Rachel

Elvis Pawsley Martin-Nile
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Hello! My name is Rachel and my dog is Elvis! Being the crazy dog mom I am the possibility of Elvis being able to communicate pain with me is the biggest reason for wanting to take on the educational process of communication through buttons!

Learned to Abuse the Button

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So Elvis has become very well acquainted with his potty button to the point where he now knows how to abuse it. Friday I was leaving for work and my partner was up getting ready for their shift (they go in an hour later than I do) and Elvis had already pressed the potty button no more than 15 minutes earlier, I took him out he peed and pooped and was all good. The moment I closed the door behind me I heard him trot over to the button and press it, and my partner saying the entire time "Good job bub's!" forgetting that I had JUST taken him out. As I'm pulling out they both come outside and Elvis runs down the steps to the grass, lifts his leg PRETENDS TO PEE and then runs over to my car trying to hop in through the window with my partner being towed behind him. As cute as it was it was only the beginning. When I got home later that day (an hour before my partner) Elvis pressed the button the moment I walked through the doors and I took him out, he peed and pooped again, and I went back in to change and do some homework. Or so I thought... All of our windows are open and he saw the neighbors dog come out to do their business so he immediately pressed his button. I was skeptical but took him out anyway where he once again, ran to the grass, lifted his leg, pretended to pee and ran over to the gate the separates us from our neighbors to say hello to his friend. Our weekend and past couple days have been filled with these incidents and we were at a lost on how to approach it. So this evening after more abused button presses to sniff new dogs, the neighbors coming home, and chasing leaves I've decided to add the "play" button and "all done" button. I didn't know whether or not to do outside button first but we don't use outside that often, we don't have a yard so if we want to go outside for anything other than potty it's either "walk" or "park". Play we use in the apartment to signal play wrestling or toys and he understands a lot better. Where to go from here and what to do if Elvis decides to continue to abuse the power of his button would be great! I was scared he would never press it..... now here I am being hustled by my own dog!Β 
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Pressing Button With Nose and Scared of Button

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So we've had the buttons now for a little over a week and only have the potty button in use. Elvis went from no interest to scared of it. I believe that because it is my voice he is scared of the button and doesn't want to interact with it. Everyday we interact with the button with him, give treats, take him outside but he won't press it himself. He sits by it looking at us like "please don't make me touch it." So we've taken his paw and pressed it for him and he fully understands what it means because he reacts with his normal potty dance when he hears the button go off but he won't do it unless encouraged. Until last night and this morning it was a battle to even get him to look at the mat with the button. Last night I wouldn't take him out (it's the before bed pee so he wasn't in desperate need to go out) until he pressed the button. He slept around it, had it between his paws, but would not press it. I finally kept going "press it or I'm not gonna" and "I'm not going to bed until you press it". I think he was fed up with laying on the floor waiting for me to go to bed so he booped it with his nose and got all excited to go potty. This morning I had to take him outside and I pointed to the mat not saying anything and he immediately booped the button with his nose. I am worried that if he gets in the habit of nose booping the buttons he will miss boop or become frustrated when several go off at once. But progress has been made I suppose.

First Interaction

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The buttons finally came in yesterday and I IMMEDIATELY set up the potty button to begin with training. Elvis gave it a little sniff and more or less left it alone, later in the evening he had to use the bathroom and so we verbally asked him "Gotta go potty?" while pressing the button every few seconds and repeating "potty" after the button said potty before we brought him out. This morning, in my early morning haze, did not press the button when taking Elvis outside. We call it his monkey noises which he uses to wake us up and indicate he has to use the bathroom.Β 
When we got back inside I laid back down and heard the potty button going off. Elvis had taken the entire mat that the button was on, brought it into our living room where his Aunt was sleeping and was biting the button trying to take it out of the mat.
I thought nothing of it, it's new he probably wants to play with it, until later when I realized this is part of the study! Interesting behaviors that could mean something or nothing! We told him that he can't play with the mat or the button and showed him again how to press it and when it said potty I picked up his leash and brought him out again telling him "potty".Β 
This will be a fun time!
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