We have a toy “graveyard” basket at our house. You know….the place where all the toys that had “squeakers” when they were new go when the dogs tear the squeakers out and are immediately not interested in the toy anymore.
I always wondered why in the world the dogs were so excited by toys that squeaked, but would immediately and sometimes obsessively try to get to the “squeak” in the new toy….only to be done with the whole toy once they pulled it out and “destroyed” the squeak?
Simply put, the best instincts based reason is that they see the toy as prey and it is their hunting instincts that drive them to destroy the toy. When in the wild, their prey would make noises, much like the squeaks, and so this noise reminds them of their instinctual desire to hunt. This is likely why squeaky toys are the most commonly torn apart toys and why some dogs will lose interest in a squeaky toy once it has stopped making noise.
With some dogs this instinct is so strong that they will chew apart toys with little provocation. You won’t even need to throw it in order to for the dog to start to see the toy as prey. It’s smaller than them and you are giving it to them and they have likely associated it with the same action as when you give them food. So…..some dogs may try to “eat” the toy at this point, while most are merely trying to find the food in the toy, even if there isn’t any.
Sometimes it may simply be boredom that causes the dog to teat apart their toy. It doesn’t have to be anything specific that sets the dog to tear the toy to shreds besides simple boredom. They get all of the use they can out of the toy in one go and there isn’t anything left. Whether it was because they were alone for too long or they just decided they were bored.
Do your dogs tear the squeak out of toys? What kind of toy drives your dog nuts?