‘Sweet’ labrador that can ‘talk’ to owners tells owner she’s ‘worried’ about her
A caring labrador, who has learned how to communicate using special buttons, expressed concerns for her owner's health in an adorable viral video.
The three-year-old, red fox Labrador Retriever, named Copper uses augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to communicate with owner, Tia Herrell, 52.
The buttons cover everything from wanting to eat, drink, play, go to the toilet, and even help Copper express feelings, such as worry.
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In a video, which had gained more than 19 million views, Copper uses her buttons to show she is concerned moments after Tia was coughing.
The clip shows Copper use a button which shouts ‘Worried’, to which Tia uses a button that says ‘Why?'
Clever Copper moves to another button and says ‘Mommy’. Tia replied: “You’re worried about Mommy?’ and taps the buttons for ‘Why? Worried. Mommy.’
Copper repeatedly clicks a button that says ‘Sound’ – and Tia immediately puts two and two together that she is concerned by her coughing.
She quickly taps the button for ‘Ouch’, but assures Copper she is fine.
Tia has been teaching Copper how to communicate after reading about a speech-language pathologist using a similar method with her pet. She ordered some recordable buttons online and built the talking board.
"Copper started with buttons when she was four months old and it really helped her with potty training,” Tia, a fellow speech-language pathologist from California, US, told NeedToKnow.co.uk.
"She took to it very quickly and started using the buttons the first week. Since then she has learned to use the buttons to request different toys, ask where family members are, ask for a treat, tell how she's feeling, tell someone if she's worried, ask to go for a ride, ask where her human sister Savannah is, and more.
"It's been really fun and surprising to see Copper's personality change over time. When she was younger, she talked about her toys and playing a lot of the time.
"Now she talks way more about her family and how she feels. I think that Copper is very emotional and loves her family immensely.
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“I would say that Copper is extremely emotionally intelligent. She' able to identify her own emotions and sometimes others’ emotions.”
TikTok users rushed to the comments gushing over the caring pet's caring nature.
One user commented: “If this is not the sweetest thing.”
Another added: "What a sweet baby."
A third said: “The fact that dogs can understand the meaning and concept of worry is what surprises me. Their so much smarter then we realise."
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