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Stella, the dog learns Talking With Use Of A Special Word Machine, She Has Already Learnt 29 Words

What pet owner does not dream about a scenario where they would be able to talk to their loving pet? Well, for one very lucky pet owner; a dog owner named Christina Hunger; this has turned into a reality when she came up with a fun way to speak to her dog. No, she is no mind reader at all. She is actually a 26 years old woman who happens to be a speech-language pathologist and has learned of a technique to communicate with her loving pup, Stella the dog. As to how she communicates with Stella, it is with the help of a custom made a board that emits many different sounds.

Hunger is the proud owner of the 18-month-old Stella the dog, which is a mix between the Blue Heeler and Catahoula. Now whenever Stella the dog wants to express her feelings or thoughts to her owner, she simply presses upon the respective buttons that have words written down below them. The sound resulted from each button is prerecorded and then programmed into the soundboard by Hunger.

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for Stella the dog, this soundboard has been like a miraculous thing and is actually doing wonders for her. With this soundboard, Stella is able to tell Hunger things like when she is feeling tired or when she likes to take a nap or when she is hungry and wants to eat something. There is also a button that lets Hunger know when Stella wants to take a walk at the park.

As for Stella the dog, she herself is a great student who now happens to known about 29 different words on the soundboard. In addition to this, she still now also has the ability to put these words into phrases and this is a great achievement from a mere dog.

One fine day, Stella was feeling restless as she could not stay still in one place and was whining near the front door. Hunger first thought that Stella might need to take a walk outside. But to Hunger’s surprise, Stella pushed the buttons on board to make a phrase stating “Want, Jake, Come”. After that Stella walked back to the front door and then waited for quite a bit until Jake; the fiancé of Hunger, came back home. Stella then went on to press the word ‘Happy’ on the board and started rolling over the floor expressing her with the soft belly rub that she loves very much.

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Last night, right before this video was taken, I accidentally said “ball” on Stella’s device while I was actually reaching for a different word. But, Stella took this very seriously! She picked up her ball, dropped it on her device, and said “Good” (Translation: Good idea, Mom!) • I started recording right after she said “Good” and caught the rest of her thought: “Happy ball want outside!” • Like all AAC users, Stella thrives when we talk to her using her device and say words that she loves. She never needs to know it was on accident! ? • • • • • #hunger4words #stellathetalkingdog #slpsofinstagram #speechtherapy #AAC #ashaigers #slp #corewords #SLPeeps #slp2be #aacawarenessmonth #earlyintervention #languagedevelopment #dogsofinstagram #dogmom #doglife #dogs #animalpsychology #doglover #dogvideos #sandiegodog #catahoula #blueheeler #smartdog #dogcommunication #mydogtalks #animalcommunication #interspeciescommunication #loveanimals

A post shared by Christina Hunger, MA, CCC-SLP (@hunger4words) on

Hunger told, “before this video of Stella was taken, I accidentally had pressed the word Ball on her soundboard while I was trying to reach another word altogether. However, for Stella, she took that word really seriously as she then went on to pick her ball and then dropped it on the soundboard and then pushed the button that says, “Good”. Right after she pressed the button ‘Good’, I started recording her and then was able to catch the rest of her thoughts as she pressed the words to form a phrase that sounds like ‘Happy, Ball, Want, outside’.”

Stella seems to thrive when we tend to talk to her by using the soundboard and say only the words that she loves to hear. She never wants to know that we did it on accident.

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Stella adapts her message when she isn’t feeling understood, just like we all do! If someone doesn’t understand us or we don’t get the response we were expecting, we change the words we’re using to explain ourselves better. • Watch this sequence of Stella telling us, three different ways in a row, that she wanted to go play! • First, Stella said “Come play.” When we didn’t come play, she added more details and said, “Outside play love you.” Finally, she got as specific as she could and told us, “Park.” Stella is truly a great communicator! • • • • • #hunger4words #stellathetalkingdog #slpsofinstagram #speechtherapy #AAC #ashaigers #slp #corewords #SLPeeps #slp2be #aacawarenessmonth #earlyintervention #languagedevelopment #dogsofinstagram #dogmom #doglife #dogs #animalpsychology #doglover #dogvideos #sandiegodog #catahoula #blueheeler #smartdog #dogcommunication #mydogtalks #animalcommunication #interspeciescommunication #loveanimals

A post shared by Christina Hunger, MA, CCC-SLP (@hunger4words) on

Whenever Stella does not feel like her feelings are understood by us, she adapts to her message instead of just like we humans do. It’s like we humans do that when sometimes people do not understand what we say, and then we change our words to better explain ourselves.

Below is one of the sequences where Stella told Hunger in three different parses at the same time that at the moment she wants to go outside and play.

First Stella made the phrase ‘Come, Play’. When Hunger did not go outside with her, she then added in more detail to the parse by sounding these buttons, “Outside, Play, Love You”. Then she made the message a little clearer by adding the place to play by pressing the button “Park”. Stella has turned into a really amazing communicator dog.

 

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Stella uses language differently when she’s in a heightened state versus when she’s calm! • Today when she heard some noises outside and wanted to go investigate, I told her we were staying inside. • Stella responded by saying, “Look” 9 TIMES IN A ROW, then “Come outside.” She was clearly in a more frantic state, and her language use matched that. We all sound differently than normal when we’re in distress, Stella included! • I’m impressed that Stella is communicating with language during her more heightened states, not just when she’s calm and in a quiet space. This shows me that words are becoming more automatic for her to use. It’s similar to when a toddler starts using language to express himself during times of frustration instead of only crying. That happens when it’s easy for the toddler to say words, not when he’s still learning and it takes a lot of focus to talk ?? • • • • • #hunger4words #stellathetalkingdog #slpsofinstagram #speechtherapy #AAC #ashaigers #slp #corewords #SLPeeps #slp2be #earlyintervention #languagedevelopment #dogsofinstagram #dogmom #doglife #dogs #guarddog #animalpsychology #doglover #dogvideos #sandiegodog #catahoula #blueheeler #smartdog #dogcommunication #mydogtalks #animalcommunication #interspeciescommunication #loveanimals

A post shared by Christina Hunger, MA, CCC-SLP (@hunger4words) on

Hunger says, “Stella makes use of the language in different manners when she is in a clam state or a heightened state.

When, one day, Stella heard some noise coming from outside, she had wanted to go outside and to investigate the source but Hunger told her to stay inside.

Stella then responded by pressing the button that sounded ‘Look’. She pressed that same button 9 times and then she pressed the button ‘Come Outside’. Stella was really feeling frantic about the disturbance outside and her language was actually a spot-on use.

It is an impressive thing that Stella is even able to communicate in a better way during her heightened state instead of only communicating in the clam state. This clearly shows that the use of words is coming to her as more and more natural. It is clearly like when a toddler starts to understand the language and then use it to express themselves instead of simply crying.

 

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Wait, wait, wait, then wait some more! Best practice in speech therapy with beginning communicators includes giving the learner increased wait time to process what’s happening and generate a response. Pausing before prompting or talking more gives the communicator a chance to respond! • Stella benefits from the same wait time. In this video she hit her “outside” button twice, but no sound came out. Instead of jumping up to fix it, I bit my tongue, stood still, and waited a full 13 seconds before Stella said “No. Help help!” Way to go Stella for telling me her button wasn’t working and asking for help! ???? • • • • • #hunger4words #stellathetalkingdog #slpsofinstagram #speechtherapy #AAC #ashaigers #slp #corewords #SLPeeps #slp2be #aacawarenessmonth #earlyintervention #languagedevelopment #dogsofinstagram #dogmom #doglife #dogs #animalpsychology #doglover #dogvideos #sandiegodog #catahoula #blueheeler #smartdog #dogcommunication #mydogtalks #animalcommunication #interspeciescommunication #loveanimals

A post shared by Christina Hunger, MA, CCC-SLP (@hunger4words) on

Stella also has a lot of patience which is required for communication. In the video down below, she presses the button Outside many times but it could not produce any sound. Instead of Hunger helping her, she waited to see what Stella would do. She then waited for 13 seconds and then pressed on button to make the phrase ‘no, help, Help”. This was her way of telling Hunger that her button was not working and she needs help with it.

 

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Don’t you just hate it when your dog talks back to you?? ?? After Stella finished her breakfast this morning, I said and modeled on her device “Stella all done eat.” She immediately responded “no,” and walked back to her dishes while licking her lips. • While this made me laugh, I also think it’s pretty amazing because Stella is really starting to appropriately respond to what we’re saying and participate in short conversations ?? • • • • • #hunger4words #talkingdog #slpsofinstagram #speechtherapy #AAC #slp #corewords #SLPeeps #slp2be #aacawarenessmonth #earlyintervention #languagedevelopment #dogsofinstagram #dogmom #dogs #animalpsychology #doglover #dogvideos #sandiegodog #catahoula #blueheeler #smartdog #dogcommunication #mydogtalks #animalcommunication #interspeciescommunication #loveanimals #respectanimals #thedodo

A post shared by Christina Hunger, MA, CCC-SLP (@hunger4words) on

In the end, Hunger tells about a funny commutation incident between her and Stella. Hunger says, “Don’t you simply hate it when your dog starts to talk back? One day she finished her breakfast. I tapped the buttons to ask her “Stella Done Eat”. She then immediately pressed on buttons to say, “No”. And then she walked back to the dishes and then started licking them.

This might be a really funny thing but this is also amazing progress from Stella.  This actually shows that Stella is now learning to respond in an appropriate manner to what people are saying to her and also engage in short conversations.”

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Of course, the internet is blown over by Stella the dog and her amazing talent of commenting. This is why her Instagram account boasts a huge audience of 650k+ followers and they all love her.

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