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Button Training Your Dog

A dog sits in grass as its owner holds a clicker next to it

Amber LaRock Author of Button Training Your Dog

Since our canine companions can’t easily communicate with us, it’s always great to find a tool to help them do so. Our dogs are intelligent creatures, making it easy for them to pick up on new communication methods if we help them do so! Because of this, button training is gaining popularity in the dog training world. So how do you button train your dog?

In this article, we’ll discuss the details of button training in dogs, and talk you through the training process step by step.

What Is Button Training?

So what is button training in dogs? Button training is simply teaching your dog how to communicate with you by the push of a button. While the need comminuted with this button can vary from dog to dog, it’s always just a simple way to help your dog get a point across. 

When button training your pup, your dog will learn to associate a certain action with the action of pressing the button. After repeating this process over time, your dog will learn to communicate that action by pushing the button each time. Button training can involve going outside, eating their food, playing, and more. 

What Do You Need To Button Train Your Dog?

When it’s time to begin the button training process with your dog, there are a few tools that you will need. Whether you are using one button or several, the tools required are the same. The supplies you need to button train your dog include:

  • Buttons for each action you’d like to train
  • Training treats to offer throughout the process
  • Time and patience to dedicate to the process

How To Button Train Your Dog

Now that you have your buttons and the patience to achieve this goal, it’s time to get started! In order to help you and your pup achieve button training success, let’s discuss the training steps in detail. 

Set Up The Buttons

First, it’s important to decide ahead of time which button will represent each action. Setting this up ahead of time will help to prevent confusion, and ensure that your dog is not regressed with any changes. Once you have your main actions in mind, it’s time to determine your cue words for each action. Just be sure that each cue word is easy to understand, and won’t be confused with any other action when it is pressed. For example, some ideal cue words would be outside, food, ball, water, and any other object or action your dog may need to communicate. 

Introduce Your Dog To The Button

Now that you’ve established your actions for each button, it’s time to introduce your dog to the buttons themselves. Before they associate the action with each button, you must first help them understand the correlation between the button and the command. You can do this by pushing the set button each time you perform that action, helping your dog connect the two with repetition. 

Hearing your command and the button’s command together will help your dog process the action. Do this until your dog can hear the button and follow through with that action without saying the command yourself. 

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Teaching Them How To Push The Button

Once your dog has begun to understand the commands from the buttons, it’s time to teach them how to push the button themselves. You can do this by holding the button in your hand, and having your dog make contact by asking them to give you their paw. By doing this, their paw can make contact with the button when their paw reaches your hand. 

Once your dog has mastered pushing the button in your hand, you can slowly begin to move the button to the ground and gesture for them to hit it. By doing this over and over, your dog will soon learn to hit the button themselves. Just be sure to always keep the button in the same spot from that point on. 

Once your dog knows how to hit the button themselves, you must then ask them to hit it each time they perform that action. For example, every time your dog wants to go outside, you should walk them to the button and instruct them to push it. By doing this, they can begin to understand the entire process. 

Praise Your Pup For Hitting The Button

Once your dog has mastered hitting the button themselves, it’s important to praise them each time they use the buttons correctly. By doing this, your canine companion will want to repeat the process going forward. Though it may take some time for your dog to perfect the process, your pup will enjoy it each step of the way if they are praised!


As you can see, button training your dog will require time and dedication. Be sure to review the tips we discussed above, and your dog will be button trained in no time!

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Meet The Author 

Amber LaRock Author of Button Training Your Dog

Amber LaRock

Amber is a Licensed Vet Tech with a degree in Veterinary Technology. Recently she has specialized in veterinary and animal-related content creation and social media management. When she is not working she loves spending time with her furry friends exploring the outdoors.

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