Words & Phrases: Outside - How to teach your dog to talk with buttons
"Outside" is perhaps the best first word for your dog to learn.
Many dogs already hang out by the door when they need to relieve themselves, and people often hang a bell from the main door your dog uses to let others know they need or want to go out.
We recommend starting with "Outside," as it can accomplish multiple goals at once. It gets them accustomed to pressing their buttons, shows them they can use their buttons to express a need, and helps them learn to associate the sound the button makes with the idea or activity it represents.
Does my dog really understand?
At first, "outside" may translate to "I need to go potty." After all, they're used to communicating this by hanging out by the door, and they may come to see the button as a more effective signal.
Of course, your dog loves the outside for many other reasons, and you'll quickly find them using the "outside" button in a more general sense. It helps to reinforce the meaning by pressing the button every time you go outside together.
How to teach your dog
You might have some ideas as to how you might teach your dog to use their "outside" button. Here are a few tips from us:
- Place button next to the door.
- Take dog outside EVERY time they press the button.
- Press button before letting dog outside.
- Press button every time you leave the house.
- Say "outside" every time you press the button to equate a button press to spoken word.
It is recommended to only move the "outside" button to your learner's sound board AFTER they have mastered it. Until then, leave it by the main door your pet uses.
Here is a brilliant example of modeling the word "outside" as your pet learns: