Lindsey & Zoey πŸ•

Physician
πŸ•
My fiancΓ© and I feel like we’ve won the lottery with our 3 yo German Shepherd Zoey because she is such an incredible dog! Now it’s time for the β€˜goodest girl’ to start talking to us, and we’re so excited!πŸ˜€

Frequent button presses when you're too busy to respond?

Hi all,

My dog is finally getting the hang of these buttons, and it's so cool to see her progress and how much she enjoys using them!Β 

My fiancΓ© and I do our best to respond when Zoey presses a button, because we want to take every opportunity for learning and reinforcement. However, I had a Zoom meeting planned to catch up with friends who live far away this evening, and as soon as everyone had logged on to Zoom, Zoey started frantically pushing every button around the house! I didn't know what to do, but I was not prepared to ignore my friends in order to respond to Zoey's every button press, especially when she was hitting "go pee" and "outside" repeatedly, and we had JUST been outside for a pee minutes earlier! She's a healthy adult dog, and prior to the buttons, she had no problem going a few hours without peeing, playing, or getting treats.

It seemed to me like Zoey was pushing all of her buttons as a strategy to get my attention, but I could be wrong. Does anyone have any thoughts about this behaviour or how to respond to it? What about those of you who work from home? Do you interrupt a meeting to respond to your learners' button presses? Do learners regress if you ignore their button presses for a few hours periodically when you're busy and you know their needs have all been met?

I will also note that we have an "All done" button, which works well when Zoey asks for things ie. treat, play, go pee and she's already had ample opportunities to do/have these things, but even responding with "all done" requires an abrupt pause from whatever I'm doing, which is not ideal when I really want to give someone or something else my undivided attention.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice!

Like Comment

Russian Roulette?

Hi everyone!Β 

We’ve had our buttons for about 4 weeks now. We have a 3 yo German Shepherd who is quite bright and knows many words β€” I thought this would be perfect for her!Β 

We’ve had outside, play, and all done for about 2 weeks, and I feel like she understands that pushing buttons makes us do stuff, but she doesn’t really understand which one is which. It’s kind of like Russian roulette for her! She hits the closest one and hopes we do the right thing. As a result, I think it’s a bit stressful for her. She doesn’t spontaneously push them very often, and when we prompt her to β€œuse her buttons” when she clearly wants us to play or to go outside, etc.,Β she licks her lips and whines a bit before making a guess, and she’s usually wrong.Β 

I decided to add a treat button today. My hope was that this button would be motivating enough for her to spontaneously hit it and to make sure she learns exactly which button it is! Unfortunately, she’s still playing Russian roulette. She doesn’t understand why sometimes she hits a button and gets a treat and other times we just open the door. So even with a treat button, she gives up quickly.

I’m now worried we’ve added buttons too quickly for her, or else we chose the wrong words. I’ve read that we shouldn’t take buttons away, so does anyone have advice for what we should do now?