request something, Bunny taps on a sound in order to convey her message. She even can combine words in order to create certain phrases.
Her owner shared with The Sun that “outside” was the first-ever phrase that she learned in order to go to the bathroom. Devine was inspired to start teaching Bunny different phrases via the soundboard after watching videos of Christina Hunger – the speech-language pathologist who taught her own dog to communicate this way.
Devine uses the FluentPet Hextile soundboard with Bunny. The video is incredible to watch, as it shows Bunny tapping on the soundboard to communicate, “Love you, dad.” The question is still up for debate as to whether or not Bunny actually understands language, but it’s still pretty cool to watch.
Devine was the first to admit that a lot more research would have to go into discerning whether or not Bunny actually understands what she’s communicating, or if she’s just reacting to having been trained to correlate certain words with rewards. Devine did say to The Sun, “I’m also aware that I inevitably skew the data in favor of saying that Bunny is consciously communicating with me.”
Guess we will never know for sure, but it is fun to think that she does know what the words mean. We’d all like to think that our dogs do know how to express their love. What do you think?
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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