'Talking dog' goes viral but people are worried she's too intelligent

'Talking dog' goes viral but people are worried she's too intelligent
'Intelligent' dog uses buttons to communicate with owner
Jam Press/@thechattylab

A ‘talking’ dog who can express their feelings and needs by pushing buttons has gone viral on TikTok – but users are worried she may be “too intelligent”.

Three-year-old, red fox Labrador Retriever, Copper uses augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to communicate with its 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.

In a video that has gone viral on TikTok with 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 says: “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.


Want stranger? I think Copper wanted to be the center of attention. #talkingdogsoftiktok #dogtok

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

“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.

“I would say that Copper is extremely emotionally intelligent.

“She's able to identify her own emotions and sometimes others’ emotions.”


When you gotta go, you gotta go! #dogtok #smartdog #talkingdogsoftiktok

Over two million people liked the video, taking to the comments section to share their thoughts – with some dubbing Copper the “Einstein of dogs” and others expressing concern over her skills.

One user commented: “It's getting too intelligent.”

“HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE, I MADE ME SIT UP IN MY BED,” another person said.

“This is so wild,” another user agreed.

Someone else said: “Now that is pure love.”

“I’d be getting that cough checked.. that fur baby looks like he’s lost a best friend. But seriously, this is so sweet & hope ur 100% okay!” said another viewer. [sic]

“Ok that’s the Einstein of dogs right there lol,” added one fan.

Someone else commented: “If this is not the sweetest thing.”

“The fact that dogs can understand the meaning and concept of worry is what surprises me,” said another user.

“Their so much smarter then we realize,” another person added. [sic]

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