Golden Retriever uses talking buttons to instruct his human

Originally published at:


What’s going on here is probably not what Fluent Pet and others think is going on.


Yeah, I think its pretty easy to train dogs and other animals to push a button or ring a bell for a specific thing. Food, outside, etc.

But some of the clips I have seen where there is some sort of complicated structure? Not really convinced. How many other examples are there where the button presses are nonsensical? Of course you only post the ones that do seem to make sense.




I guess it’s mostly harmless for people to believe that their pets are capable of complex human language, but there’s also a truly heartbreaking variant of this called “facilitated communication” in which con artists use severely disabled kids as human ouiji boards to convince parents that their nonverbal children are “speaking” to them.


Yeah, getting the discredited Koko sign language fiasco vibe here. The dog pushes the button and gets a reward: food, attention, walkies, whatever, so of course it pushes the button. Do a double-blind study with proper control group, by researchers who do not have an emotional stake in the outcome, and maybe you might find something. Otherwise this is really just “animals are people too!” propaganda or, worse, fakery or trickery masquerading as science for clicks.

… really animals are plants :potted_plant:

My one pet today is a sourdough starter, so technically my animal is a fungus.


Cleverer Hans.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.