Intro to Button Teaching

Intro to Button Teaching

Do any of these scenarios apply to you?

My dog/cat:

  • keeps staring, pacing, barking, or meowing at me and I’m not sure what they want
  • loves to play and spend time with me and I want to bond more with them
  • struggles with potty training or other training and it causes me or family stress
  • has health problems or I’m worried about their future health
  • is already very communicative and I’m curious what else they have to say
  • is clever or loves being stimulated in a variety of ways
  • is recently adopted, and we’re still getting to know each other
  • seems anxious or reactive, and I want to better support or help them

If you identify with any of the above, teaching your dog or cat to use buttons is a great place to start.

What is button communication?

Through pressing pre-recorded speech buttons, our animal companions can communicate their requests, thoughts, and feelings. Button communication is a form of assistive language technology that can give your companion a voice and a way for them to understand you better too. 

With time and patience, learners have been incredibly successful. Some have not only been able to communicate needs and wants, but also relay more abstract concepts such as feelings or time.


FluentPet | Human w/ a dog near soundboard

But can my dog or cat learn to use buttons?

Yes! Learners of all shapes, sizes, and learning styles have been successful at button communication. Some of our learners who took the longest to get going turned out to be the most talkative.

Believing in your learner’s potential is the first step. While the idea of teaching button communication may sound daunting, you and your learner are capable (though our fish friends might have a harder time).


Quick Glossary of Terms

LEARNER: Any animal you are teaching how to
use button communication.
TEACHER: That's you!

BUTTON: The recordable, sound button that your learner presses
HEXTILE: The connectable, hexagon shaped tiles that your button(s) can be inserted into.
SOUNDBOARD: Like how a keyboard is composed of keys, a sound board is composed of your buttons (and tiles).


WORD: The word/phrase produced by
the button when it's pressed. 




 MEANING / CONCEPT: A meaning or concept is your actual definition of the word. Concept is just our way of broadly referencing a particular thing that you may have your own words for. Concepts are usually written in ALL CAPS. For example, you may have the button word "Baño" recorded for the concept POTTY.

FluentPet - Human modeling to cat.

MODELING: The act of showing or demonstrating the meaning of a concept or button