“I understand that with new ideas, some people will be skeptical at first,” Ms. Hunger said in an email. “Research shows that dogs can understand words, and AAC gives dogs a chance to say the words they understand and hear every day.”
Stephanie Rocha, 51, began teaching her Border-Aussie, Casper, how to communicate in October. She started posting videos of Casper using the buttons. In one, posted this summer, an upset Casper pressed the buttons to say, “Eleanor! No! Help! Mad!”
“What do you need?” Ms. Rocha said. Her daughter Eleanor was upstairs, fixing a dresser.
Of the 24 labeled buttons arranged on mats, Casper pressed “Go! Golf cart!” Ms. Rocha says her daughter had promised Casper she would take him on a golf-cart ride in their Atlanta neighborhood, but decided to fix her dresser since it had started raining.