If your dog’s favorite toy squeaks when she bites it, she’s not alone. Most dogs love squeaky toys!
Why do dogs like the sound of squeaky toys?
Not every dog responds to squeaky toys, but for dogs who demonstrate strong predatory behavior, squeaky toys resemble the sounds made by small or injured animals, and that makes them irresistible. We may find them irritating, but for dogs, the squeaky sound often signals the beginning of an exciting and primal predatory activity.
The resistance that a squeaky toy provides when a dog bites it adds to the sensory experience. For many dogs the sequence of hearing a squeaker, chasing the toy, biting the toy’s head off, ripping or tearing the stuffing out, and attacking the squeaker is especially rewarding. Dogs who enjoy this combination of sounds and actions can entertain themselves for as long as their toys survive.
Why dogs like squeaky toys so much
Some dogs use squeakers to invite their humans to play with them, such as by standing next to people and squeaking a toy until someone tosses it for them. This activity reinforces the intrinsic satisfaction that squeakers produce along with bonds of affection between dogs and people.
Squeakers can be training aids because they immediately capture the dog’s attention, distract the dog from undesirable activities, motivate the dog in training, and focus the dog’s attention, such as in photo sessions.
To prevent the swallowing of squeaker parts, be ready with a high-value treat to exchange for a toy your dog has been shredding. This also rewards your dog for releasing the toy when you ask for it.
Some of the most satisfying toys contain multiple squeakers that make different sounds, and some contain “silent” squeakers that dogs can hear but people can’t, which helps when you’ve heard enough squeaking.