- This post contains affiliate links. Read more here.
Dog talking buttons have fired up the imaginations of pet parents everywhere. Thanks to internet sensations like Bunny and Stella, the market for recordable buttons a dog can press to communicate has exploded. So where does a pet parent determined to teach their dog to talk begin?
The short answer is it depends on what you want. Dog talking button sets vary in complexity. If you’re just looking to dip your toe into the waters of dog talking buttons, we recommend a simple budget set to get a feel for the exercise. For those ready to invest some time, choose a pricier buildable option that lets you add buttons as your pup’s vocabulary grows.
You’ll also want to consider where you plan to put your dog’s new word bank. If you want maximum flexibility in arranging your buttons, forgo the kits with pre-made mats and make sure you have buttons big enough for your dog’s paws or snout.
Ready to dive in? We’ve rounded up the most popular dog talking buttons and broken down their key features and differences.
- Best Overall: Fluent Pet Kit
- Best Beginner Kit: Hunger For Words
- Best Luxury Dog Speaking Buttons: PawkieTalkie Talking Buttons Set
- Best Prerecorded Dog Communication Set: Hunger for Words Talking Pet Essential Words
- Best Budget Button Set: Petopix Dog Speaking Button Set
Best Dog Buttons Overall: Fluent Pet Kit (Verified Review)
This set starts with two easy-to-press, paw-sized recordable buttons that fit neatly into two colorful foam hex-shaped interlocking tiles (blue and yellow, which are colors dogs can see). You can put up to six buttons in one tile and connect multiple tiles, making a visual map of groupings of words as you build and add buttons to your set.
Our tester had a blast with this high-quality buildable kit and appreciated both the short “Getting Started” pamphlet plus the lengthy online tutorial with guidance on training. FluentPet’s buttons are, however, on the pricey side, which makes the kit a better option for pet parents who want to make a serious go of training than those looking for a casual experiment.
- Buttons are compact—great for smaller paws
- Comes with interlocking mats and labels, plus batteries
- You can build on the set with additional buttons and tiles, or try different kits
- Shape and colors of foam tiles help with grouping/organizing words by category
Best Beginner Kit: Hunger for Words
This is the original dog button company that kicked the trend off, created by speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger. With the starter set, you get four colorful recordable buttons and a brief but solid starter guide that includes four interactive activities to get you and your dog started.
Each button will require two AAA batteries (not included). If you prefer a mat, you can buy that separately; it holds up to six buttons. To learn more about Stella and pick up additional training tips, you can check out Hunger’s book, How Stella Learned to Talk.
- Start guide includes training activities
- Large colorful buttons provide an easier target but might not work as well for smaller pets
- Designed by the original creator of dog talking buttons
Best Luxury Dog Speaking Buttons: PawkieTalkie Talking Buttons Set
For the really committed dog parent, this dog talking button set comes with two mats and 12 recordable buttons. Reviewers report that they’re easy to set up right out of the box and have excellent sound quality. The benefit of starting out with more buttons right off the bat is you can play with a bigger variety of words to see what might motivate your dog best—a degree of flexibility that trainers recommend to make the work easier.
- Two mats and 12 buttons, ideal for experimenting
- Clear sound
- Compact size
Best Prerecorded Dog Communication Set: Hunger for Words Talking Pet Essential Words
This set from Hunger for Words gives you prerecorded buttons that come printed with icons and loaded with words that may be easier for your pup to learn. The set includes basic words that you probably already use with your dog, such as “walk,” “play,” and “eat.”
For pet parents who want to keep it simple and embark on a training course with pre-determined steps and maximum hand-holding, this is a strong starter option.
- Pre-recorded buttons take a step out of the initial training
- Six large buttons with words the company says “every pet can learn”
- Start guide eases you into the training program
Best Budget Button Set: Petopix Dog Speaking Button Set
For a slightly different interlocking style, try this four-button set to teach your dog to talk. Pet parents report that they’re easy to use for pets of different sizes and have good sound quality. The buttons are spaced out further than in some mats, which can be nice for especially large breeds who may have trouble navigating a dainty or tightly-packed word bank.
- You can build on this set with additional sets
- Mat is included
- Sturdy and good sound quality
How We Chose
The dog talking buttons featured here were selected based on a combination of our own hands-on testing, a comprehensive look at customer reviews across a wide variety of retail platforms, and interviews with veterinary experts, including Rover’s Dog People Panel. We prioritized quality, ease of use, and style variations to suit different dog and pet parent personalities. We’re also guided by the experience of living and playing alongside our own much-loved and strongly opinionated pets, who are never stingy with their feedback.
- Review: We Tested Some Internet-Famous Talking Dog Buttons
- Do Dog Talking Buttons Really Work? What the Experts Say
- The 19 Puzzle Toys That Actually Help Bored Dogs
- Caught on Video: Husky Dog Perfectly Copies Baby Learning to Talk
- Are Puzzle Toys Really Good for Dogs? What the Science Tells Us