/r/PetsWithButtons

Photograph via snooOG

Pets that can talk with buttons. That's it, that's the subreddit.

Pets that can talk with buttons. That's it, that's the subreddit.

/r/PetsWithButtons

9,797 Subscribers

12

How to get my cat to start using 2 word sentences

My cat understands all the buttons I have put out for him. Food, Play, Pet, Cuddle. I've got some buttons that are for stringing together 2 word sentences. I'm not sure how to get him to understand or use 2 word sentences. The other buttons are All done, which he understands that means we're stopping. There's also Yes, Later, Now. I don't think he really grasps the last 3 or how to combine words.

6 Comments
2024/03/18
04:12 UTC

14

Suitability for older cats?

I just learned about pets with buttons (very Dogs of Babel) and am interested! But my cat is 12-years-old and frankly not very bright (even for a cat). Has anyone had success teaching an old cat new tricks, or would it be too taxing for her in her dotage?

6 Comments
2024/03/17
22:06 UTC

51

How to get cat to use her paw?

First and foremost, I realize this is odd and potentially a silly non-issue.

My cat has learned ~6 buttons so far (which I’m super excited about, and she’s happy to communicate), but she does it by ineffectively head butting it. Zero inclination to use her paws, she just kind of throws her head down at the button and then mashes her face on it until it presses. Occasionally she’ll paw around the button, but she just won’t press the top. How do I better lead her to touching them with her paws? The head butting method doesn’t always result in the button going off, and she then loses interest but seems mildly frustrated.

10 Comments
2024/03/16
15:04 UTC

3

Calico Cat Gets Catnip on a Scratch Pad

0 Comments
2024/03/15
05:47 UTC

167

I think my pet has developed more of a personality

My dog has been using buttons for one year now. He was 6 years old going on 7 when he started learning and now he’s 7 going on 8.

In the past year, I started to notice him make noises when he wants me to get him something. Usually these noises are followed by a button press. However, there have been times when he would whine but he doesn’t press a button so I don’t know what he wants.

He never used to whine, growl, or bark for attention. He only used to”vocal” noises at other dogs or bark when he’s really hyped up and excited.

Before the buttons, if he needed me to fill his bowl or if he wanted to go on a walk, he would find me and either stare at me or he would nose boop me

Sometime in the past 6 or 7 months or so, he started becoming more stubborn during walks. If I turn a corner but he wanted to continue walking straight, he would just stop and sit and refuse to move even when I tugged his leash. I have had him since he was a puppy, and he never used to do that!

I have three possible explanations:

  1. I suspect that after he learned that he can communicate using buttons, he has started to communicate in other ways.

  2. Sometimes dogs just pick up different behaviors as they get older and it doesn’t have anything to do with him learning how to use buttons

  3. He picked up new behaviors because we moved to a new city or he met a dog and learned these behaviors from them or something. I’ve boarded him and had him stay with friends when I went on trips.

Or a mix of all three. Curious to know if you guys noticed any changes in your pets after teaching them to use buttons

29 Comments
2024/03/14
01:07 UTC

30

How do you get your dogs to "stand" on the buttons?

I've been working with my girl for a few months now, and she "digs" at the buttons. She knows the words (coded previously), and knows when I go to the buttons she gets one of the things on the buttons. But I can't get her to use the buttons herself. When I put the button in my hand on the floor, she digs at it but won't press it. Any tips?

Edit: these are all great tips! Thanks y’all. It’s been a blast seeing your varied experience!

31 Comments
2024/03/13
00:23 UTC

62

Cat doesn’t use button when in the mat

I first use paw target training and he understood how to press. My cat recently learned « outside » and especially « food » wish he is smashing a lot. But when I put is fav button in the tiles, it’s like I had removed it. He press other button on the ground or the tiles itself. I’m not sure, but I think he don’t see the button well when in the tiles ?

Am I done to paint them for more contrast ? 😅

12 Comments
2024/03/12
12:39 UTC

15

Starting again?

I started using buttons when my dog was a puppy. We got upto around 8 buttons.

We moved house and he lost interest in the buttons, then so did we.

It's been about a years since and we have just moved again.

I'd like to try again with the buttons. Should I start from scratch with 1 button and build up?

Or carry on from where we left off and just do lots of modeling?

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks :)

5 Comments
2024/03/05
11:23 UTC

12

Camera for recording presses

Anyone have any tips on what type of camera is best for capturing the button presses and conversations? I’ve tried several motion sensor cameras but they stop recording after 60 seconds and it’s just not long enough.

Curious if anyone knows what people are using or have any personal recommendations.

Happy learning!

9 Comments
2024/03/02
06:36 UTC

292

Freddie: “Help, Toy”

@Jennifire208 requested a little video of my blind kitty, Freddie, using his buttons. This was while I was teaching him how to do two-button phrases, so we were still going through a wee bit of guesswork.

Note: “Help, Toy” usually means “I lost my toy again, mom! Can you help me find it?”(As seen by the fact that he literally runs into said toy at the end, LOL!)

11 Comments
2024/03/01
22:51 UTC

1

Traveling

I’m going on a 4 day trip and brining my cat who uses buttons. Should I leave the buttons behind or bring them?

If I should bring them, how do you all travel with them?

EDIT: I put them into a small Tupperware where they sat snuggly and it worked well. Didn’t heat them going off at all

3 Comments
2024/03/01
20:46 UTC

2,328

Freddie; very proud of his new button knowledge

His favorite buttons: more, catnip, toy, happy 😊

62 Comments
2024/03/01
18:21 UTC

4

FP Basic vs Speak Up

Obviously the speak up buttons are louder but if you have used both, is the extra money worth it? Or am I better off spending less on the basic buttons?

3 Comments
2024/02/27
01:09 UTC

9

Which buttons are more sensitive LR or FluentPet?

Hey everyone! My dog is just starting out with these buttons and will try to press one of her buttons, but unless she is very excited, she will not press it hard enough.

We have LR buttons, and I’m wanting to know if fluent pet is more sensitive to make it easier for her. Thanks in advance.

12 Comments
2024/02/25
14:18 UTC

45

I can't believe this sub exists! I think buttons would benefit my dog greatly

My family doesn't think so. He's almost 11 and was trained through therapy dog training since he was small. He loves to press buttons and it was part of his therapy dog tricks! He is so smart and likes learning/doing tricks.

So when he starts to bug us at home, we go through some of the words he knows, like "supper," "pee pee," "bed," etc. to try and figure out what he wants.

He'll wag his tail when we say the right word. Then we reward him and do whatever it is he wanted.

I have mentioned these buttons so many times but my family isn't really on board. I think it would be a great way for him to express what he wants!

He also already has the bells for potty since he was a puppy but generally only rings them when he has to poop now – we're usually really on top of taking him pee frequently since he's 10 pounds.

5 Comments
2024/02/22
19:22 UTC

29

What are some non-conventional unique buttons you have for your learner?

12 Comments
2024/02/20
14:25 UTC

42

Kitty doesn't know which button is which

Hi! My cat showed quick interest in the buttons within about a week of us getting them. Right now we have "Play" "Hungry" "Brush" and "All done." We're a few weeks in and he interacts with them daily and clearly likes them.

My question is--what is the right protocol when your learner is pressing one button, but you know they mean something else? My cat caught on quickly that he can let me know he's hungry and wants to eat by pressing a button, but he doesn't yet understand that the specific "Hungry" button is meant for that. So he just smashes all the buttons basically. Often I hear him clicking "Play" over and over again around dinner time.

What's the right way to correct an animal who does this? Is it just something that gets corrected over time with more modeling?

11 Comments
2024/02/15
21:20 UTC

6

only a few buttons?

Hello! I have an 8-month old mini bernadoodle and have toyed with the idea of trialing buttons with her. I am wondering what the research may say about only utilizing 3-4 buttons total within her repertoire. Additionally, what do you do when you are out of the house and do not have the buttons with you?

She certainly has the capacity for more, but it just sort of creeps me out if I am being honest. I would most likely include the following words:

  • outside (to hopefully generalize outside and bathroom)
  • play
  • hungry
  • walk/exercise

I have a background using speech-generating devices with those who are not verbal/vocal communicators, so am fairly confident in my ability to facilitate this to her. With some of her behaviors, I find that if she would be able to tell us what she needed it would be so much better.

1 Comment
2024/02/15
17:22 UTC

13

Beginner Adult Cat - Other Starting Words?

I just got my FluentPet buttons and I'm trying to decide the best words to start with.

The common recommended ones like outside and play aren't the best for my cat since right now it's winter and she doesn't like to go outside when its cold/snowy. As for "play", she doesn't really try to play very often at all so I don't think that would motivate her interest.

I have "window" because she likes to have the window open and sit in front of it, "pets" because of course she loves pets, "snuggles", and "litterbox" because she will do a specific loud meow when she wants it cleaned.

If anyone knows some other good words to start with that aren't the ones people always say to start with since those aren't super motivating to her, that would be great! :D

7 Comments
2024/02/11
02:55 UTC

3

Litter Box Button - Beginner Cat

I received my FluentPet buttons and set them up yesterday. One of the words I'm thinking of starting with is "litter box" because my cat will meow loudly when she wants it cleaned. I'm wondering what the best way to teach her would be since her litterbox is downstairs and the buttons are upstairs. How do you teach your pet what the button means when you can't immediately do what the button says? All I can think of is to press the button, and say the word, as I go down to clean it. I'm guessing it would be bad to pop out the button and bring it with me while doing it with her there to see/hear as then she won't associate it with the hex tiles?

Any ideas/tips would be super helpful! :)

5 Comments
2024/02/11
02:48 UTC

39

What do you do when a person leaves your life but you have a button with their name on it?

As said in the title, do you take the button away after some time? I know taking buttons is a big no so I’m wondering. If you had a friend you don’t talk to anymore or something like that, do you just keep the button even if your learner hasn’t used it in a while? What is your experience?

6 Comments
2024/02/07
23:10 UTC

16

Survey for my Master's Thesis

Hi guys!

My name is Valentína, I am a student at Trnava University, Slovakia. I’ve been teaching my dog to use buttons for 1,5 years now and got inspired to write my thesis about this topic.

As I am from Slovakia, there are not many people teaching their pets to communicate and gathering data proved unsuccessful, so I am opting to reach out to the rest of the world.

If you could fill out my survey about your experience with the buttons, it would mean a lot.
Here is the link:

(edit: inserting a new link since the original decided not to work)

https://0aeay5l7chj.typeform.com/TalkingButtons

I am focusing primarily on dog learners but if you have a cat learner or even if your training was not as successful as expected, you are welcome to fill the survey out as well!

Of course, everything is anonymous and will only be used for academic research.
I appreciate any response or share of the survey, please help me get it to the right crowd :)

Thank You!

old link here: https://form.typeform.com/to/vzdbhOf2

Edit: grammar

8 Comments
2024/02/01
17:32 UTC

40

When you think she wants your love, but she’s just saying she loves treats… 🥲

This is one week after I introduced vocabulary training. She’s surprises me with how smart she is every day, though she likes to just smash buttons sometimes.

1 Comment
2024/01/31
19:25 UTC

15

Progress sharing

This subreddit has been extremely helpful and I appreciate everyone in this community! Just wanted to share some progress Oliver made, I’ve never done this before and you guys helped us a lot! In the videos he presses the same button two months apart, I’m proud of how much more confident he feels with balancing when he does it :)

1 Comment
2024/01/30
19:10 UTC

2

Start with buttons we know they’ll spam, therefore we know they’ll learn?

We have two dogs who already know how to push a button to go outside but feel confident they could learn more buttons.

We’re torn on the buttons to start with mostly for fear of spamming. Starting with “walk” and “time to eat” would absolutely take (one for each dog) but we expect they’d be pressing them way more than we can actually feed or walk. Maybe the jumpstart to learning buttons would be worth it?

The alternative feels like they’ll take to them slower because we’d be using less exciting words.

Any insights would be much appreciated

11 Comments
2024/01/30
18:58 UTC

3

Paw targeting

My girlfriend and I have been trying to get our cat to use buttons for some time now. Our two buttons are “play” and “pets”. He hasn’t pressed either yet. We recently discovered paw targeting training and have been trying to get him to press. Unfortunately, no success. Rex (my cat) either uses his nose or taps the side not the top when training. I wanted to know if this is common? Should I be rewarding him because he’s just starting? And how do I get him to advance further? Any help would be much appreciated.

1 Comment
2024/01/30
17:20 UTC

33

My cat is ruining the whole experience and now the dog won't use them anymore.

I'm so frustrated.

I bought buttons for my dog. He picked them up immediately and was doing SOOO good.

I never tried to teach the cat, but she learned them as well and was using them.

I have a total of 12 words down. The cat uses about 5 of them in the correct way. The dog was using all 12 of them in the correct way - before she started messing with them. (described below)

THEN the cat started attacking the tiles. She tears them up, flips them over, pulls the button out of them and plays with them and just overall pushes the buttons just to mess with them. The tiles are half ruined from her claws and her biting them (yes, she has lots of toys, scratch posts, etc) and the buttons are always all over the place.

The dog won't use them anymore, partly because the cat f's everything up so much, partly because I yell at the cat and then dog gets upset because I'm yelling and now they just have a negative connotation to them for him.

I'm REALLY upset about this because my dog is my bestie and he deserves this opportunity. (The cat does too, but no one else is ruining it for her.) And there is nowhere I could put them that the cat couldn't get at them.

Has anyone dealt with this? What did you do? Any fixes?

27 Comments
2024/01/27
07:38 UTC

6

Has anyone tried asking their learners about their language?

I mean asking your learner to "teach" you to speak like whatever species they are normally would.

0 Comments
2024/01/26
21:22 UTC

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