Instagram | @hunger4words

'Talking’ Dog Uses Custom Soundboard To Communicate Her Thoughts And Feelings

When my dog wants something, he usually resorts to the tried and true method of whining and staring at me until I finally figure out just what exactly it is he's trying to communicate to me.

Apart from a few misunderstandings here and there, I'd say this has worked pretty well for my dog, and for just about every dog that's come before him.

But one dog is done with simply making noise and hoping her owner understands what she wants. In fact, she's resorted to straight up talking. Sort of.

18-month-old Stella is able to communicate her thoughts and feelings with her owner using a custom soundboard.

Instagram | @hunger4words

According to People, owner Christina Hunger has managed to teach the Catahoula/Blue Heeler mix to ditch the barking and the whining in favor of simply stepping on a specific button on the device.

And surprisingly, the dog has gotten remarkably good at "speaking" her mind.

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First, let's talk about the device itself, because it's actually pretty incredible.

Hunger, who is a speech-language pathologist, actually devised it herself.

Displayed on a long piece of cardboard are more than a dozen programmed "buttons" with corresponding labels. Each button means something different, from words describing wants ("walk", "nap", "water"), to feelings ("happy", "mad"), and even nouns ("Jake", "Christina", "beach").

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Incredibly, Stella has learned what each button means and knows which one to step on in order to "talk" to her owner.

Instagram | @hunger4words

For instance, when she was in the mood to see Hunger's fiance, Jake, Stella walked over to the device and tapped out, "Want", "Jake", and "Come."

When Jake came home a few minutes later, Stella tapped "Happy" and rolled over so she could get the belly rubs she'd been looking for.

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Hunger says she's in "constant amazement and shock" at how well Stella has learned to communicate.

Instagram | @hunger4words

"Every day she says something cooler than she said the day before," she told People.

In fact, the pup now knows at least 29 words and can combine up to five of those words at a time to make a phrase. That's definitely one very good doggo.

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Hunger plans on continuing to expand Stella's vocabulary and also wants to teach other dogs how to "speak" as well.

"I think how important dogs are to their humans," she said. "I just imagine how much deeper the bond will be."

You can check out Stella's amazing progress on Hunger's website, Hunger for Words, or by joining the nearly 180,000 other followers on Stella's official Instagram page.

h/t: People

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