How to Teach Dogs Not to Destroy Toys: A Guide to Proper Behavior

Dogs, no matter the breed, are angels to us, but who would have thought that despite their soft gazes and cheeky expressions, these fur-buddies can cause havoc once they are surrounded by their favorite toys? At first, such a scene can be shrugged off and some owners might even take their phones and record the interesting event, but is this behavior normal?

Mostly, it is expected that dogs exhibit a playful personality, more so if they are still puppies, however, some cases can be concerning and would need an immediate intervention so the dog grows up to be well-mannered. 

If your dog exhibits a certain behavior that you think could be an issue, this article will help you understand what triggers him to destroy his toys and what you can do to discourage him from doing it again. Let’s find out!

Top 4 Reasons Why Dogs Wreck Their Toys

There is always a reason behind every manner the dog shows. For some canines, it is most likely motivated by their instinct to chew off or practice their hunting skills on the toy they’ve been provided with. Aside from this, there are other more potential reasons why dogs wreck their toys. The common causes are the following:

He Is Bored

Dogs that are left on their own for long periods will unsurprisingly end up becoming bored if they have nothing to do while you are gone. Dogs get frustrated too and this gets worse if they have a lot of pent-up energy that needs to be exerted. As a result, they will look for other means where they can eliminate boredom.

If the toys are left on the floor, he’ll spend his energy playing on them and before you know it, those toys you just bought are shred to pieces!

The Toy Was Not Breed-Appropriate

In the market, various types of toys for dogs are being sold. Some toys are for large breeds, while others are meant for small or medium dogs. If you have given the wrong kind, a massive and powerful dog who’s playing effortlessly with the toy can easily break it into pieces. 

Take into consideration the size and strength of your buddy before ultimately putting the targeted toy on the cart. Determine as well if your pet is mouthy. Typically, Shih Tzus, Siberian Huskies, Tibetan Mastiffs, and Pitbulls are mouthy breeds. You’d need a durable toy for them. 

He’s Entertained

With their prey drive, dogs would naturally try to find the weak spots in their toys. The moment they see an interesting area, they will highly likely try to test the resiliency of the product. It is like a challenge they want to win and the result they most definitely want is them seeing their toys into pieces. 

It Has Become a Habit

During puppyhood, we often don’t mind it if our little four-legged dog chews off a teddy bear. If the behavior was never discouraged, he’ll grow up retaining the habit which is going to be uneasy to break the more he matures. Unless he’s been corrected, he’ll continue to think that there is nothing wrong with demolishing his toys.

Is It a Normal Behavior for a Dog to Destroy His Toys?

Photo from: outwardhound (IG)

It can be normal for a dog, but this should not be encouraged. In fact, the destruction of toys can mean a lot of things. His display of brutality toward his special possessions can be a sign or symptom of an underlying condition such as separation anxiety. If nothing is done to address this, things will get worse from just chewing on toys to completely damaging your favorite pair of shoes. 

Another potential disadvantage of such behavior is that it puts your dog at risk. Once the toy has been chewed off into smaller pieces, chances are that he can swallow even just a tiny chunk of it. The next thing you know is you and your dog are on the way to the vet.

5 Ways to Discourage Him From Smashing His Toys

No doubt, all we want is for our dogs to be happy. Most of us consider our pets like our kids and the last thing we would want is to see them have bowel obstructions or an upset stomach simply because of a toy they have ended up swallowing. Safety is a priority even during their playtime. 

How can you guarantee that his fun moment won’t include anything hazardous? Here are a few things that you can do to stop him from becoming destructive:

  • Take part in his game. You can execute a game of fetch with him or purchase a rope so you both can partake in a tug of war. Never leave him without supervision whether he’s outside or inside playing with his favorite tennis ball or toy. Once playtime is over, all toys should be kept hidden in a box.
  • Use the right toys. If you need to leave the house for a quick errand, an interactive toy will keep him entertained. Depending on what the toy requires him to do, a treat is the equivalent of every successful behavior he shows. 
  • If the toy is torn or slightly ripped, replace it immediately. Some might think that it’s a waste of money, but spending a few bucks for a new toy is better than bringing your dog to the vet which is more expensive.
  • The dog should be taught to respond to verbal commands. If you notice that he is playing too rough, tell him to drop his toy. Once he does, reinforce his behavior with a treat. A dog should show obedience to avoid accidents. 
  • Do not give a large dog a small toy. If you own an English Mastiff and the toy he owns is something he can easily swallow, then you are permitting an accident that is waiting to happen. Size up when in doubt as it is always ideal that the dog has a bigger toy for a lesser chance of a choking hazard!

Go For Durable Toys for Your Pet

Photo from: grace_vegini (IG)

With so many available toys to choose from, it is never easy to know which and what kind of product to purchase for your dog. For large dogs, go for robust and indestructible toys that can withstand even the most aggressive or strongest jaws! They have to be made up of tough materials like rubber. Try out some of these amazing products!

On a side note, there are various materials that you should avoid when it comes to purchasing toys for tough dogs. Do not go for squeaky toys, plush or fleece toys, latex, and vinyl toys. Some of these can create sharp edges which can harm your dog and eventually cause him an infection. Rubber or thick rope material is more ideal for most mouthy breeds.  

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