If you own a dog, then you must know by now that your furry friend loves toys. If you belong to a forum for dog owners, chances are that you have come across threads where discussions centered on dogs and their love for squeaky toys. It’s a fact that dogs are crazy for toys and become super excited if those toys are the squeaky type. It is true that the relentless squeaky noise of dog toys can be very irritating at times. You must also have noticed that your dog seems to lose enthusiasm for the toy when its squeaking mechanism has become faulty or is removed. Read on to understand why dogs love squeaky toys.
No one really knows why dogs love toys that squeak, though a few theories have emerged. One of them has to do with the fact that domestic dogs are descendants of wolves. Wildlife research has shown that wolves like to listen for the squeaking sounds of frightened and injured prey which fuels the hunting instincts of the predatory animal to attack. Wolves respond by twitching their ears and using their noses to track down the prey. They stalk and sometimes have to dig them up and either pounce on or chase the prey.
It is believed that the same hunting instincts are still present in domestic dogs. Therefore, as soon as the squeaking mechanism is removed and the toy stops squeaking, the supposed ‘prey’ is dead – to your dog – and the job of your canine friend is complete.
Secondly, dogs love hearing the squeaking sounds, especially when they bite down on their toys. This, of course, is reminiscent of the squeaking sounds made when a wolf bites down on prey. The sound of the squeaking toy lights up the pleasure center in the brain of your dog; because they love the auditory feedback and to keep experiencing that feeling, the dog keeps biting its squeaky toy again and again.
Another hypothesis that is somewhat believable is that dogs enjoy the way squeaking toys catch the attention of their human friends. If you are a hunter and your dog has a long history of hunting, it is also likely that anything that squeaks will draw its attention since it has learned to connect such noises with the adrenaline rush it experiences during a hot chase. Your dog could become overexcited upon hearing those squeaky sounds which are similar to that of injured or frightened animals.
Of course, it is not all dogs that love squeaking toys. Some dogs do not enjoy that thrill that their counterparts supposedly love, so do not freak out if your dog happens to be in this category.
You should, however, be watchful when your dog appears to lose interest in squeaking toys, especially if it used to enjoy playing with them. If, after a day or two, your dog remains lethargic or disinterested in its squeaky toys, then you need to book an appointment with a veterinary doctor.
In conclusion, always get rid of damaged toys and be on the lookout at all times to ensure that your dog does not eat any parts of its toys. If it does, it could be dangerous to the health of your canine companion.