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Learn Why Dogs Destroy Their Dog Toys


Rodrigo destroys dog toys.  It's his mission in life.  We recently gave him a new tough dog toy (a tug toy with a rope attached to a ball) – completely indestructible, except for the rope attached.  It took him a day to chew the rope off – he still plays with the ball.

Although we've found a group of tough dog toys

that he loves and can't destroy, we've gotten used to his penchant for destroying toys.  We just take away the pieces that he might swallow:

  • rope
  • squeakers
  • plastic parts
  • stuffing

And return the toy.  In our world, if he continues playing with the toy, then it's still a win.

Why Do Dogs Destroy their Dog Toys?

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why Rodrigo destroyed dog collars, beds, books and his toys.  I finally gave up and asked his trainer and she enlightened me on why dogs destroy dog toys…

  1. Because he's bored.  This was a big one.  He destroyed nearly 10 dog beds when he was a puppy.  We put down sleeping bags instead, he destroyed those too.  Rodrigo needs a job, something to do.  A lot of exercise and living with other dogs has curbed the unnecessary destruction, but nothing will stop his love of destroying toys.
  2. Because I taught him as a puppy that it's fun.  When Rodrigo was a puppy I got a huge thrill from hearing that puppy growl and bark when we were playing with toys.  I'd rough house with him and get him all worked up so he was tearing and ripping at his toys – I was training him that this is good behavior and it's fun!

A Dog Toy Designed to be “Destroyed”

So I was excited when I received the Cube Pull Apart Dog Toy in exchange for sharing our experience, because the whole point of this toy is that Rodrigo pulls the insides out.  He'll love it!

He wasn't interested.

We tried everything to get any of our dogs interested in this toy…

  • adding dog treats lead to curled lips and growling as they competed for the toy
  • separating the dogs resulted in the solo dog immediately losing interest and wanting to return to his or her pack

We tried everything except playing with our dogs.  When we put our hands in the toy and played Blanket Monster (you know, when you put your hands under a blanket and your dog tries to eat your hand) and they were interested. Well, Zoey and Scout were interested.  Rodrigo and Sydney are too grown up for those silly games.

Rodrigo never showed any interest in pulling part the toy.  The one toy that welcomes his “destruction” and it's like he felt there was no challenge so he walked away.

I still think the toy is a great idea and I'll continue using it to play Carpet Monster with the puppies.  But I'm bummed that the one toy that Rodrigo can pull apart all he wants, he doesn't want.

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