Ms. Alexis Devin, a 40-year-old artist and jewelry designer in Tacoma, had pored over literature on canine cognition, communication, and training in the months until the arrival of Bunny. Devine knew early on that her sheepadoodle puppy, Bunny, was destined to talk.

Through her research, she came across the Instagram page of Christina Hunger, a speech pathologist who was documenting her dog, Stella, on how she was starting to develop an English vocabulary.

Ms. Hunger began experimenting. Most alternative and augmentative communication devices were either too expensive or unsuitable for canine use, so she chose the cheapest option she found online: a four-pack of recordable answer buzzers.

The box arrived at her home in San Diego a week after Stella. Ms. Hunger decided that a button that said the word “outside” would be the best place to start when it came to walking and house training. Within a few weeks, Stella regularly pressed the button to be let out.

It proves that dogs can follow a wide array of human social cues. But aside from movies and shows, dog owners have seldom claimed that their pets possess the ability to speak.

“Bunny can now speak 92 words,” Ms. Devine said on a Zoom call in April, her dog just in a frame and blending in with the fluffy rug beneath them. Bunny is almost two years old now, and her language acquisition might rival a human toddler. (The typical human 2-year-old can use at least 50 words with ease.)

According to Ms. Devine, Bunny can use the buttons on her soundboard to form four-word phrases. She can ask questions. And also, she often tells people to shut up — or, in the words of her buttons, “settle down.” “For a long time, Bunny was talking almost exclusively about poop,” Ms. Devine said. “But toddlers do that too, right?”

With 6.6 million followers on TikTok and 818,000 on Instagram, Bunny has become the poster girl for Ms. Hunger’s canine A.A.C. (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) movement. “Alexis is amazing at social media,” said Ms. Hunger, who has nearly 800,000 of her followers on Instagram are there for the dog content.

Most of the dogs (and their owners) dabbling in this area who are searching the hashtag #hungerforwords — don’t have Bunny’s social media paw print. Passers-by frequently recognize her on walks. “There was one instance where a car did a U-turn in traffic and stopped in the middle of the road and rolled down their window to say hello,” Ms. Devine said.

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