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Why Do Dogs Destroy Toys?

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Dogs are instinct-driven beings. Although they’ve held the title of man’s best friend for centuries, and family pet lifestyle has mellowed some of their natural behaviors, many of their instincts are still alive and well. One of those instincts is prey drive.

What is prey drive?

Prey drive is dog’s innate urge to chase down prey. It played a key role in their survival, and it is the main reason why dog love playing with plush toys so much. You’ve seen the drive in action many times: It is easily awakened by many small animals like birds, squirrels, lizards, vermin, or any squeaky toy that comes into the house. Luckily for squirrels, birds, and vermin, very few domesticated dogs have enough skill and speed to outsmart a wild animal whose survival depends largely on avoidance of this predatory behavior. That’s not so much the case with toys.

The problem with dog toys

Without the ability to run away, most dog toys usually meet their demise within minutes of getting into the paws of an eager, happy doggy. This creates two problems:

At a price of $5-$15 per toy, this play style ends up costing an average pet parent hundreds of dollars in dog toys every year Dogs end up playing with mauled remains of plush toys that end up either being ingested from boredom, or don’t end up playing enough because their toys are thrown away once they are opened up

The Solution

So the solution is simple-just don’t buy your dog plush toys, right? Wrong. And here is why: Have you ever wondered how some dogs are perfectly happy, calm, and well behaved, while others destroy couches, develop obsessive behaviors, and become unmanageable? The reason is very simple:

They are bored and frustrated. Not providing your dog with an outlet to shed their excess energy and do what they enjoy, results in the same exact outcome as in humans- they become unhappy, anxious, disruptive, and destructive. This is one of the main reasons dogs end up in a shelter, secondary to lack of training and structure (that’s a topic for another post).

Providing your dog with opportunities to do what they enjoy, of course, achieves the exact opposite- it builds their confidence, provides them with mental and physical stimulation that sheds the excess energy they have built up while you were at work, and satisfies that feeling of achievement when they finally “kill their prey.” This is where Tearribles come into play.

They toy they can “kill” over and over again Unlike regular plush toys, Tearribles are designed with prey instincts in mind. They are built of high quality plush, lined with durable mesh, and contain special pocket compartments that house detachable limbs. The design of the toy, and industrial-strength velcro provides dogs with the same experience and resistance they get when they rip the limbs off a regular plush toy. The only difference is that after you are done playing, you can put the toy right back together and use it over and over again, instead of throwing it in the garbage on day one.


Playing with Tearribles has many benefits. It helps dogs exercise their natural instincts, helps build their confidence, and helps improve their wellbeing. Aside from getting to “kill” their toy on a constant basis, playing with Tearribles involves human interaction because the toys need to be put back together. And guess what your dog loves more than anything on this planet? Playing with you. Tearribles provide a wonderful opportunity for you two to strengthen your bond, build your dog’s confidence, and minimize or diminish destructive behaviors that arise from boredom and anxiety.


Tearribles have had great success with thousands of happy pet parents, and have become a household favorite for many. Happy Tearrible doggies often bond with their Tearribles, and after a hard day of playing many use the toy as their cuddle buddy at bed time. So are you ready to introduce your dog to his new best friend?