On your dog’s birthday, you bought him the cutest stuffed squeaky soft toy for your dog. When you come back after a few minutes, you see a destroyed toy on the floor with the stuffing of a toy all around the room. It is pretty heartbreaking to see something like that, right? Also, you cannot blame your dog for it. But you must have questioned why does my dog destroy his toys?
There are many reasons why my dog destroys his toys. Chewing is in the blood of dogs. This chewing behaviour can be cured. Sometimes destroying toys can indicate something else as well. Let us discuss what those factors are and how to prevent them.
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5 Reasons Why Does My Dog Destroy Every Toy?
Normally, all dogs have a habit of chewing and they chew mostly everything they can. Now, when chewing converts into destroying things, you should know why is your dog destroying toys, as you cannot assume why your dog is destroying all soft toys. I have mentioned the main factor causing this below.
Dog Toys Trigger the Prey Instinct
Dogs are descended from the wolf, they have prey instinct in their nature. Some toys have sound in them. Whenever they get squeezed they create sound, which triggers dogs’ instinct to prey as they think like it is some animal like a mouse.
They feel good and satisfied until they hunt down and tear it up. They will stop only after they’ve successfully ripped out the toy.
Dogs are very energetic animals. They always release their stored energy either by playing with you or running. Whereas some dogs are over-energetic. Like human babies, dogs in their boredom tend to destroy things when they get stuffed toys. They will destroy it until they get tired.
Only puzzle games will make your dog calm and direct their energy into mental work. If your dog is suffering from anxiety or stress, you should consult a dog behaviourist or dog trainer.
“Boredom is not the trivial annoyance it is sometimes dismissed as. Animal boredom is biologically plausible: animals avoid monotony and seek stimulation,” says Charlotte C. Burn from the University of London biologist.
He’s Only Doing What You Taught Her
Do you ever think, that you taught your dog commands like “sit” and “stand”? And he still remembers it. When he was a puppy, whatever you taught, he would remember every lesson. Then you think that playing with toys like this will help your puppy to grow.
But you must teach him not to destroy his toys like that. Our affection lets our puppy do whatever he wants to do. But when he grows up, he cannot leave his habit and keep destroying his toys.
You’re Buying the Wrong Toys
Some dogs do not destroy their toys on purpose. They have grown up now and their way of playing and their strength obviously increased. But soft toys cannot stand in front of them. When they normally play with them, they accidentally pull the toy apart because of their strong teeth.
Moreover, if you buy a poor quality toy and your dog destroys it, then sorry but it is not his fault. You should make sure that the toys you buy are made of good quality and they are according to the size of your furry friend’s breed and size. But when you buy appropriate toys of good quality, they’ll last a lot longer than a few minutes.
Some dog owners keep rubber toys or ropes for this kind of activity. You can also try thick, indestructible rubber and seamless soft toys made from thick fabric. Puzzle toys made of hard rubber or nylon are a good alternative. But how do I get my dog interested in puzzle toys if he’s not used to them?
Fun, Fun, Fun
Some dogs want constant entertainment and fun which is why destroying toys releases dopamine in their mind. Similarly, bringing you toys to play with is another way dogs seek fun and interaction. Exploring why do dogs bring you their toys can help provide more playtime fulfilment.
Sometimes they also destroy it smartly with a plan. Suppose you give him a soft toy to play with, he will observe it and will play with it very decently for an initial 10 to 15 minutes. Then when he figures out what are the points of weakness in the toy. he will finish that toy in a few minutes.
Obviously, it is very frustrating for you. You should keep your eyes on your dog when he has this kind of toy and teach them on the spot. Additionally, in order to destroy the toy, there are chances of choking on some part of the toy which can stuck into his mouth.
Even if he does it, do not keep the destroyed toy on the floor. Immediately clean it and throw it in the garbage. The best thing you can do to prevent any hazard, you play with them using that toy.
How Do I Stop My Dog From Ripping up Its Toys?
Making your dog stop destroying is not only good for you but also good for your dog’s health and safety. In case your dog gets choked while destroying a toy, you might need to take him to the vet or sometimes you also need to do surgery.
- If your pup is passing through the teething stage, remember that behaviour will remain for up to 6 months. At that time instead of giving stuffed toys, you can give rubber or chewable toys.
- If he is no longer a puppy and still you find this behaviour, you can switch his toys with chewable and indestructible ones. Also, you should keep puzzle games so not only you can save him from any hazard, but also you can increase his mental ability.
- You can also apply the reward method. Whenever he puts a stuffed toy in his mouth, gently snatches the toy and praises him with a treat.
- You can also make your house dog-proof temporarily by keeping every stuffed and valuable items out of reach of your dog.
- “Your dog may feel that he must find and destroy the squeak source and could ingest it, in which case squeaking toys should be given only under supervision“. stated in Paws.
- If you have a puppy after some time, you can also take him to a dog trainer and train him to behave well.
Instead of giving stuffed toys, you can give rubber or chewable toys, like some of the best dog puzzle toys uk.
The answer is not certain it varies, normally this behaviour will remain til 12-18 months of age. But honestly, some dogs never get old. They keep doing that until you teach them to stop doing that as they have hunt Instinct.
There are many reasons why your dog is destructive. Basically, destructiveness is in the nature of every dog. But a few factors also affect them to become destructive like their age, type of breed, how he was treated, and how he was trained.
Yes, there are some special indestructible toys out there in the market which are made of durable materials like rubber or nylon. Those are less likely to get destroyed by your dog. In comparison to other toys, they will last long. However, every dog is different and each dog plays differently with their toys, therefore there is no surety that these toys will last long.
Underlying behavioural or health issues are one of the reasons for destructive behaviour. If your dog constantly tries to distract his toys even after you teach, then you should consult your vet as soon as possible. They will suggest you way out of this frustrating condition.
When you buy a new toy, you should take care that the toys you buy are of good quality and made of non-toxic material. Also, it should be suitable for your dog and his chewing habit. Inspect his toys on regular basis and check that they are not broken. Avoid small and soft toys.
It’s okay for your pup to show their natural instinct to chew, but when it starts to become excessive, it may be time to take a closer look. Your dog’s toy-destroying behaviour could be due to boredom, anxiety, or just an innate urge – no matter the cause, understanding why it’s happening is the first step.
To encourage better behaviour, try offering interactive toys and puzzle toys for mental stimulation, as well as plenty of physical exercise and playtime. If you’re still struggling with the issue after trying out these solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out to a vet or professional dog behaviourist for advice.
By addressing the root cause of why your dog destroys his toys, you can help create a more fulfilling life for your furry friend.
- Destructive Chewing. (n.d.). ASPCA. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/common-dog-behavior-issues/destructive-chewing
- PetMD Editorial. (2022b, August 16). 5 Ways to Relieve Your Dog’s Boredom. PetMD. Retrieved February 7, 2023, from https://www.petmd.com/dog/behavior/5-ways-relieve-your-dogs-boredom
- (2017). Bestial boredom: A biological perspective on animal boredom and suggestions for its scientific investigation. Animal Behaviour, 130, 141-151. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.06.006