The majority of dogs love the sound of squeaky toys, you know the sound, high pitched squealing or squawking at just that pitch that can be heard at the other end of the house. If you are fortunate it may be the honk of a goose, pig or hedgehog. No matter the squeak or honk the more annoying, repetitive and louder it is, the more your pup loves it, but do you love and smile indulgently, or does it drive you bonkers?
Why Do Dogs Love the Squeak
Instinct. Some dogs become obsessed with the need to destroy the toy. This relates to their wild ancestry when the wolf would hear an animal in pain or scared. The high pitched squeal activates our pups hunting instinct to catch and kill the wounded stuffed animal. Sometimes our pups go all out and remove the stuffing also so they are left with the soggy, matted, shredded shell of the once adorable, fluffy toy and we have a living room covered in soft, white stuffing, some of which we will continue to find under sofas and cushions weeks later.
Some pups like to play with their human parents, they enjoy the interaction and attention they get. My dog gets all goofy and silly when I squeak the toy for him, he throws it in the air and then rolls on it – maybe he pretends it is a stinky fish skin we have pulled from the river together. Or he has hunted a wild boar and he now needs to roll in the skin so his dog friends know how successful his hunt has been! Invariably our dogs love their squeaky toys because when we are with them we squeak it a few times before throwing it or interacting in some other way, therefore our dogs develop a love (or obsession) for squeaky toys through their interactions with us, their humans.
Dogs Love to Play
Dogs love the sound and the feedback they get from us when they play. For many pups the game is over once the squeaker has been killed, for others the game continues until the bitter end. Does your dog discard the toy once the squeaker has been ripped out, or does she continue to play with it until it is absolutely desecrated?
We had one pup, Jasmine, who would destroy her teddies until only the faces remained. We pinned the masks of all her kills above her bed in true hunting fashion. Whereas Jackson loves his plush toys and barely bites them. He gently nips them to get a squeak, then throws them in the air and rolls on them. We did get him from the hound pound so maybe he never had toys as a puppy!
Let us know how your dog reacts to the squeak, and does it drive you bonkers?