The relationship between a dog and his favourite toy is inseparable, many dogs form a very close bond with their toys. However, dogs are usually more attracted to squeaky (noisy) toys than any other normal toy.
You might also be familiar with the sound ‘squeak’ which is annoying and irritating for us but is intriguing for dogs. Ever wonder why? In this article, we will discuss the real reason why do dogs like squeaky toys.
Reasons Why Dogs Like Squeaky Toys
The squeaking sound is annoying to us, but to our pets, it resembles the sound of a scared or injured animal, which triggers their ancestral hunting instinct. Dogs are of direct descent from wolves, and wolves are known for their hunting skills. It’s this predator and prey connection that attracts dogs to squeak toys. Hearing the squeaking sound and/or ripping apart a soft plush toy can be extremely satisfying to some dogs.
This explains why much larger and hunting breeds get attracted to squeaky toys more than non-hunting breeds. This can also explain why some breeds, such as Terriers, may love tearing apart their squeaky toys.
2. Satisfying Sound
When your dog bites the squeaky toy, it hears the sound and attains immediate enjoyment. This leads to the activation of a Positive feedback loop in dogs. Hearing the squeaking sound may trigger dopamine to be released from the reward centre in your dog’s brain. Your dog continues to squeak their squeaky toy until and unless they feel that dopamine rush again.
Dogs love squeaky toys also due to their habit of chewing everything. It is generally observed in young puppies who are teething. Young puppies will prefer more of soft and rubbery squeaky toys when compared to older dogs who can chew on any type of toy. Squeaky toys instantly satisfy the chewing urge of dogs and keep them busy.
4. Health Benefits
Allowing dogs to play with squeaky toys to act on their natural instinct, i.e. to hunt and bite, encourages a healthy lifestyle and lets them be a dog. Allowing them to hunt their squeaky toys lets them channel their high energy into their wild side. It distracts your dog from unwanted and unnecessary behaviour that you might not like, for example – tearing your bed sheets, scratching on sofas, and taking away your shoes!
5. Fun time!
Every dog deserves a fun time, be it alone or with their owners. The major reasons why dogs go crazy for squeaky toys are the satisfying stimulation they provide. These toys are very versatile: you can throw them, tug them, and squeak them.
Why Do Dogs Play?
To understand their liking behind squeaky toys, we need to first understand why dogs love to play in the first place. We need to dive into the canine history – their hunting behaviour included the following procedure; Freeze, stalk, attack, bite, kill, dissect, eat. This behaviour is also observed when they play with their toys. Therefore, Dogs like to cultivate their natural hunting skills on toys.
Potential Dangers of Squeaky Toys?
Our furry friends may love squeaky toys and carry them with them all the time, but there are some potential dangers that you as an owner need to be aware of. Many owners have complained that when their dogs poop, they often find pieces of squeaky toys in it. Dogs have a profound history known to choke on or swallow squeakers whole, which can lead to an expensive vet visit.
Training your dog might be important if it has the habit to tear the toy apart. Teaching your dog the “Leave it” and “Drop it” command becomes very vital at this point. Thus, it is very important to keep a watch on your dog while it is playing with its squeaky toy.
Squeaky toys are usually your dog’s companions, keep them busy, and can be stress relieving for your dog. Until and unless your dog gets too aggressive around squeaky toys there is nothing to worry about and can help them to cultivate their energy. However, keep an eye out if your dog tends to swallow toy pieces as it can turn out to be life-threatening.
The high-pitched sound of a squeaky toy actually reminds them of a scared or injured prey animal that triggers their ancestral animalistic desire to hunt, bite and kill.
Dogs tend to gain satisfaction from tearing the squeaky toy apart as it resonates with their ancestral instinct to kill.
I hope through this article you have understood the real reason “Why do dogs like squeaky toys?”. Many dog owners are still unknown of the real why dogs like squeaky toys, even after having dogs as their pets for several years. You should never let your dog play with a toy unsupervised, especially squeaky toys. Such toys wear down after some time, and dogs tend to swallow most parts. Always check your dog’s toys for holes and replace them if stuffing or squeakers are coming out.
- Kohler, M. D. M. (2022, August 11). Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys? Retrieved January 22, 2023, from https://www.petmd.com/cat/behavior/why-do-dogs-squeaky-toys
- Dog Central. (2022, January 26). Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys? DogCentral.org. Retrieved January 22, 2023, from https://dogcentral.org/why-do-dogs-like-squeaky-toys/