Figure Out Why Your Dog Destroys Every Toy You Ever Bought

It’s not as uncommon as you’d think. We’ve all been there. 

I have bought an uncountable number of toys from pet stores and Amazon for my doggo. Sometimes, you can instantly see how much they love the toy, and it’s a great feeling. Then after 5 minutes, the toy is destroyed. Bits of plastic and fluff are everywhere, and you’ve wasted money again.

Why are dogs so keen on destroying the things they seem to love? Fortunately, there’s a reason and a fix for this problem. Let me tell you why dogs destroy toys and what you can do to avoid losing so much money but still have something to keep your doggy occupied.

1. Your puppy is bored.

Biting apart toys is fun. If your dog is destroying their toys, they are likely bored. A lack of mental stimulation causes dogs to be playfully aggressive.

Boredom gets the better of us, and our canine buddies aren’t much different. Let’s be honest; being crammed into the same room all day isn’t fun. Things can stagnate quickly, and soon, you’ll find yourself looking for things to do.

I wouldn’t blame dogs for ripping apart the fluffy stuffing in the new toy their parent just got them. It saves them from eternal boredom, after all.

Try going for a walk with your puppy. Let them explore the outside world a little. If you’re travelling to your grandma’s, take your puppy with you (Oh, and don’t forget the treats). Maybe she’ll gift them a little sweater for winter!

2. The toys aren’t fun anymore.

Dogs can be picky too. If your pet rips apart their toy the moment you gift it to them, it may not fit their taste.

If your dog isn’t a big fan of a rope toy, try handing them a bone plush. Squeaky toys might only be some dog’s cup of tea. In fact, those are more likely to trigger their preying instincts.

If your dog keeps ripping apart plush toys, it’s because they are a heavy chewer. Consider gifting them an “indestructible” toy.

The best way to figure out their preferences is to keep experimenting with different kinds of toys. You can’t ask your dog for feedback, but the more time they spend with the toy might indicate that they like it.

Toys can be a great way to train your dog as well. So choose your toys wisely, folks.

dogs watching TV

3. It’s a case of high prey drive.

Dogs destroy their toys because of their predatory instincts. The ancestry of today’s domesticated dogs can be traced back to wolves in the day. They used to live in packs and hunt for survival. The instincts remain the same in dogs today.

A typical personality trait among dogs is the urge to chase and hunt. It is fairly common for dogs to have a strong prey drive, so don’t worry; your pup is fine.

You can channel your dog’s prey drive and use it to train them. Playing fetch with your dog is a great way to tame their prey drive and build a bond.

4. Your dog might have separation anxiety.

Dogs with separation anxiety exhibit unusual behaviour when their dog parent isn’t around. Separation anxiety may be why your dog shreds every toy while you are away. If it’s severe, you must seek professional help.

Separation anxiety must be treated in the early stages. Mild separation anxiety can be hard to notice. Your dog destroying their toys in your absence is a telltale sign of separation anxiety.

It is more than likely separation anxiety if you travel over the weekend and return home to damaged furniture and an injured dog. Try taking your puppy along with you on your next vacation.

Do you know that dog cameras help reduce separation anxiety? These often feature two-way audio and treat dispensers so you can interact with your dog even when you’re not home.

Read more: Beginner’s Guide to Best Dog Cameras Worth Buying in UK 2023

5. Lack of deterrence.

Choosing not to interfere with your dog destroying its toys leads them to believe it’s acceptable behaviour. Teaching playtime discipline is a crucial part of training your pet.

I don’t blame you, though. Watching an adorable little puppy trying to play with and gnaw on its brand-new stuffed animal is fun. But If your dog gets comfortable with destroying its toys at such a young age, it wouldn’t be long before it’s a habit. 

It might get you a few cute videos to share on Instagram, but given the damage, it’s not worth it. Ensure your furry friend is well-trained and knows the good and the bad. C

Why is my dog a destructive chewer?

Several factors, including habitat, past life experiences, and breed, can contribute to your doggo’s behaviour. Although, most dogs aren’t inherently destructive. You just need to give them enough time and care with the patience to discourage such behaviour.

1. Which dog breed is the most destructive?

Generally speaking, Shih Tzu, Labrador, Beagle, and Bull Terrier are considered the most destructive dog breeds. Though they’re just animals following their instincts, your domestic pet’s destructive behaviour is influenced by past experiences more than their breed.

2. What toys are best for dogs who destroy everything?

Indestructible Dog Toy

Purchasing an indestructible toy for your doggo is the most effective solution if they have a destructive nature. It’ll help you save money and keep the doggo busy when you aren’t around. Additionally, it’ll shift your dog’s focus from demolition to playing with their toys.

Once your dog gets accustomed to handling toys provided to them, you can slowly transition back. That way, you can introduce your doggo to more engaging toys without fearing their imminent ruin.

If you’re looking for such a toy, here are my top suggestions:

Read More: Best Indestructible Dog Toys to Buy on Amazon UK

Should you let your dog destroy their toys?

Regardless of how cute it looks, letting your dog destroy their toys is not a great idea. They are likely to swallow the damaged toy, causing them to choke. Dog toys are made up of potentially toxic materials that might account for various types of poisoning. 

How do you know if your dog has swallowed something? Look out for the following symptoms:

  • Choking
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Loss of appetite

You should never allow your dog to destroy their toy, let alone eat it, because while some of the symptoms are mild, others are fatal. Go to the vet asap if your dog inadvertently swallowed something.

Well-trained pets would avoid engaging in such behaviour. The next time you look at your puppy’s cute aggression towards the new plushie they just got, stop them from doing so.

How do I get my dog to stop destroying toys?

Here’s a list of stuff you must do if your dog keeps destroying their toys:

  • Gift them toys made of hard rubber instead of soft plushies.
  • Try out different toys to determine which ones fit your dog’s liking.
  • Take your dog on regular walks and give them treats.
  • Play games with them to keep them occupied.
  • Give them treats.
  • Your dog might have separation anxiety. Take them with you on your vacations, and leave them alone for a short period.
  • Train them well, and put effort into developing good habits.

If things worsen, you might have to completely give up on toys and seek help from a specialist. Do what’s best for your dog after weighing all your options.

Keep boredom away from your dog!

So you’ve tried walking, giving them treats and cuddling. Boredom can still find its way in, and a lack of mental stimulation makes the stuffed animal look tastier than usual. You can add in some fun activities to spice things up.

  1. Treasure Hunts

Treasure hunts are a great way to get your dog hooked. Hide the tastiest of treats at places around the house and have your dog sniff them out for a yummy reward. You can also organise small events with other dog parents in your locality.

Make sure the treats are your puppy’s favourite and have a characteristic smell. Treasure hunts are predominantly outside events, but a hunt inside can be just as fun.

Dog Toy for Heavy Chewers
  1. Snuffle Mats

A snuffle mat is not your usual mat; it hides treats that need to be sniffed out. These are the ultimate indoor fun solution for your dog. Mealtimes turn into a fun little challenge for your pet to uncover.

You can get a decent snuffle mat from amazon for no more than 10 to 20 Euros. These are highly effective at keeping your dog occupied.

I recommend hiding wet food in snuffle mats. Those aren’t leakproof. Dry treats and kibble are your best bet.

  1. Spend more time with them

Dogs love spending time doing nothing around their parent. Cuddling can go a long way; belly rubs are a must for the bonus points.

Spending more time with your pet can help you understand them more, strengthening your bond. Nothing is as good as warm cuddles followed by mouth-watering treats.

Grooming your puppy is another great way to spend some time with them. Dog grooming can include stuff like brushing their fur and clipping their nails.

Read more: Best Dog Nail Clippers to Buy in UK 2023 & How to Choose

How do you punish a dog for destroying something?

Punishing your dog to act as a deterrent and discourage undesirable behaviour is a great tool when training your house pet. Unbeknownst to many, it’s a non-cruel and effective method to divert your pet’s attention to someone or something else.

The most important rule to remember is that punishment is not just a means to an end. It should be done to get the desired result and not just for the sake of inflicting punishment.

If you punish your doggo without countermeasures, you unknowingly develop feelings of anxiety and fear in your pet. It might also result in false success. That is, your dog is still doing bad stuff and destroying toys. But they aren’t doing that in front of you or your car as they’re afraid of the punishment.

Remember that punishing your dog is a way to discourage certain behaviour. Don’t use it to make them afraid of you. I have written a guide on canine punishment if you still need clarification.


  • Jonathan Spaeth

    I'm a professional business person who loves dogs. I'm motivated by a passion for dogs and a deep understanding of pet care and behavior. I have more than 10 years of experience in animal healthcare—my lifelong passion for helping dogs.

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