Alexas_Fotos (CC0), Pixabay

A speech-language pathologist named Christina Hunger has created an amazing adaptive soundboard that enables her to speak with her dog. The 26-year-old claims that her 18-month-old dog can tell her everything – from her needs to her emotions – using this soundboard.

Stella, Christina’s dog, is a combination of Catahoula and blue heeler. Christina created the device when Stella was eight weeks old and stated that her dog’s vocabulary is comparable to that of a two-year-old. Christina put together the device by adapting a strategy she employed on her toddler patients.

When a dog steps on one of the soundboard’s buttons, the button plays a word. Christina was able to accomplish this by recording a series of words and then programming them into the buttons.

Stella’s familiarization with the board required some time, but her growth has been remarkable.

Once, Stella was anxiously pacing in front of the door. Christina believed that her dog needed to defecate outside. Then, Stella used the soundboard to convey to Christina that she wanted Jake. Jake, Christina’s fiance, was due home from work at that time. Stella clicked the “happy” button on the soundboard when Jake walked through the door.

That surely was incredible!

Christina is astonished by how successfully her dog interacts using the board. The speech pathologist said that Stella’s communication with her owner is always improving.

Christina maintains a blog titled Hunger for Words in which she reports her dog’s progress. Stella had learned 29 words by 18 months old. The intelligent canine is also capable of combining words into phrases and sentences.

Stella’s favorite soundboard word is “park.”

Christina would like to broaden her research and educate more dogs on how to use the soundboard to communicate. She has observed that in addition to Stella’s enhanced communication, the dog’s body language has also changed.

Stella used to only use her right paw to press a button, but she now employs both paws. Using both paws might not seem like a huge issue, but according to Christina, it is comparable to learning to type with two hands.

Christina also claimed that her relationship with Stella has grown significantly after she taught her to use the soundboard.

Source: Inside Edition

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