When it comes to toys, nothing gets a dog excited quite like a squeaker. And if your dog is anything like mine, they will demolish the toy until they get to the source of the sound. But as much fun as it can be for our pets, all that squeaking can get on our nerves. So why is it that dogs like squeaky toys so much?
The answer goes back to our pups’ hunter-predator days when they were wild and undomesticated. As omnivores, dogs had to hunt for themselves. Today, their meals are provided for them, but they still want to relive their glory days. Sometimes, this means running around the house, chewing on a squeaker today until our heads spin.
We can see traces of our dogs’ histories as predators in other ways, too. When dogs chase squirrels or hunt birds, this is their hunter instincts kicking in. We may find it unpleasant or gross, but for dogs, these activities are fun.
Not all dogs like squeaker toys. Each dog has its own toy preferences, with puppies tending toward rubbery toys and older dogs tending toward softer toys. If your dog won’t play with toys, they might just need something new and exciting to pique their interest. Dogs learn their play habits when they’re a puppy, so it’s best to start to play young.
If your dog loves soft, squeaker toys, and is prone to tearing them apart, you’ll want to be cautious. It might be best to sort out your toys into toys that are acceptable to play with alone and toys where play must be supervised. When left unattended, dogs are prone to swallowing squeakers, which is very dangerous and can require surgery if not passed naturally.