Located in San Diego, California, the pair have amassed an impressive Instagram following of 565,000 followers who all love to watch Stella talk. Now, we don’t mean that Stella can physically speak verbal human words; she has been trained to press buttons that say human words to communicate what she is thinking.
Watch the Instagram post video below, where Stella asks Christina to take her outside for a walk.
Christina explains it on her blog.
“We programmed one recordable answer buzzer to say “outside.” We thought this button would be a good size for Stella to activate with her paw. Every time we said “outside” to Stella, we modeled use of the button by pushing it with our foot. Every time we took Stella outside we pushed “outside” before opening the door. After a few weeks of modeling, Stella showed us she was aware of what was happening. When I would ask “Outside? Stella, want to go outside?” she began looking down at the button, looking up at me, and barking. As an SLP I knew this was a huge step in the right direction. She was demonstrating joint attention between the button and me, and understood that to go outside, something with the button had to occur first. Soon after this step, Stella said her first word, "outside" independently.”
Christina then repeated the process, adding words such as eat, water, play, walk and so on. In the Instagram post below, Stella has returned from a trip to the beach, which was cut short, but Stella wanted to go back to the beach. After using single words and two-word phrases to say this, Stella finally walks over to her device and says, “Water good. No eat. Play!”
In this video you can see Stella ask Christina to look at her.
It seems our four-legged friend can say, think and communicate so much more than we first thought!
Follow Hunger4words on Instagram to see Stella talk.