Why Do Dogs Like Squeaky Toys? An Animal Behaviorist Explains What Your Pup Is Hoping to Achieve

Many dog owners are familiar with this picture well. A fluffy dog is on our feet, chewing incessantly on a loud toy tucked between them. Squeeeeeky-squeaky-squeaky!

With full confessions from pet parents, we may even have to speak it out loud. Removed the squeaker one time or two.

Why do dogs enjoy the sound of squeaky toys? We inquired Mikkel Becker KPA CTP, CBCC-KA, and CPDT-KA CDBC, CDBC, an animal behavior consultant and lead trainer at Fear Free, about how dogs respond to specific stimuli.

3 Reasons Why Dogs Love Squeaky Toys


Like your dog’s incredible sniffer (100-300 million receptors for scent compared to a human’s five to six million), hearing his hearing is also incredible. According to the First Vet:

  • The muscles of dogs are 18 in their ears. This allows dogs to change the position of their ears in various ways to triangulate sound. There are only six of us … as well, as our ears don’t move much, even a little!
  • Additionally, they “hear independently in the ears of each.” We aren’t able to do that either.
  • Canines can pay attention to a particular thing by filtering out the sounds of others. It’s unsuitable for us with no earbuds.
  • Our dogs detect frequencies with the highest sensitivity of 8,000 Hz, and humans can only detect a frequency of 2,000 Hz. This is why they’ll know who’s waiting at the door earlier than we can!

Becker states that it’s normal for our furry companions to be drawn by the squeak of pet toys. Why? She gives three reasons.

1. Squeaky sound toy responses are instinctual.

“[Squeaky toys] emit the most high-pitched sounds which sound like prey which is injured or dying and draws dogs’ instincts for hunting,” Becker says. Wild dogs and wolves had to hunt for food, and their keen ears were alerted to the screams and cheeps of rodents running around.

2. Squeaky means joy.

Becker states that higher-pitched sounds are generally more soothing and friendly. These sounds entice your dog to get closer. However, Becker says, “lower-pitched sound and grunts are more likely to suggest something like ‘Stop that or else!’ or ‘Get me off my property.”

3. All breeds of dogs enjoy certain sounds.

Many dogs lose hearing when they age, usually beginning with a high to moderate-frequency sound. However, it doesn’t mean toys that make a squeak should be discarded. Because high-pitched sounds are complex for dogs with hearing issues to understand, Try toys with diverse sounds to determine what appeals to your dog, who is getting older the most. Good news: dogs can even hear certain fun, squeaky pet toys with hearing problems!

Dogs are fond of Squeaky Toys. But Are They Secure?


Most of the time, squeaky dog toys are generally safe for pets, provided that the toys aren’t too small that the pet can swallow them. “If they’re breaking them up, be sure to intervene before the pieces become small enough to swallow,” Becker says.

Yes, she says that dogs can break down these playthings in an attempt to kill the squeaker. “It could be stressful for dogs who feel they don’t get rid of the sound. They are frustrated and will try over and over,” she says. “[For instance, for example, a dog that is genetically bred to chase and destroy other animals could be more likely to tear these toys down.”

As dogs are different in their temperaments and play ways, Becker recommends that you be aware of the dog’s body language and what they’re saying to you during playtime about what they’re experiencing.

“Understanding and evaluating the emotional health of your child is essential. You should ensure that you aren’t punishing the animal for acting according to their doggy instincts, and throwing or tearing the squeaky toys around,” she says. “If the toy becomes disruptive, offer an alternative toy.”

Do you have a dog that is afraid of Squeaky Toys?

Although the sound of squeaky toys enthralls certain dogs, some are irritated or scared by the toys. They may even cry or even howl at the slightest sound. Becker states that the solution is easy to implement.

“The easiest option is not to buy toys that squeak if they fear one of your pets,” she says. “You might want to try pairing a squeaker and snacks to ease the fear. However, plenty of other alternatives for toys will entertain your pets!” Also, if you own puppies, she recommends introducing them to socialization with various toys in the early years so that they can become used to all sorts of toys and types of toys, including squeaky toys. Even if you own several dogs, it is a good idea to ensure that they each have an assortment of toys that are their favorite toys.

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