Video: Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys?

Watch the latest Alpha Paw episodes with host Bernie Zilio as she tackles your pet parent questions, along with our board of pet experts. You can watch the video and read the transcript below!

The Transcript

Bernie Zilio
Warning! This video is NSFD. Not safe for dogs. Do not play this video where your dog can hear it. Put some headphones in, go in the other room, whatever it takes because…things are about to get squeaky.

Welcome back to Alpha Paw, your destination for everything dog. I’m Bernie Zilio and I’m on a mission to answer every doggone question you’ve ever had about your fur babies and today we are talking about why our dogs love squeaky toys.

Dogs Are Attracted to Squeaky Toys for Many Reasons

If you didn’t heed my advice earlier, there’s a chance that your dog just tried to lunge through your computer or phone. It is like a moth to a flame with our dogs and squeaky toys. But why are our canine companions so dang obsessed with anything that squeaks or squawks? There are a few theories.

Squeaky Toys Sounds Like Prey

One theory is that that high-pitched sound that may drive you bonkers, sounds a lot like the prey that our pups are hardwired to hunt down. While our domesticated dogs aren’t chasing after and killing their food like their wolf ancestors, they still maintain the instinct to go after something that may sound like a small animal…AKA lunch.

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This theory may also explain your dog’s drive to chew at their squeaky plaything until it’s in pieces and the squeaker is removed and thoroughly destroyed…or dead. I know it’s hard to imagine your lovable cuddle bunny as a cold-blooded killer but their ancestors had to eat!

Plus many of our pups, like labradors, Weimaraners, and more were bred as hunting dogs well after their domestication from wolves.

This is why these dogs are likely to be more interested in a squeaky toy than say dogs who were bred for other tasks, like Samoyeds who were bred for pulling sleds. It’s in their genes!

Biting a Squeaky Toy Just Feels Good!

Another theory is that squeaky toys just feel good! When our dogs chomp down on their favorite, noise-making toys, they hear a sound that researchers say releases dopamine– the feel-good hormone.

So if chewing on a squeaky toy makes them feel good, they’re going to want to play with it again and again and again to feel even better! The squeaky toy becomes a positive feedback loop that brightens our pup’s moods.

Squeaky Toys Help Pets and Parents Bond

Another theory is that our dogs love squeaky toys because it helps them bond with us! Let me ask you this…how many times have you said, when your dog comes to present his or her squeaky toy, “aw what do you have?!”

Or maybe after a few squeaks you’ve told your dog to stop and quiet down. We’re all probably guilty of both. But both of these responses give our dogs attention which they desire and crave. So they’ve learned over time that whether it’s a positive or negative reaction, playing with the squeaky toy gets your attention…and they’ll do anything for that!

And while squeaky toys are all fun and games, there are some things we need to be aware of when our dog is playing with their beloved, noisy toy. Ingesting the squeaker or any of the accompanying stuffing can be very dangerous for your pup. Some dogs may just poop these things out, but others may experience an intestinal blockage that requires surgery.

Final Thoughts

So like for many toys, it’s important to watch your dog while they’re playing and don’t leave them alone with any toys that they could choke on or swallow. But otherwise, these are fun toys that make our dogs happy and bring out their inner hunter! So squeak away doggies of the world. We, humans, are happy to put up with the annoyance of the sound, to see you wag your tail just a little bit more.

Is your dog obsessed with squeaky toys? Which are his or her favorites? Let us know in the comments section down below. Again, I’m Bernie Zilio and this is Alpha Paw, be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss a single doggone episode and we’ll see you next time!

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