Why Do Dogs Destroy Their Toys?

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
What did that squeaky toy ever do to your dog? Whatever it is, some dogs love to destroy their toys. Here are a few reasons why they never last long.

If you’ve ever given your dog a new toy just to find that it’s been torn to shreds an hour later, you’re not alone. Many dog owners deal with the frustration of having a dog who simply loves to destroy toys. Not only is it frustrating to be constantly cleaning up after your dog, but there’s also the money you waste on toys that don’t last more than an hour.

In this article, we’ll talk about why some dogs simply can’t help themselves when it comes to being destructive with toys and we’ll provide some tips for making your dog toys last longer.

Related: Top 10 Dog Toys For Aggressive Chewers

6 Reasons Why Dogs Destroy Toys

Every dog is different, and your dog’s reasoning for doing something one day might be different than his reason for doing that same thing the next day. Generally speaking, however, there are some common reasons why dogs tend to destroy their toys.

Here are 6 reasons why some dogs destroy their toys:

  1. Boredom – If you’ve trained your dog well, he won’t chew on your furniture or eat your shoes but boredom may lead him to destroy his toys.
  2. Energy – If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise to work off his energy, he may find another way to do it and that way is often destructive. You’ll be lucky if all he destroys is his toy.
  3. Durability – Some dogs simply chew more than others and if you give your dog the wrong toy for the job, you shouldn’t be surprised if he destroys it. Heavy chewers need more durable toys while dogs who just like to cuddle can do perfectly well with plush toys.
  4. Prey Drive – Certain breed groups have a strong desire to chase and squeaky toys can sometimes activate that drive in a dog, causing him to try and “kill” the squeaker.
  5. Reinforcement – Your dog responds to your cues whether or not you realize you’re giving them. If you respond to your puppy tearing up a toy with amusement, you’re actually reinforcing the behavior and it’ll be much harder to break the habit later.
  6. Fun – Your dog likes to have fun just as much as you do and, for some dogs, ripping a toy apart is fun! Dogs also like having a job to do, so if your dog is feeling bored, he might find a way to busy himself without your help.

Related: Top 10 Best Toys for Puppies

Some dogs are going to tear up their toys no matter how hard you try to stop them. The best thing you can do is to be smart about the toys you purchase. If your dog is a heavy chewer, rubberized toys and nylon bones are a great option because they are much harder to tear apart. Plush toys, on the other hand, are extremely easy to destroy and should be avoided. Another way to prevent your dog from destroying toys is to make sure he gets enough exercise and mental stimulation during the day, so he isn’t completely bored when you leave him alone.

Dogs like to chew and play, that’s just a fact of life. If you want your dog to stop destroying toys, you should have realistic expectations but can still take steps to make your toys last longer. Good luck!

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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