Why do dogs destroy their toys?

Why do dogs destroy their toys?

You buy your dog a new toy and give it to him…only to find that he’s absolutely destroyed it minutes or hours later.

You buy your dog a new toy and give it to him…only to find that he’s absolutely destroyed it minutes or hours later.

It’s so frustrating, isn’t it?

That cute new toy is now a ripped and chewed mess strewn all over your house.

Why on earth do dogs destroy their toys like this? Well, there are five key reasons…


1.    It’s instinct

Some dogs have been bred for hundreds of years to have a high prey drive, like terriers, greyhounds, beagles, and retrievers. It’s an overwhelming instinct and it means they can see toys as prey and feel the need to destroy them.


2.    Your dog’s bored

Without lots of stimulation, any dog can become bored. Then, they can grab a toy and chew and bite it to pieces mindlessly.


3.    It’s wrong for the breed

Some breeds like bull terriers and Labradoodles are strong-jawed and will destroy a toy meant for a softer-jawed breed within minutes.


4.    It’s a bad habit

Puppies are often allowed to get away with destroying toys as it looks cute when they’re young. If the dog isn’t stopped as he or she grows older, that destruction becomes a bad habit and can escalate from toys to furniture and clothes.


5.    It’s a challenge

Some dogs just love taking things apart – as some humans do! They look for the weak spots in a toy like the seams and try to locate the squeaker, destroying the toy in the process. They think it’s fun.


How can you stop this from happening?

This sort of behaviour wastes your money and could escalate into the destruction of sofas, chairs, tables, clothes, and shoes.


It could also lead to your dog swallowing items that shouldn’t be eaten and could affect his health badly. Eating toy stuffing can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, their bowels could become obstructed and they might need surgery, or part of the toy could lodge in the throat and choke a dog.


So, it’s best to nip it in the bud as soon as you can.


To help stop this behaviour, choose toys that are appropriate to your dog’s breed, chewing ability, size, and prey drive. Look for durable toys that don’t have stuffing or a squeaker or give him a KONG toy, making him work for a tasty filling in the centre.


Watch your dog playing with his toy and take it away if he starts to destroy it. Don’t leave him with it unattended and don’t let him have access to it when you’re out of the house.


When he’s playing with the toy without destroying it, give him lots of praise. If he slips into bad behaviour, take it away and give him something else to do.


Choose interactive toys that keep your dog entertained. These toys will make your dog move a ball or puzzle piece for a treat.

Above all, make sure you don’t have a bored dog on your hands. Give him enough stimulation and take him for regular walks.


Want to treat your good boy to some new dog toys? Take a look at our dog toy range.

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