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Publisher's Summary

An incredible, revolutionary true story and surprisingly simple guide to teaching your dog to talk from speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger, who has taught her dog, Stella, to communicate using simple paw-sized buttons associated with different words.

When speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger first came home with her puppy, Stella, it didn’t take long for her to start drawing connections between her job and her new pet. During the day, she worked with toddlers with significant delays in language development and used Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices to help them communicate. At night, she wondered: If dogs can understand words we say to them, shouldn’t they be able to say words to us? Can dogs use AAC to communicate with humans?

Christina decided to put her theory to the test with Stella and started using a paw-sized button programmed with her voice to say the word “outside” when clicked, whenever she took Stella out of the house. A few years later, Stella now has a bank of more than 30 word-buttons, and uses them daily either individually or together to create near-complete sentences.

How Stella Learned to Talk is part memoir and part how-to guide. It chronicles the journey Christina and Stella have taken together, from the day they met, to the day Stella “spoke” her first word, and the other breakthroughs they’ve had since. It also reveals the techniques Christina used to teach Stella, broken down into simple stages and actionable steps any dog owner can use to start communicating with their pets.

Filled with conversations that Stella and Christina have had, as well as the attention to developmental detail that only a speech-language pathologist could know, How Stella Learned to Talk will be the indispensable dog book for the new decade.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2021 Christina Hunger (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about How Stella Learned to Talk

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Great mix of story, process and knowledge

I really appreciated the story and the comparison to child language development and the easy to follow tips. I have rarely found a book that so grabbed my full attention.
Any dog or cat owner knows their pet understands more we imagine and as more pets have the possibility we will understand them better.
Unfortunately I don't have a dog but I wonder if there are some small waterproof buttons for my aquatic turtles. Anyone out there able to help me create one?

3 people found this helpful

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Excited to try to get my dog "talking".

I overall liked this book especially the stories about the authors experience with AAC with kids/clients and her stories about Stella. I also really liked the practical tips in each chapter and the appendix at the end.

I would say I didn't really click with the author herself - or at least her "personal truths" that got heavily mixed in. For example, her opinions on social media, minimalism, her own reaction to finding success, and moving to CA- like, those sections felt pretty long winded. I'm an adventurous person who loves change so hearing someone with high anxiety drone on and on about how hard and overwhelming big changes are is just kind of boring. But yeah, I'm sure loads of people can relate to her more in that way.

Overall, very interesting topic and very happy the author stuck with it and showed what Stella (and all dogs/animals) can so.

Narrator was OK - could have been more expressive for my tastes.

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Educational

I did enjoy certain parts of this book, especially the sweet and funny stories about Stella and her buttons. There were a few parts of this book that could've been left out, but overall I found it interesting and inspirational. I wasnt a huge fan of the narrator and it kept me from finishing it at times. But it wasnt the worst performance I've heard on here either. Other than to listen to the appendix at the end with all of her notes pertaining just to using the buttons for your dog, I dont think I will be listening again.

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Great book, very interesting research

I have been following Christina and Stella since the Fall of 2019 so i already knew I would live this book! It is well written, super clear and easy to understand and I can't wait to start teaching my dog to talk. I couldnt put this book down and I will read it over and over again for sure. Amazing work, this research is revolutionary

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Excited to teach this

As a trainer and a dog obsessed person, I've always felt that dogs have much to say (not just barking). I have preached that building the ability to communicate with your dog is more important than the typical cookie cutter approach. This book helps explain the way kids and dogs learn language very well, and I hope will help some of my client's dogs communicatw better with their humans.

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Full of information, all inside very entertaining book

At the beginning I thought this would be a basic book that just tells you how to teach your dog how to use buttons But the whole story was so mesmerizing and beautiful and I felt like I was a part of it. I listened
to it so fast.

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Easy Listen & Inspiring !

So grateful she shared their story.
it was an easy enjoyable listen, and I am now inspired to teach my dog @exploringwithniko to talk using buttons! Wish us luck haha

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if you love dogs youll love this book

This is a great book if you are interested in "interspecies" communications AND would like to train your dog to talk!

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Fascinating dog

I first found Stella and Christina on instagram. I was fascinated that another person felt the same way I did and shared on IG.

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Amazingly interesting and informative!

I knew about this story for a while, but had no idea about the extent of the backstory!

1 person found this helpful