Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys? Going Back to Their Roots

why do dogs like squeaky toys

So why do dogs like squeaky toys? No matter what breed of dog you have, they all have one thing in common – they love toys that squeak.

But why? Is there a reason for this obsession? There are actually a few possible reasons as to why dogs like squeaky toys, and we are going to delve into each of them.

Instinct

It is an instinct that comes from their ancestors – wolves. Even though most breeds of dogs look absolutely nothing like wolves, don’t let this fool you. They still show a lot of similar tendencies and behaviours. The reason dogs love squeaky toys is a perfect example of this.

Wolves are predators, which means that they hunt and kill in order to eat. The animals that they eat usually make squeaking noises, and those noises are an indicator for the wolf that their meal is not dead yet.

So, your dog is showing the same behaviours and instincts with their love for squeaky toys.

Depending on the dog, some will lose interest in a squeaky toy after a while, but there are other dogs who will tear the toy apart until it doesn’t squeak anymore, which is just like their relatives.

This also gives us a better understanding as to why a dog will lose interest when the toy stops squeaking; because it is ‘dead’. Time to get a new squeaky toy again.

Cause and Effect

Another possible reason as to why dogs love squeaky toys is simply that they enjoy the cause and effect that is them chewing and receiving a ‘response’, which is the squeaking.

This is also why a lot of dogs have a preference for tennis balls for example, because there is a ‘reaction’ when they bite it, it bounces back. Since squeaky toys don’t just push back, but they also give an auditory response, this makes it instantly rewarding for our dogs.

As opposed to a regular toy, which provides no feedback, a squeaky toy lets the dog know that their bite is SO effective that it creates a reaction – and this makes our dogs excited and happy.

Attention

We all know that dogs absolutely love attention, and with a squeaky toy dogs can instantly get their owner to notice them because of the noise. Sure, most of the time we try to ignore the noise and just let them play, but they know that we can hear them and this is usually enough for our dogs. It simply makes them happy to know that they are constantly making us aware of their presence. I find it quite funny.

That being said, even if the sound is annoying the dog owner and we ask them to stop, even though this is ‘negative’ attention, any attention is better than nothing at all, according to our dogs.

It’s Healthy

When our dogs are ‘hunting’ these squeaky toys, they are burning energy. As a dog owner, you can help your dog tire themselves out by hiding the squeaky toy for them to find, or simply throwing it for them to fetch. Plus, this distracts them from chewing other things that they shouldn’t be.

Even when they’re just lying down and chewing on that squeaky toy though, this is still healthy because it’s great for their dental health. Not only is chewing satisfying for dogs, but it also makes them feel better because it massages their gums and scrapes their teeth – removing plaque and pieces of food that was wedged between teeth.

Additional

In addition, squeaky toys actually help out a great deal when training your dog to do something. They work just like treats and, depending on the dog, squeaky toys can actually work better due to the auditory reinforcement.

Just be sure that any squeaky toy you give your dog is of an appropriate size, you don’t want to give your big dog a tiny toy, for obvious reasons.

Also, inspect your squeaky toys regularly for any wear and tear, and keep a look out for it as your dog chews, because we don’t want our dogs to get to the squeaker on the inside and swallow it. This would cause an expensive trip to the vet.

If you see a toy with some damage you should replace it, or repair it if that’s possible. Don’t risk your dog getting to the squeaker inside.

This means that you shouldn’t really leave your dog alone with a squeaky toy unless someone is close by to keep an eye out, just in case.

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