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Origin of the Squeaky Toy

This article was written by guest blogger Abby Bird, dog trainer at the Bluffton, S.C. PETCO

Guest Blogger Abby Bird

Guest Blogger Abby Bird

In my training business I am often confronted with squeaky toy quandaries such as “why does my dog destroy the toys” to “is there an indestructible squeaky toy”? Although my research has not been able to turn up the actual “inventor” of the squeaky toy, the history of its development is information enough to satisfy both questions.

Some dogs go on a seek and destroy mode when given a fluffy, plush toy with a squeaker inside.  As a result, many owners, economically conscious, resent having to pay out good money to keep satisfying their dog’s destructive urges. Often they cease buying these toys that their dogs absolutely love or, like me, restuff, replace squeaker and resew the old ones if possible.

Some dogs can have these favorite toys almost forever and others, well, you know. So, why is that?

Way back when the toy was first thought of, it wasn’t merely designed as a toy. It was made specifically for terrier type breeds that were bred to go to ground after vermin, small animals, rodents and such. The hunt for these small animals was (and is) a fixation based upon specific breeding. While all kinds of dogs sometimes hunt animals or game, think about terriers when it comes to understanding this toy. 

Many of the toys are manufactured to look like squirrels, birds or similar on the outside.  The stuffing represents the insides of the animal.  And then there is the squeak… well, to be blunt, that is what small animals often sound like, squeaky! Gives you a whole new view of toys doesn’t it!

Tuffie Toy

Tuffie Toy

As far as toy construction goes, it is just not possible to make something like this indestructible and it was never the intent. Otherwise where is the fun if they can’t destroy it!  However, I do recommend Tuffies toys (expensive but worth it) for longer lasting entertainment.

Now are you sure you wanted to know this?   It’s still better than bringing you home squirrels, birds and other animals and you are providing necessary instinct development.  Buy them more toys please!

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  • Jim Brigham

    When I see our little female border collie cuddle up to her squeakie as she drifts off to a nap, I am glad someone invented those toys. Reminds me of a poem:
    Heres to the man who invented stairs and taught our feet to soar
    He was the first who ever burst on to the second floor
    The world would be downstairs today if it was not for he
    So let his name go down in fame, whatever it may be. :-)

  • Matt

    HAHA!! I learned this a while back, and now when I watch my little Beagle shred a toy, it gives me a whole new perspective about what she’s doing. My Bullmastiff is pretty cute with her squeak toys…she just likes to chew them enough to make them squeak, but not destroy them.

    It is a bit disheartening when you spend $10 on a toy, only to see it destroyed in seconds. I help save money, I always root through the clearance bin at the store and usually can find a toy or 2. It’s also good to stock up on toys after a holiday when they’re on clearance. Trust me, your dog won’t mind chewing on a Santa toy in April…

    Even though it’s not a squeak toy, the most indestructable product I’ve come across is the Nylabone Galileo Bone. I have 2 of these, and they’ve lasted years. This is definitely a good product for strong chewers (terriers, rotties, shepards, etc). http://www.petco.com/product/2566/Nylabone-Galileo-Bone.aspx?CoreCat=OnSiteSearch

  • Ally

    I love those bottle toys we sell. Nice sturdy fabric, re-stuffable with bottles. I reccommend it to all my dog training clients with destructive dogs or just dogs that love to play in general. One can also not allow free access to toys and claim the toys as “theirs” and play with their dog (like fetch, tug toys etc). This pretty much eliminates destruction of toys since the owner is there to take the toy away.

  • Pitbull Advocate

    TUFFIE Toys are the BEST!! and mine love the Mega Ring & Tug O War!

    Definitely expensive but mine play with them every day for hours and they are still in tact after almost 2 weeks!

    And for both of mine ( pit bulls ) they go on seek n destroy missions and can destroy a toy within 2 mins.

    Like you Matt–I do shop the clearance and got great Xmas toys for 75% off at one of our stores and bought 3 bags of them–just to give them variety! :)

  • Mike Cheek

    I have always wondered why my coonhound would just put her nose straight in to it and do whatever she needed to in order to rip it to shreds. This was a really cool story and it makes total sense.