This article is contributed by guest blogger Hannah Fitchett (Howling Wolf Pack).
3 Reasons Why Your Dog Loves Squeaky Toys
Most dogs love a good ol’ fashioned squeaky toy. Though the constant squeaking might drive their owner mad, these toys are usually at the top of a dog’s wish list.
Let’s explore the top reasons why dogs love squeaky toys and how they can tell us a lot about our dog’s wolf ancestors.
Why do dogs love squeaky toys?
1.) Prey drive
Researchers and dog behavioral experts often look towards wolves to better understand domesticated dogs.
Although our dogs no longer need to catch and kill their food, their natural prey drive to do so remains. It is, therefore, widely agreed that dogs love squeaky toys because they tap into a dog’s natural instinct to hunt and kill.
A squeaky dog toy creates the same high-pitched sound of a small injured animal.
The high-pitched squeak arouses a dog’s interest and curiosity to hunt the noise. Your own dog may hunt and chase squirrels or rabbits on their dog walks.
This thrill to find the small squeaking object is the same whether it’s a toy or a small animal.
You may have noticed your dog likes to ‘pounce’ on their squeaky dog toy. They may approach it slowly and then quickly jump on it, catching the toy in their paws or mouth.
This mimics catching and pouncing on small animals in the wild and is thrilling and enjoyable for dogs.
Once caught, a dog will start to chew and try to destroy their squeaky toy. This is because they are trying to ‘kill their prey.’
You might have noticed that your dog will shake their head with the toy in their mouth. This is how wolves kill their prey in the wild; they shake their prey in their mouths until the animal’s neck snaps.
Your dog is emulating the same instinct and will keep chewing until the squeaking stops and they have completed their mission.
Another widely considered theory of why dogs love squeaky toys is because it gives them attention from their owners.
When a dog starts to squeak their toy, it often prompts their owners to interact with them by either playing fetch with the toy or giving them attention because the squeak is arousing for both the dog and their owner.
The third reason why your dog loves squeaky dog toys is because they are interactive and squeak back at them. This is much more enriching for a dog compared to a non-interactive dog toy.
A squeaking dog toy provides mental stimulation and is a great way to combat boredom in dogs. Dog toys, such as interactive ones, have been shown to reduce destructive behavior in dogs and promote a happy, healthy lifestyle.
Squeaky dog toys are a great way to tap into your dog’s natural prey drive and provide lots of mental stimulation and canine enrichment. Dogs love the thrill of hunting and destroying their prey which is why they love these interactive toys so much. So the next time you’re considering taking your dog’s squeaky toy away, just remember how much fun they are getting from them!