February 01, 2022
When Dogs Talk Back | Dog Edition #48

Ever wonder what your dog would tell you if they spoke your language? We are taking a deep dive into the growing trend of using AAC (Assistive and Alternative Communication) buttons to teach our dogs to “talk”.


You know your dog understands A LOT of what you’re saying. But what if they had a way to respond to you using words? On this episode of Dog Edition, we are taking a look at the “talking” buttons that are being used to assist and enhance peoples’ communication with their dogs! This trend took the internet by storm in 2019, and has made many of us rethink our preconceived notions about the limitations on our ability to understand our dogs’ internal worlds.

We will be hearing some amazing stories of people whose relationships with their dogs have been transformed by using these buttons, we will take a look at this trend through a scientific lens, and we will hear from the entrepreneur who has pioneered this new frontier with cutting-edge technology and a passion bringing enrichment to the lives of our animal friends.

About Leo Trottier:

Leo Trottier is a unique blend of cognitive scientist, software engineer, product designer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of CleverPet, a startup that uses smart hardware to teach pets automatically through advanced cognitive and behavioral science techniques.

Leo is an alumnus of San Diego's EvoNexus and the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator (powered by Techstars). He has a degree in cognitive science and A.I. program at the University of Toronto and started CleverPet while a Ph.D. candidate at UC San Diego. Before CleverPet, Leo ran Scholarpedia, Wikipedia’s academic equivalent, where he worked with Nobel Laureates to "wikify scholarly canons.

Website: https://fluent.pet/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fluentpet/

https://www.instagram.com/trottier/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/trottiest

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leo.trottier, https://www.facebook.com/FluentPet

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leotrottier/

About Michelle Pierce:

My name is Michelle and I have been teaching my learner, Lexi since February 2021. A little about me and how we got started, I struggle with chronic illness, and I was looking for an outlet to pour my energy into as a distraction from pain. I watched @Whataboutbunny on TikTok and decided to try it for myself. I went in with zero expectations. Now, about a year later, I have a new and closer bond with Lexi and a whole community of fellow animal lover who are following our journey! Thanks for following along.

Website: https://chelleandlexihusky.wordpress.com/

Intagram: https://www.instagram.com/chellelexihusky/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCawaCxu7jXJINcSPkx1PnFg

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@chelleandlexihusky?lang=en

About Zachary Silver:

Zachary Silver's research explores how dogs and other canid species use observed behavior to socially evaluate humans along several dimensions invluding morality, competence, and social rank. Zachary is also interested in the effects of formal training on sociocognitive development

Website: https://doglab.yale.edu/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/zachary_silver

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