Abby and Astro

Friendly neighborhood dog lady
Filmmaker and photographer.

Hurt button

Hi all,

My partner and I are brand new to They Can Talk, but we've been working with buttons since last year and I wondered if anyone out there had made a hurt button for their learner?Β  If so I'd really like to hear about it!

Astro injured her leg and needed surgery to correct the issue so I decided to give it a try.Β  I thought for sure that it would be a difficult concept to teach and in all likelihood wouldn't take.Β  Still, I recorded the button and brought it to her.Β  I gently touched her injured leg and asked "Does your leg hurt?" Before pushing her new button for her.Β  She cocked her head and looked at me before pushing the hurt button and whimpering.Β  She did this 6 times in less than 5 minutes.Β  Then she vigorously licked her leg.

Initially I thought it was just the novelty of the button that made her press it so often, so I put it on her board with the rest of her buttons and waited to see if she would use it on her own.Β  She did.Β  A lot.Β  She even started combining it with other buttons.Β 
I have to admit that I was still wondering if she was truly grasping the concept or if she recognized that she got a lot of attention when she pressed that specific button.Β  Then, on an especially hard day for her she was laying on her bed whimpering and moaning.Β  I asked her if she was hurting and she just whimpered in response.Β  While I was trying to decide what action was appropriate on my part, she went to her board and pushed the "yes," "Astro" and "hurt" buttons.Β  I was quite shocked by such a coherent answer.

I'm now convinced has a handle on the concept of "hurt" and she has even taken to using it when she sees someone else who isn't feeling well (her best friend vomited and Astro went to check on her, then pushed the hurt button).Β  However I'm wondering if anyone else has introduced the concept to their learner?Β  If so, how long did it take them to grasp the idea?Β  Also, in what context do they use it?

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