FAQ

FluentPet Info

FluentPet is a system of HexTiles and recordable sound buttons designed to help you teach your dog to communicate. It is inspired by Christina Hunger's work with her dog Stella. Detailed information on the FluentPet system can be found on the Science and Design page.

Not currently, but we'd love to! We want to partner with anyone who can help spread the word about the potential of giving dogs and other animals better abilities to communicate and express themselves.

The FluentPet tiles and button system was developed by Leo Trottier, a California-based cognitive scientist trained at University of California San Diego, in close collaboration with the Canine AAC Test Pilots, a group of people based in the US, Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, Australia, and beyond, who have made incredible progress teaching their dogs to use sound buttons to express themselves.

FluentPet developer Leo Trottier started CleverPet while a PhD candidate in Cognitive Science at University of California San Diego. We are sharing what we’re learning with the Comparative Cognition Laboratory at University of California San Diego to better understand how it is that dogs and other animals use, and are able to use, sound buttons to express themselves. For more on this, please check out How.TheyCanTalk.Org for information on how to join (and don't worry, you don't need to have FluentPet buttons to be a part of this!).

Our team works remotely from locations in the US and Canada, with a good many of us in California.

Products

Each kit comes with a guide to get you started. We also recommend watching the Getting Started video available at http://clvr.pt/getstarted.

Rest assured that your button is new. Before the sound buttons are packed, they are tested with a range of test sounds by factory employees. With buttons manufactured more recently, we have provided pre-recorded instructions as a tutorial. As soon as you record your words on the button, any previous recordings will be erased.

To record, make sure your button is in record mode by sliding the switch on the side of the button to the left. Press and hold the button until it beeps (3-5 seconds), then say the word or phrase you’d like to record. Release the button when you’re done.

Slide the switch to the right to change to play mode and press the button to play back the recording. In play mode, your learner is prevented from accidentally erasing the recording.

By experimenting with the volume of your voice and the position of the button while you’re recording, you can significantly improve the button audio quality and reduce distortion.

The microphone is located on the underside of the button—it is a small hole around the size of a pen tip. Make sure the microphone is uncovered when you are recording. If the microphone is covered while recording, it produces static.

When speaking too close to the microphone, the microphone can be overpowered—causing the playback to be significantly distorted. Speak clearly, but not particularly loudly. The button will adjust its volume to compensate if the volume is low, but it can’t compensate for volume that’s too high. Because of the button’s size, higher-pitched sounds tend to be better reproduced than lower ones, so adjusting the pitch of your voice can also be a way of improving the audio the button produces. Getting it just right can take a few attempts.

Like nearly every electronic device on the planet in this price range, the tiles and buttons are manufactured in China. We are working as hard as we can to expand production to North America and Europe.

Why, yes. Thanks for noticing! We're so excited to introduce our NEW and IMPROVED HexTiles with soft tops. Brighter, lighter, and easier to assemble, they’re nicer to walk on and represent the latest evolution of soundboard design. Our kits now come standard with the Soft-Top HexTiles.

Our original Hard-Top HexTiles can still be purchased individually. They’re compatible with the Soft-Top HexTiles, so whichever you choose, they’ll easily fit together.

The FluentPet Hard-Top HexTiles are made of a combination of a hard-plastic top layer, a flexible EVA foam layer (the same material used for flip flops and slippers), and a non-slip rubber bottom layer. The Soft-Top HexTiles are made primarily out of EVA foam and also have a non-slip rubber bottom layer. The buttons have an ABS plastic housing that holds the electronics to make them work.

The FluentPet System is designed to be flexible and accommodate learners big and small. For small learners, the buttons require relatively little pressure to activate. In the case of larger learners (and paws!), we recommend spreading out the buttons when they first start using sound buttons and not filling every HexTile button space. As your learner gets more comfortable and precise with their button presses, you can experiment with a more dense arrangement of sound buttons.

Soft-Top Compact HexTile Hard-Top Compact HexTile Large HexTile
FluentPet Soft-Top Compact HexTile 200mm FluentPet Soft-Top Compact HexTile 200mm FluentPet Large HexTile 300mm
Compact 7.9 in (200 mm) Compact 7.9 in (200 mm) Large 11.8 in (300 mm)
Best for conserving space Best for conserving space Best for transitioning from large sound buttons to FluentPet Sound Buttons
Holds Up to 6 FluentPet Sound Buttons Holds Up to 6 FluentPet Sound Buttons Holds Up to 6 Buttons— FluentPet Sound Buttons and/or 3.5 in (8.9 mm) Large Buttons
Colorful Foam Top Scratch-Resistant Top Colorful Foam Top
6 Patterns for Different Word Categories 6 Patterns for Different Word Categories 6 Patterns for Different Word Categories
Compatible with Soft-Top and Hard-Top Compact HexTiles Compatible with Soft-Top and Hard-Top Compact HexTiles Compatible with Large HexTiles

General

FluentPet products are available exclusively on this website.

Yes, we encourage you to place an order as we fulfill orders on a first in first out basis and our inventory is constantly being replenished.

Due to high demand and issues with the global supply chain caused by COVID-19, customers have experienced pre-order shipping delays of 4-8 weeks or more. In-stock items are fulfilled within 1-3 business days.

We strive to reduce waste and use less plastics in our product line wherever possible. All our products are shipped in recyclable cardboard boxes, with a minimum of plastic packaging materials. For the items where we still use plastic packaging materials, we have plans in place to replace these with sustainable alternatives or to completely remove them.

This practice is extremely new and there are no scientifically or systematically validated methods for training dogs to use buttons. Nonetheless, some approaches seem to work better than others, which we are compiling at TheyCanTalk.Org. We also recommend checking out the online community at How.TheyCanTalk.Org.

There are many things to keep you and your learner busy while you wait for your buttons to arrive! Recommendations on what to do in preparation for button use can be found at TheyCanTalk.org, listed specifically on the Waiting for Buttons page. You can also join the online community at How.TheyCanTalk.Org.

Shipping & Returns

Due to high demand and global cargo disruptions for bulk shipments, we are shipping directly from our Hong Kong warehouse to get your order out as quickly as possible. As soon as we can, we will also begin making fulfillments out of the United States. For more information, please visit Shipping and Returns

If you chose the postal/standard service to ship, they offer very limited tracking, only recording the milestones. For more information, please visit Shipping and Returns.

We can help you cancel your order right up until the moment your order ships. Once it has left the warehouse, however, it is literally out of our hands. To cancel, email info@fluent.pet and our customer service team will be happy to help. Inquiries are typically answered within 24-48 hours. Please check your spam folder if you don’t see a response from us. For more information, please visit Shipping and Returns.

If your order hasn’t left the warehouse, we can help you change your address. Just e-mail info@fluent.pet and our customer service team will be happy to help. Inquiries are typically answered within 24-48 hours. Please check your spam folder if you don’t see a response from us.

For the safety of our learners and their parents, we cannot accept returns on used products as they can't be resold.

If you’re unsure of whether this will work out, we recommend giving it a try with our low-commitment Tester Kit. You can also visit TheyCanTalk.org where we’ve brought together the latest tips, tricks, tools, and insights to set your learner up for success. Join tens of thousands of other teachers and learners at How.TheyCanTalk.org, an online community devoted to realizing the potential of communication with dogs and other species. Ask questions, find support, and watch and share amazing videos of learner successes

We stand behind our products and will happily replace parts with manufacturing defects. If you are experiencing bad/distorted sounds with one of your sound buttons, you may be eligible for a replacement. If it's occurring with all of them, the most likely scenario is that the sound was recorded incorrectly. For more information about getting the best sound out of the FluentPet Sound Buttons, click here. Please refer to our Warranty page for more details.

Duties and taxes, as well as courier fees are a part of importing goods into your country when ordering internationally. Each country’s government has their own rules and unfortunately, that is beyond our control. Please see our Shipping and Returns page for more information.

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