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6 Best Dog-Talking Buttons: FluentPet vs Hunger For Words vs Vocal Pups vs Mewoofun & More

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Last Updated: April 17, 2024 | 12 min read | Leave a Comment

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Have you ever thought that life as a dog parent would be so much easier if your dog could talk to you? They can, thanks to dog-talking buttons, sometimes called dog button boards. This fun training tool enables dogs to learn how to communicate and is a great way to bond with them.

Dog-talking buttons are more than just a social media fad, and there’s actual science behind them. Here, I explore everything you need to know about training a dog to use buttons and the features you need to look for. I also review the best dog-talking buttons and offer tips on how to train your pup to use them.

Best OverallBest For BeginnersBest Pre-Recorded
FluentPetHunger For Words talk buttonsVocalPups talk buttons
FluentPetHunger For WordsVocalPups
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What Are Dog-Talking Buttons?

Dog-talking buttons are an augmentative interspecies communication (AIC) device that allows humans to communicate with dogs, cats, and other species. You might have seen Bunny, a very intelligent Sheepadoodle, use dog communication buttons on TikTok and wonder if they really work. There’s a lot of research going into this topic, with volunteers across the globe submitting their experiences with their dogs using speech buttons. It’s more than just a social media sensation. If you haven’t heard of Bunny, check out this quick video on her communication skills. 

Training your pooch to use these buttons enables them to communicate their needs and wants with you. The buttons come with pre-recorded commands or allow you to record phrases with your voice, such as “food” or “outside.” With successful training, dogs associate pressing the button with an outcome, allowing them to communicate with you. 

4 Features To Look For In Dog-Talking Buttons

Before I discuss the best dog-talking button reviews, I want to explain what to look for in a good speech button. Every owner and dog is different, so you must consider these features to determine the best set for you and your pup.

  1. Size -Talking dog buttons vary in size, catering to the pup’s needs and the space in your home. The diameter of most dog buttons ranges from 1.5 inches to 3 inches, sometimes larger. Generally speaking, most buttons can be used by dogs of all sizes. However, if you have a particularly small or large canine, size could be an important factor to consider.  
  2. Recording Options – Some buttons have pre-recorded common commands, whereas some kits allow you to record customizable phrases. Pre-recorded commands are often clearer. However, customizable options allow you to choose specific words you use in your household.
  3. Accessories – Many communication buttons come with accessories to help make the process easier. Some come with non-slip grips or mats to prevent the buttons from sliding. Other kits provide labels for buttons to help you know which button is which and a training guide to help you get the most out of them. 
  4. Good-Quality – Look for a high-quality option to withstand your dog’s pressing and scratching. Cheaper options might not hold up to frequent usage and might break within weeks of use. Another way to ensure quality is to look at the product’s reviews and avoid poorly rated options. 

6 Best Dog-Talking Buttons

I have scoured the internet for the best dog-talking buttons, looking for good-quality, non-slip options that offer a range of accessories. Every product is highly rated by other users, too. Let’s take a look at my favorite talking buttons for dogs.

Best Overall Dog-Talking Buttons: FluentPet Basic Get Started Kit Review

FluentPet

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FluentPet is one of the leading dog training button setups and the kit that the famous Bunny uses. This set includes six buttons with batteries and 35 labeling stickers. The recordable buttons allow you to record your personalized commands, too. These buttons are described as easy to use and only require .5lb of pressure, which means smaller dogs and cats can also use them. 

This kit also comes with three non-slip and durable hexagonal tiles. Each tile can hold up to six buttons, which is great for parents who want to extend their pup’s vocabulary over time. The different tile colors enable you to group commands by category for simpler learning. FluentPet gives users access to a downloadable step-by-step training guide. 

This option allows users to expand their collection with additional buttons and mats. You can also purchase edge pieces for the HexTiles to add a stylish and protective edge. Some reviews mention that these buttons should be more pressure-sensitive to simplify the training process. The button has to be clicked to state the command, which some pups struggled with. But with its expandable options, ease of use, and style, I think this is the best kit overall. 

ProsCons
Customizable recordingsHigher price
Features 6 buttons with three HexTile matsSome users found the button harder to press than described
Comes with 35 stickers
Stylish option with color organization
Includes batteries
Access to online training guide
Accessories available to purchase

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Best Dog-Talking Buttons For Beginners: Hunger For Words Starter Set Review

Hunger For Words talk buttons

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Hunger For Words is another popular name in the dog communication buttons world. Christina Hunger, the creator of the dog-talking movement, created this set. This kit comes with four buttons, each with a different color base. Record your own words using the red button, and you can change it as often as you like as you get to know how your pet responds best.

This option comes with a step-by-step guide written by Christina to help you get the most out of this product. These buttons have improved sound quality, which previous users complained about. This updated technology also improves volume and recording consistency, although a handful of reviews still raise this issue.

Each button has non-slip grips, which makes pressing them much more manageable for Fido. Some users added their own labels to make button identification easier. You can also purchase additional buttons and a mat, which is handy for beginners who have succeeded and want to expand their collection.

ProsCons
Developed by speech therapist, Christina HungerNo labels
Step-by-step guide includedSome customers refer to sound and recording issues
Four recordable buttons
Bright colors
Optional mat, sold separately

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Best Pre-Recorded Dog-Talking Buttons: VocalPups Pre-Recorded Dog Buttons Review

VocalPups talk buttons

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VocalPup’s dog communication kit consists of four buttons with pre-recorded messages: “out,” “play,” “food,” and “water.” You can also purchase a second pack with four other set commands and additional single buttons. This makes expanding their vocabulary and your kit simple. 

This product comes with access to a training video for every word, which I think is excellent, as different commands require different approaches. The buttons are designed to be more durable for heavy-footed pups while still being easy to press. Each button has anti-slip rubber feet and a pet-safe screw-in battery compartment. A handful of reviews mention the sound being too loud. However, most pets quickly became accustomed to it, or owners put material over the speakers to muffle the loud sound. 

ProsCons
Four pre-recorded buttonsMale voice only, which might be triggering for some dogs
Labeled for easy identificationThere is no option to customize
Bright colorsSome dogs were startled by the loud voice
Clear and loud commands
Training guide for every command
Screw-in battery compartment
Can purchase additional packs for expansion

Pricing

Best Dog-Talking Buttons Mat: Mewoofun Dog Buttons With Mat Review

Mewoofun Dog Buttons With Mat

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Mewoofun is my top pick for dog communication buttons with a mat. Mewoofun offers different options with various numbers of buttons. The mats come in different shapes that slot together easily – tetris style. This creative layout lets you choose different mat shapes to best fit the area where you’ll put the buttons. Plus, it’s the most stylish too.

The mat has a non-slip rubber back to prevent slipping on the floor. In addition, each button has non-slip silicone grips and a strong Velcro pad to keep it in place. The mat has a waterproof surface and a stitched border for durability. The buttons come in different colors and a selection of pre-designed and customizable stickers.

Some comments mention that their pet took a while to get the hang of the button, which requires a press-and-hold action. However, many reviews say this product’s microphone was much clearer than other voice-recordable options. Each button has a screw-in battery compartment, which is a great safety feature.

ProsCons
Features four customizable buttonsHigher price point
Non-slip mat and Velcro fasteningSome customers claim their dogs took time to get used to the press-and-hold button
Better quality sound than some other kits
Comes with pre-designed and customizable stickers
Step-by-step guide included
Stylish option

Pricing

Best Outdoor Dog-Talking Button: Hathever Waterproof Dog Doorbell Review

Hathever Waterproof Dog Doorbell

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This product is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a dog communication button for potty training or outside use. This kit has one wireless receiver you plug into a socket and two dog buttons. However, Hathever offers a variety of options, from one to three buttons. You can attach each button to the wall or floor with double-sided tape or screws. 

Although you cannot record commands, they are an alternative for families looking for a simple dog doorbell-style communication button. Your dog must press or swipe the touch-sensitive pad, and the alarm bell sounds. The only criticism from a minority of users is the choice of old-style ringtones.

You can set this alarm system to your preferences with 20 melodies, four modes, and adjustable volume levels. The buttons are powered by changeable lithium batteries that last up to two years. This doorbell is IP65 weatherproof rated, which means it can withstand weather conditions between -4°F and 140°F, and is waterproof too.

ProsCons
This doorbell-style button is great for potty trainingThere is no opportunity to add commands
Can be used indoors and outdoorsSome users state that melodies are outdated
Waterproof and IP65 weatherproof
20 melodies and four notification options
Wireless and long-reaching range
Powered by long-lasting lithium batteries
90-day free return or 1-year exchange service

Pricing

Best Budget-Friendly Dog-Talking Buttons: Finest+ Voice Recording Button Review

Finest+ Voice Recording Buttons

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These dog-talking buttons come in four different bright colors. The simple recording process allows you to record commands and change them repeatedly. Each button has four non-slip grippers that provide stability for your pup. 

Two batteries power each button, but there is no screw-in safety feature. Customers have mixed reviews about the sound quality but state that it is a great product for the low price. This could be a good option for someone looking to start out but not convinced if their dog will “get it,” so they don’t want to spend too much.

ProsCons
Low price pointNo safety screw-in battery compartment
Features four buttonsCustomers claim the sound quality isn’t as clear as it could be
Four bright colors

Pricing

How To Train A Dog To Use Buttons: 4 Tips

FluentPet dog buttons with box laying on the floor.
Photo by Tara Maurer for CanineJournal.com, © Cover Story Media, Inc. 2024

If training your dog to talk to you sounds daunting, fear not, because it is much simpler than you might think. Follow these simple tips on how to train a dog to use buttons.

  1. Start With One Button – Before you jump into a board of 50 commands, start with a straightforward button. Whether it’s “play” or “outside,” try to use a word you already use to communicate with them. This way, they already associate a word with an outcome, and it’s easier to associate pressing the button with that outcome. 
  2. Use Positive Reinforcement – Praise them with your voice or a fuss every time your dog presses a button. Do not use a treat unless it is for the “treat” button, although you shouldn’t start your training with a food-orientated button. Otherwise, they will associate pressing the buttons with a treat. 
  3. Lead By Example – When you’re training with buttons, you must show your pup what happens when they press a button. For example, you should press the “food” button whenever you give them their meal. Or press the “outside” button and take them outside. You should also press the appropriate button every time they do something. For example, if they pee outside, press the “pee” button. This way, they learn to associate the word with their action.
  4. Increase Buttons Gradually – Don’t expect your pooch to transform overnight into Bunny, the TikTok sensation. Start with one button and gradually introduce more once they understand how to use it. Follow the same steps each time you introduce a new command. 

Do Not Start With Food Buttons

When you first begin your journey with dog communication buttons, it is crucial not to include buttons associated with food. By starting with food, your dog associates all buttons with food rather than buttons with a variety of outcomes. Start with an “outside” button or perhaps a “pee” option, and then introduce a food option once they understand the concept.

4 Dog-Talking Buttons Training Tips

Although training your dog to use communication buttons can be simple, it requires dedicated training. Here are some training tips to help you use the buttons and communicate with your dog. 

1. Be Patient & Consistent

Every dog is different. Some might take to communication buttons immediately, whereas some dogs might take a while to get the hang of one button. No matter how long it takes your dog, you need to be patient with them and don’t be frustrated if you don’t see results immediately. 

You also need to be consistent with your training. If you want to teach your dog to ask for walkies, you should press the walk button every time you leave home for a walk. Consistent training builds the association between the button and the desired result

2. Work With Your Dog

Getting to know your dog’s body language is the key to success. If your dog stands near the back door for potty time, place the potty button there. It’s crucial to work with your dog’s behavior and what you already know about them. Don’t force your pup to do something if they’re not interested. Instead, leave the buttons and try again the next day, and use plenty of praise when they show an interest. 

3. Deter Excessive Button Pressing

Once your pup knows the treat button, don’t be surprised if you hear a snack request at 3 am! You might think praising your dog every time they interact with the buttons might spoil them to ask for a snack every five minutes. But initially, this is what you should do. Otherwise, if you reward them intermittently, you risk devaluing the button and them giving up asking for it. But once they’ve got the hang of it, you can say no to excessive button pressing. 

4. Avoid Accidental Button Pressing

Ideally, the buttons need to be accessible but not somewhere where your dog might accidentally press them. Otherwise, your dog might become desensitized to the command if it accidentally presses the button every time they jump off the sofa. Not to forget, it is frustrating for parents to respond to non-existent requests. Choose a suitable space you intend to keep for a consistent approach and meaningful requests. 

Frequently Asked Questions

We know some of our readers still have questions about talking buttons for dogs and how to use them. If you can’t see your question, ask us in the comments, and we’ll answer it for you. 

Do Dog-Talking Buttons Work?

Yes, with training, patience, and consistency, dog speech buttons can allow your dog to communicate with you. Dr. Federico Rossano, the director of the Comparative Cognition Lab at the University of California San Diego, states that there is “enough scientific evidence that says dogs are better at understanding communication signals from humans than chimpanzees.”

What Are The Best Buttons For Dogs To Talk?

The best dog training buttons are the ones that meet your training needs, budget, style, and more. Every dog and family is different. If you’re starting, you might want to consider VocalPups pre-recorded buttons or a Hungry For More starter kit. But if you are looking for a more stylish setup, the Mewoofun kit might be your best choice. 

Hunger For Words Vs FluentPet: Which Is Better?

Which product is better depends on your needs, and only you can answer this. FluentPet is the better option for those looking to expand their pup’s vocabulary with a more comprehensive setup in the long run. Hunger For Words is best suited to beginners starting their dog communication journey. Both are great products.

What Are The Benefits Of Dog-Talking Buttons?

Dog speech buttons have several benefits, which is why more doggy parents are using them. They allow your dog to express themselves in ways they couldn’t before. Not only is it a fun training tool, but it’s also a great way to spend time with, stimulate, and bond with your pup. Some owners find that traveling with anxious dogs who know how to use buttons offers comfort, providing them with a sense of normality and the ability to communicate their needs.

Discover Other Dog Training Tools

Whether you’re keen to train your pup with the basic commands or want them to be the next TikTok superstar, we have a selection of training guides to help you succeed. Clicker training can be easy and hugely successful for a range of training needs, and we’ve found the best three clickers. Alternatively, take a look at our reviews of the best online dog training courses and the best dog training apps to help you train Fido for a fraction of the cost of a professional trainer.

Have you used any of these dog-talking buttons? We’d also love to hear your experience and successful (or unsuccessful) training stories. Let us know in the comments below.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Emma is a dog mom to two rescue dogs, Bonkers, an English Bull Terrier mixed breed, and Chips, a sweet but super cheeky Dachshund. Before writing about dogs, she worked for a professional dog-walking business and has hands-on experience teaching doggy commands. Emma always seeks to improve her knowledge of training techniques and products for her pups. She works with an experienced team to provide her readers with the best and most up-to-date information. 

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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