Why Do My Dogs Destroy Their Toys
Edward R. Forte
October 13, 2021
It’s a predictable pattern—you pick out an adorable new toy for your dog and within minutes (or hours, if you’re lucky) it’s in pieces on the floor.It would be wonderful if dogs treated their toys like heirlooms or special gifts to be cherished, but the truth is that many dogs immediately go on a search and destroy mission the moment they get their paws on a fun new object.Your dog has learned not to rip up furniture, rugs, and shoes, but every so often, when he’s had too much time on his own, he needs to vent his pent-up energy on something.Even some one-on-one playtime with you, where your dog is the sole focus of your attention, can help to keep future boredom killings at bay.It’s the Wrong Toy for the Job.Sometimes we give our dogs toys as a way to assuage our guilt over not being able to give them the time and attention they deserve—the toy functions as a sort of babysitter when we can’t be with them.A plush toy or thin latex toy can’t stand up to a determined (and bored) dog, and won’t provide the kind of constructive activity your dog needs when you’re not around.It’s possible to curb a young dog’s desire to rip up his goodies by playing with him while he has the toy (games like fetch, find the toy and tug are good options), and taking it away when he starts to get overzealous about it. .
5 Reasons Why Your Puppy Destroys Their Toys
It’s no secret that dogs love their toys, but even so they manage to destroy them.For your pup, a brand new, perfectly intact toy is nothing other than a vessel for their primal instincts!When you get a puppy, the way they aggressively go after their toys is adorable to us, so without knowing it, we tend to encourage it, and this leads to them to continue on the path to destruction.It should instead be a reward rather than something enjoyable that they just get to have because they’re the best and we love them.You need to have toys for your dog that make them use their mind, they like to think, and they suffer when you don’t stimulate their brain.Don’t be fooled by your dog’s size, even if they’re little, they can still chew with the best of them. .
Why Does My Dog Destroy Toys?
Pinpointing your pup’s destructive motivations will help you choose toys that can withstand his savage play style.While scientists and animal behaviorists differ on just how similar our domesticated dogs are to their canid cousins, it makes sense that certain innate impulses remain.If your dog only destroys toys when left home alone, they may be suffering from separation anxiety.Interactive play with their favorite human is pure bliss for your dog, so don’t stop the fun.However, you may want to stash your dog’s more vulnerable toys before leaving the house.Shredded bits of fabric can pose a choking hazard or cause an intestinal blockage.Whether it’s puzzle toys, brain games, or nose work, dogs love to meet challenges and solve problems.Puzzle Toys may be just the thing to keep bored or brainy dogs occupied.And if toy-shredding is a learned behavior for your pooch, try something the two of you can play with together. .
Why Your Dog Insists on Ripping the Stuffing Out of Everything!
This makes sense, since stuffed animals and other plush toys are among the easiest to rip apart.Experts don’t know exactly why dogs like to rip apart stuffed animals, but there are a few likely theories as to why your dog is obsessed with dismembering their favorite plush toy.Boredom: It’s also possible that dogs rip the stuffing out of toys because they just need something to do.Unfortunately, stuffed toys are easy to break apart, and your dog might make a game out of de-fluffing everything they can get their paws on!Before you know it, pillows, couch cushions and dog beds might be torn apart, with their stuffing littered around the room.One potential reason your dog might act this way is simply because of unchecked behavior or boredom.Aside from the frustrating fact that your dog’s destructive habit might cost you money and ruin household items you love, the destruction of stuffed items can also be dangerous to your pet’s health.Once your dog rips the stuffing out of a toy or pillow, they may decide to eat it.This can be a choking hazard or form an obstruction in their bowel that might require surgery to correct. .
Help for Dogs Who Destroy Toys. Train Your Dog to Play Nicely with
Do you find yourself buying expensive dog toys and watching them be chomped to shreds in minutes?After getting some nice strong toys for your dog, you will need to teach your dog how to play with them without destroying them (even the strongest toys are sometimes no match for a determined chewer!).Ask your dog to sit or do another trick that he knows.Once he resumes playing appropriately, be sure to reward him again and stay with him until he stops playing with the toy and then put the toy out of his reach until next play/training session (this is perfect to do in front of the television!Don't try this if: If your dog seems very tense when he is chewing the toy and he is avoiding you or if he freezes over the toy and starts to frantically rip at it or even try to consume it, it probably means that your dog has a more serious problem of guarding.I don't usually recommend this, but if you feel that you have a mostly calm, but goofy dog it will probably do little harm and will help him to learn to play safely with his toys which will enrich his life and keep him safer.As your dog gets good at playing with (and not destroying) the extra strong toys that you have purchased for him, you can begin to introduce other toys using the same techniques above. .
Why Do Dogs Destroy Their Toys?
So, what does this have to do with why they destroy or tear up their toys?The best thing you can do is try to redirect them when they start to destroy something.Teach them to play and engage your dog in a way that teaches them that a toy is not a wounded animal and that it doesn’t have to die.The younger your pup is when you start to teach them about toys the more receptive they will be and the less likely they will feel the need to rely on their basic instincts.It is always important to stay positive and help your dog realize that toys are “friends not food”.Cheap toys are cheap for a reason and unless it is a toy chihuahua playing with it or your dog is low energy, they will not hold up for long.There can be any number of reasons why dogs destroy their toys, but when you get down to it everything boils down to instinct.Thousands of years of instinct are flowing through canine veins but with time and patience, you can help them realize they are loved and no longer need such instincts to survive. .
Why Dogs Destroy Their Beds
Puppy owners often have to contend with the fact that their little guy or girl is naturally inclined to chew on things and work out their hunting instincts by destroying things.If your dog is well into adulthood, however, he may be tearing up his bed because he is stressed out, anxious, or bored.This is the same technique that your dog would use if his bed were the bloody carcass of an equally soft rabbit or squirrel. .
Why Do Dogs Destroy Their Toys?
You pick out what you think is the perfect squeaky duck or oinky pig, but within minutes of presenting it to your dog, you’re picking it off the floor in pieces.So why exactly do dogs destroy their toys?While you’re working, talking with friends, standing in line for overpriced coffee, your dog is at home with nothing to do.If she can’t go for a long walk, wrestle with other dogs, or run around the yard chasing you, she’s going to focus that energy in ways she knows she’s allowed.It could also be why dogs destroy their toys.She’s Only Doing What You Taught Her.There are few things more adorable than a little puppy that thinks she’s the toughest mutt on the block.She’s still adorable, but now she’s capable of causing a lot more destruction.K9 of Mine says a squeak and rip is like a toy “reacting” to your dog’s playing.Some dogs destroy their toys not on purpose, but because the toy can’t hold up against their regular play.If you’re buying cheap toys that are poorly made, you can’t blame your dog when it rips to pieces.You also need to make sure the toys you buy are appropriate for your pup’s size and breed.You can’t expect a 5-pound Chihuahua and a 120-pound Mastiff to keep the same toys.There are even toys, like this one from iHeartDogs, that are designed to satisfy a dog’s urge to destroy. .
How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing His Dog Bed
More concerning still: pieces of chewed bedding may become lodged in a dog’s digestive tract.If the presence of small children or other pets upsets your dog, then establish new boundaries to make him feel more secure.Many dogs exhibit noise-related anxiety which is particularly difficult to control if it comes from outside your home (thunder, fireworks, neighborhood traffic, etc.).These are popular and can be used to treat any number of nervous issues.Be advised it takes time for the pheromones to work and you must reapply them monthly.Quick Tip: Punishment—including muzzling, spanking, or yelling—will not stop bed chewing, and can actually worsen the behavior, especially in dogs with severe anxiety.If you’re crating him, it’s crucial he gets enough exercise and is not isolated for too long.When you observe your adult dog chewing his bed, give him a sanctioned chew toy instead.These extra durable dog beds use tougher materials and additional layers to withstand the most destructive chewers.For most dogs chewing is a natural, healthy behavior limited to their toys and treats. .