Some puppies just love to chew on their toys until there’s nothing left but shreds. It may be frustrating to witness as a puppy parent, but always remember: it’s perfectly natural behavior.
Yes, it’s true that puppies love their toys—you see it whenever they play fetch or chase after their favorite toy ball. However, they do not see toys the same way we view them.
While we see toys as an entertaining form of distraction, many little canines see them as another vessel to sink their teeth into, especially the soft, squeaky kind!
If you notice your puppy loves destroying their toys a little too much, it may be a sign of an underlying problem. Here are a few reasons that explain your furbaby’s destructive play style:
1. Boredom: Ah, boredom makes puppies do the darndest things! When puppies get bored, they entertain themselves in ways you may not always appreciate. Sometimes, the furniture becomes your pup’s favorite chew toy. On other days, it’s their toys that receive too much attention.
2. Learned Behavior: Without realizing it, we teach our puppies to indulge in this kind of behavior. For instance, when you first bring your puppy home, it may be adorable to watch them aggressively attack the toys you bought for them. However, without stopping the behavior, you encourage your puppy to repeat, leading to destruction as they get older.
3. Toys Are Not Treated As Rewards: If you give your puppy their toy whenever they want, they will eventually tear them apart. To discourage this behavior, treat each toy as a special reward that you give only when they exhibit positive behaviors. Apart from behavior training, this also communicates how much you love them.
4. Lack of Mental and Physical Stimulation: Like boredom, if play time doesn’t provide the mental or physical stimulation that puppies need, puppies will act out in destructive ways towards their toys. A quick and easy solution? Puzzle toys! With puzzle toys, your puppy uses their mind and energy to figure out how to get their treat out of the toy. You can also play games with their toys to help your puppy burn some of that energy.
5. Not the Right Toy: Even if they’re little in size, a puppy can chew with all their might! Some small breeds may not be happy with a small plush toy, and may need a hard, strong toy for their teeth. You should look for toys that work with your puppy’s personality and chew style.
When your puppy plays with their toys, make sure to take it away when they start playing aggressively. You can also look for toys that have a chew resistant guarantee—if your puppy destroys the toy, you can get your money back.