Bunny is a 1-year-old Sheepadoodle who can communicate a bit better than most dogs. Bunny can request walks and scratches, and can even tell her family she loves them. That’s because her owner Alexis Devine trained Bunny to use a hextile soundboard with 45 words on it since she was a pup.
Whenever Bunny wants something she can tap a sound to convey a message. She is even able to combine words to say more specific phrases.
Devine told The Sun that the first phrase the dog learned was “outside” for when she had to use the bathroom. The owner was inspired to use a soundboard after seeing videos of speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger communicate with her own dog with this method.
The Sheepadoodle taps two tiles to say, “Love you, dad” in one clip. Devine then escorts the dog upstairs to see her human father, Johnny. In another video, where Johnny is away on a trip, Bunny taps two tiles to say, “Where’s dad?”
Bunny uses a FluentPet Hextile soundboard. But whether or not the dog actually comprehends language is inconclusive. Like with most training techniques, the dog could just be tapping certain sounds to yield certain rewards.
“I am not a scientist but I recognize that large amounts of data need to be collected before we can make a judgment as to whether or not Bunny actually understands what she’s saying,” Devine told The Sun. “I’m also aware that I inevitably skew the data in favor of saying that Bunny is consciously communicating with me.”
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