Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys?

Dogs enjoy squeaky toys primarily because of their instinctual prey drive. The sound a squeaky toy makes is very similar to the sound a scared or injured prey animal would make.

It sparks their interest and keeps them engaged. Moreover, the unpredictability of the squeaky noise keeps a dog guessing and wanting to continue to «hunt» and play with the toy.

Playing with such toys also provides an outlet to chew, reducing boredom and potential destructive behavior at home.

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

Adding a dog to your family is far more than introducing a new pet into your home. There is a lot of training which needs to be completed, such as socialization, house-training and responding to commands. Many dogs also come with a mountain of equipment, from retractable leashes to food bowls, dog flea collars, and, of course, most importantly, squeaky toys.

While these may be the bane of your life due to their constant noise, they are firm favorites of your dog, and there are good reasons for this love. Here are some of the top reasons your dog will love a squeaky toy, and why you will need to put up with the noise!

Pet dog closeup

They Are Instantly Rewarding

When your dog bites into a squeaky toy, they are immediately rewarded with a loud noise. This noise is sufficient enough to create a reaction and signal that they should continue to bite to generate the sound again. If your toy has no squeak, the dog has no idea whether their bite has worked, and this can be frustrating and unsatisfying.

Their Hunting Instinct Can Kick In

Even the sweetest, smallest dog has a majestic ancestor— the wolf. In their natural habitat, wolves hunt for food to survive, and this relationship between predator and prey is echoed in the relationship between your dog and their squeaky toy. For your pet, the squeak will resemble an animal who is scared or injured, and this drives the hunting instinct to attack and kill. The squeak tells them that they have ‘killed’ the prey, and they can stop their attack. Dogs such as terriers, or those bred for herding or sport are especially fond of this, as they are bred for the hunt.

They Can Have Health Benefits

All dogs have instincts, and allowing them to act on these is healthy for them, allowing them to return to their natural behavior and simply act like a dog. If they are allowed to hunt their toys, they can relieve any excess, pent-up energy and explore their wild side in a safe and controlled way. Making sure your dog has plenty of time to play and explore means they are less likely to engage in unwanted, destructive behavior such as turning their attention to your flowerbed, couch or furniture.

They Can Be Used As a Reward

The squeak in the toy is a sure-fire way to get your dogs attention, and this means it is possible to use it as a reward. If your dog is doing something undesirable or showing poor behavior, the toy can be used as a bargaining chip to distract them. As an example, if your dog is happily chewing on your favorite pair of loafers, you can offer the toy as an exchange. They are sure to see this as a reasonable trade!

Squeaky toys can drive owners to distraction, but understanding the many benefits they can have for your pet makes them that much easier to bear. We all want what is best for our furry friends, however much we grit our teeth!

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