Erin & Figaro

Programmer w/ Sheltie Puppy.
Computer Programmer w/ Sheltie puppy born 12/16/20.

Hello from Figaro, new Sheltie learner.
Figaro is 5 1/2 months old, and I bought his button set a while back but was busy with well... priority puppy issues like not biting, teething problems, potty training, socialization, and that we do not have to all be in one room 24/7 or maybe can occasionally not pay attention to a motorcycle that passes.Β  I finished reading the new Stella book and figured I should get him started...

I actually tried to intro a potty bell way back, but while he does not like other things that make new noises, he absolutely loves pushing a toy and getting a sound he controls.Β  I couldn't get the potty bell to connect because with 3 different bells/sounds, it didn't matter - he would push any of them incessantly, rip them off whatever they were attached to, and abscond with them to push to his heart's content.Β  He likes noise that he controls only.

So... onto the buttons.Β  I started with "outside", "go pee" and "play".Β  He regularly whines for these, especially in the evening, and it can be very hard for us to tell the difference between each of these, or just begging or pre-bedtime overtired puppy tantrum. Β  I was hoping it'd give him a way to get that through...

He actually took to "outside" like he'd been waiting for it to show up for months.Β  He watched me record it, put it together, and immediately pressed it and went out to pee, and started pressing it instead of yowling if we were in another room...Β  unfortunately that leads to another issue...Β  most of the family is somewhere on the ASD spectrum or at least nearby, my brother had an auditory processing disorder (good hearing LEVELS, but background noise = nonsense), and my parents hearing is... tolerable but not incredible.Β  There is no where to put them where he won't press them out of our hearing range at times - especially as he initially tried pressing them when we weren't paying attention, or when a TV is on.Β  I cannot tell when he says "outside" vs "go pee" vs "play", though right now 90% of the time it is "outside".Β  People asking him what button he pushed seems to be discouraging him.Β  Maybe I should bring the buttons with me to other rooms so they stay in visible range?Β  It seems inconvenient to him, but he herds us constantly as is...Β  It might also help to know what cameras people find best to use - if it both had motion activation and a way to go back even a minute, that'd be something. Β 

Currently, he uses 'outside' some, but not as much as the first week or two - I need to model more, but am also hesitant to push it when I know we are missing his queues, so we need to get better at that.Β  He will occasionally push 'play' - but either WITH his toy in mouth or when I'm holding one right THERE... not when he is having bored tantrums and we aren't already playing, etc, and only occasionally - it's like he's playing, and it's right there and it reminds him, but not otherwise.Β  He doesn't push "go pee" at all.Β  I think that one was a bad choice... he virtually never doesn't want to survey the yard before going in and will ALWAYS try to pee as soon as he goes out, so... "I need to go out but there's a storm and I'm tired and I'll come right back" just isn't really different, I guess.Β  Not sure if I should just remove it and try something else for him, or model more and let it be.

So, any pointers toward resources for cameras, button volume improvements, video software to make it easier to share/caption clips, I'd guess there's no button texting or delayed light up DIY alteration...Β  ?
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