There is nothing that I like more in the world than toys.
Actually, that’s not strictly true, there is something that I like more than toys and that is squeaky toys!
They are so much fun, and I could play with them for days upon end if my owner would let me.
They are by far the best toys in the world, but I don’t think my owners love them as much as I do because I often hear them complaining about the noise.
I also don’t think that they understand why I love them so much, in fact, I know that they don’t because I heard them speculating about why I like them just the other day.
Until I heard them discussing it, I hadn’t really thought about what it is about squeaky toys that make me like them so much. But their discussion got me thinking…
After consulting with some of my doggy friends, I’ve come to some conclusions about what makes squeaky toys so great to us dogs. So I thought I’d impart my wisdom onto you so that you can understand why your dog likes them too.
Let’s take a look.
Why do dogs like squeaky toys?
I cannot recall the first time that I heard a squeaky toy. There is no lasting memory of my first experience squeezing a rubber toy to find that it makes a noise, and so I have figured out that squeaky toys are something that we learn to love rather than an innate love for dogs.
If I was born to love squeaky toys I would have liked them from the first time I squeezed one, but this isn’t the case.
We dogs learn to love squeaky toys by using them. When we bite down on the rubber and a squeaky noise is emitted it sets off sparks inside of our brain and fills us with great pleasure.
This feeling is incredible, and so we will keep on squeezing the toy and making the squeaking noise just to continue feeling this pleasure inside of our minds. There is no better feeling than this, other than cuddles off of my owner of course.
Even though this is the reason we begin to love squeaky toys, this isn’t the only reason why we like them. We also love squeaky toys because they are excellent at getting our owner’s attention.
If there is anything better than toys, that is attention off of our owners, and squeaky toys allow us to get both at the same time.
Why are dogs attracted to squeaky noises?
When my owner gives me a new squeaky toy, I often like to play with it for a long time. I shake it and I chew it until the toy looks unrecognizable and the squeaker no longer works.
Sometimes I hear my owners pondering over why I do this, so let me tell you what goes on inside of my mind to encourage me to play with my toys in this way.
The squeaking noise that squeaky toys make takes us dogs back to the mindset of our ancestors, the wolves. While we dogs are simply scavengers, our ancestors are hunters, and when we get given a squeaky toy we momentarily revert into that mindset.
The squeaky noise produced by a squeaking toy suddenly transforms into the sound of our prey whimpering out of fear or injury, and our hunting instincts encourage us to finish off the job.
This is why we will often keep playing with the toy until the squeaker no longer works, but quickly lose interest once it stops producing noise, as in our hunting mindset our prey is now dead.
But after a couple of hours we usually go back to the remains of our toy and start playing with it again because, as I have said, there’s nothing better than toys.
Are squeaky toys good for dogs?
As you might expect from what I’ve just told you, there is quite a lot of controversy surrounding giving your dog a squeaky toy.
This might come as a surprise to some people because squeaky toys are so regularly available in pet stores, in fact, it is sometimes difficult to find a toy for us dogs that doesn’t have a squeaker inside of it.
Some dog psychologists believe that while squeaky toys are not necessarily ‘bad’ for dogs, they also shouldn’t be classed as ‘good’. These psychologists believe that giving your dog a squeaky toy can set off aggression and hyperactivity in your dog which can lead to bad behavior.
Even though we dogs find these toys incredibly fun, some dog professionals think that giving us these toys could lead to us completing similar attacks on small animals, or even children.
But remember, dogs are not hunting animals, we are scavenging animals. So even though these toys put us back into a hunting mindset, this is solely targeted at the squeaker inside of the toy.
We do not often attack anything unprovoked, but some dogs are naturally more aggressive, so if your dog is one of these it might be best to avoid squeaky toys.
Do dogs think squeaky toys are alive?
Based on what I told you earlier about us dogs ‘hunting’ our squeaky toys, you might be led to believe that we think they are alive. But this simply isn’t the case.
Even though we ‘hunt’ our toys, and consider the job done once the squeaker is ‘dead’, throughout the entire process we are aware that the toy isn’t a real being. It is simply a toy.
We might be stupid sometimes, but we aren’t that stupid. This might come as a surprise to some people as they cannot understand why we would act the way we do with a squeaky toy if we knew it wasn’t really real.
But there really is no need for confusion, we dogs just like playing with squeaky toys. That’s all there is to it.
In short, we dogs LOVE squeaky toys because they set off a trigger in our head that takes us back into the mindset of a wolf.
This is an incredibly fun experience for us dogs, even if it only lasts for a couple of minutes.