There’s nothing quite like seeing a dog’s excitement (aka wiggle butt and helicopter tail) when presented with a new toy. For many dogs though, the true delight comes when they discover the toy has a squeaker. But have you ever wondered, why do dogs like squeaky toys so much?
As a behavioural expert, I’m here to solve the mystery!
Dog squeaky toys activate their “natural born hunter”
It’s in their DNA (sort of). Back before dogs were dogs, around 30,000 years ago, they branched off from their wolf ancestors and they would’ve typically hunted things smaller than they are. The small animals that fell prey to your dog’s ancestors often made a noise when they were caught, and that memory lives on in your dog even to this day. And what sound was that? That’s right, it was a squeak.
So if you’re asking yourself ‘why do dogs like squeaky toys?’ as you unwrap a noisy new plaything, that noise is satisfying their urge to hunt and catch their prey. Of course terriers still hunt things that squeak all across the world today, so it’s no surprise that Jack Russells, Westies and Scotties are some of the most enthusiastic toy squeakers. Smaller dogs will furiously and frantically get the most out of any toy squeaker, and they even enjoy ripping the toy to bits to make it stop squeaking – there’s that predator drive again.
What else appeals about squeaky toys for dogs?
On the one hand, your dog might just really like a particular toy which happens to squeak. The noise it makes might not be as enjoyable as the mouth-feel or smell of the toy. But on the other hand, the sound it makes might trigger their hunting instinct and make them feel as if they’ve just completed a successful catch.
If the sound of squeaking toys is getting to you, it might be worth giving your dog something else to distract their attention. We’ve got some top tips on keeping your dog occupied here!
Choosing a suitable dog squeaky toy
The range of squeaky toys for dogs varies widely in terms of quality, price and, of course, noise. Dogs usually receive a new toy for their birthday or gotcha day, but Christmas is also the perfect excuse to treat your dog to a stimulating new toy. Or any day really!
From the ‘Rough and Tough’ Beco range, Ollie the Octopus is perfect for even the most enthusiastic players. Super squeaky for extra excitement, with dangling legs for next-level tug of war – the entertainment is non-stop. Ollie has a soft plush body made from durable materials, double-stitched to last longer. Plus, Ollie is made with recycled materials, giving waste a second life while encouraging its collection and reuse.