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Featured Image Credit: Catherine Lamb
For years, humans have dreamed of talking with animals just like Doctor Dolittle and Disney’s Snow White. And now we may finally be able to thanks to a new training tool.
The latest TikTok craze taking the world by storm is pet training buzzers. The gadgets promise help pooches tell their owners exactly what they want, whether it’s a walk, the toilet or treats.
Sounds high-tech, but the concept is surprisingly simple. To get your smart pup talking, all you need to do is record a command such as ‘treat’. Your canine companion will quickly associate the buzzer with a tasty snack and, with some practice, will soon realise that they need to press it when they’re hungry.
This month, Aldi is launching its very own set of four training buzzers for pet owners looking to take their training to the next level. Available for pre-order from the 14th and in store from the 21st, they come in at a very affordable price of just £19.99.
I tested them out with my pooch Paisley to see if I could get her talking. Here’s what happened…
Before we could begin training, I needed to record my messages. The user manual suggests core training commands that your pooch already knows. I opted for ‘toilet’, ‘walkies’, ‘treats’ and her absolute favourite - ‘ball’. It was really simple to record the messages, and easy to re-record when I messed up.
I then placed each buzzer in their relevant areas. So the toilet one went by the back door, the ball one by her toy basket, and so on and so forth.
Next, it was time to train! Straight away, Paisley started interacting with the buzzers. She was very interested but obviously wasn’t quite sure of their purpose. To teach her, every time she played with her toy, I clicked the one that says ‘ball’. Every time we went for a walk, I clicked the one by the front door.
Unsurprisingly, the one she quickly responded to was the treat buzzer. She was pawing at it straight away, interacting with it and looking at me for a reward. But I wasn’t convinced she’d actually worked out that pressing the button meant she was telling me she wanted treats.
Paisley has always been quite intelligent but not even the smartest dog in the world can learn how to use training buzzers overnight. In fact, I was quite doubtful that I’d get any sort of response from her over the course of the five days testing it.
But by the end of day 2, she had realised the buzzers were of significance as she ran over to me when I clicked the one for the toilet. Again, I’m not convinced she knows exactly what they mean – but we’re heading in the right direction!
I never thought I’d see the day that Paisley would come to the door to have her harness put on. Like I said, dogs are very quick to make connections and although she loves a walk, she hates having her harness put on so shies away from the door when it’s time to go out. To my surprise though, on day 3 she ran up to the door when I pressed the buzzer. I think she’s started to get the hang of it!
I should never have doubted her. In just four days my clever pup had started associating the buzzer with each different command. If I click the ball button, she comes to play. If she’s in another room and I press the toilet buzzer, she runs to go outside. And of course, the treat buzzer is still a firm favourite!
On the final day of testing, I was surprised to see how quickly Paisley picked it up. She hasn’t figured out that she needs to press the buzzer if she’s hungry, or to play ball but she’s certainly getting there. Today, she needed the toilet, and rather than staring at me or barking frustratedly, she sat in front of the buzzer and waited for me to let her out. All I need to do now is create that final association and teach her to press the button!
Although she hasn’t completely cracked it just yet, I’m really pleased with how Paisley has responded to the buzzers.
It does take a lot of time and patience and every dog is different, so they’ll learn at their own pace. I’m certain that with some time she will get the hang of it.
The buzzers are a great and affordable option offering everything you need to get started with communicating with your furry BFF.