It is normal for dogs to howl.  Some dogs howl louder while others howl softer. Either way, they all howl. However, you are probably wondering why your dog howls with his squeaky toy. Is it possible that he fears it, or is it out of excitement?

Does your dog’s howl behavior look a bit off to you? In this article, we answer this and many more questions surrounding dog howling. It is arranged simply and quickly to address your concerns about your dog’s howling. Continue reading to discover the reasons behind his howling behavior.

Why Does My Dog Howl With His Squeaky Toy?

Fear/ Anxiety

Howling is in the dog’s DNA. Dogs use howling as an excellent defense mechanism. If your dog perceives the squeaky toy as a threat, it is likely to bellow at them. Under such circumstances, the howling tone is harsh and fearful. It thinks that this toy is alive and wants to instill fear in it. It acts as a warning to the squeaky toy not to come any closer. Under these circumstances, your dog thinks that the squeaky dog is dangerous and should keep its distance. 

Seeking attention

Dogs love spending quality time with their owner. They will do anything if this does not happen, including howling at the squeaky toy for attention. They know that by creating some awkward behavior, they will get your attention. Just like now, they have developed this behavior, and you are here looking for answers.  The possibilities are your dog knows that it is a harmless toy, but it will still howl at it to get your attention.

Excitement

Excitement is another reason your dog might be howling with his squeaky toy. Was this toy in a hidden spot, and your dog had discovered it? It is natural for it to become excited after finding a treasure. But why such excitement when your dog is not a hunter? Despite not being a hunter, it has hereditary genes for hunting. Thus, every time it discovers something, it will become naturally excited.

Reward

After your dog howls with his squeaky toy, what do you usually do? It is common for dog owners to give rewards after their dog does something. Thus, if you tend to reward your dog after it stops howling at its squeaky toy, it is likely to do so regularly in an attempt to get something from you. Avoid encouraging such behavior with rewards, and your dog will stop after receiving no tips.

It wants to play

Have you realized that your dog is howling with his squeaky toy, and you are unsure what to make out of its behavior? The chances are that it just wants to play. How do you know for sure this is its intention? I realize that it carries its toy to where you are and starts howling; it is an excellent sign it wants your attention. 

Why Does My Dog Cry With His Squeaky Toy?

Suppose your dog has gone the extra mile of not only howling but also crying while with his squeaky toy; it can be overly confusing. However, worry not as most of the reasons are not health-related. Instead, they are more for behavioral reasons.

Hide the toy

During the ancestry period, dogs were used to hiding excess prey for times when it would be scarce. As a result, despite your dog not being a hunter, it still has these traits in its DNA. Thus, it is likely to start hiding its favorite toys to avoid other pets using them or getting lost. If your dog cannot find a suitable location to hide its toy, it will start crying. When it starts to pace up and down, looking for a perfect hiding place, it might become anxious and start crying.

Do you want the crying to stop? If it cannot find a hiding place in the house, let it out to hide it in the backyard.

Injury

Does your dog cry with his squeaky toy in its mouth? The high chances are that it has some mouth injuries that are painful while holding something. An excellent example is sores or bleeding gum.

How do you know that mouth injuries are the reason why your dog is crying? If you observe some bleeding gum or the behavior started recently, the squeaky toy has always been there. Also, you can take it to a veterinarian for proper diagnosis.

Possessiveness

Dogs can be very attached to their toys. Possibilities are that your dog cries when with its squeaky toy due to fear of its toy being snatched away. In this case, you will realize that your dog cries only if you or someone else or even another pet tends to go near him. Your dog is worried that you will take its toy away.

Also, if you try the fetch game, but instead of being jovial, it runs after the toy crying, the possibility is that it is experiencing a false pregnancy.

Teething

Is your dog at the age of teething? Teething is a very stressful period for dogs as it is for human babies. During this period, your dog will feel extreme pain when trying to put something in its mouth, including its squeaky toy.

How do you know that teething is the issue? It is essential you answer when it starts crying to precisely conclude that teething is the cause. If this behavior began when its teeth started growing, a high chance of teething is the cause.

Do Dogs Think Squeaky Toys Are Alive?

At first, dogs might think that squeaky toys are alive. However, after a while of observation, they will realize they are not. Thus, dogs do not believe that these toys are alive. But why does your dog love them so much?

Despite not being alive, squeaky toys tend to trigger a dog’s desire for hunting. The dog will continue to search for its prey, in this case, the squeaky toy, until it captures it. It might proceed to bite and tear it up as if it were live prey until it stops making such noises.

Why Do Dogs Go Crazy For Squeaky Toys?

Stimulant

Despite your dog being a domesticated animal, it still bears the hunting DNA drive. When squeaky toys produce high pitched sounds, they trigger your dog’s drive for a hunt. They love the feeling of the adrenal rush in their body as they chase their prey. As such, the dog will act crazy with such toys, especially if you try to take them from him.

Besides, the toy looks like natural prey, which makes your dog even more excited. They help the dog fulfill that inner part of who they are as hunters even after being domesticated.

Obsession

Obsession with the squeaky toy can make your dog act crazy. Dogs love these types of toys. Thus, any time this toy squeaks, the dog will become overly obsessed with the desire of having his gratification met. Therefore, anytime you try to get near this toy, your dog will tend to go crazy.

Gratification

Another reason your dog could be acting crazy about squeaks is that it loves such kinds of toys due to the type of noise they produce. The sound alone is rewarding as they realize their bite is effective for creating a reaction.

Unlike other toys, squeaky toys produce some noises that excite your dog to go about hunting for the prey. They will hunt until they find it and stop it from making such noises. Besides, they enjoy the sounds and noises that these toys produce as they bite through them.

If you always play fetch with your dog using a ball, try using a squeaky toy, and you will realize how excited your dog will be.

Attention

Attention is another reason that can make your dog go crazy for squeaky toys. Most dogs use this toy to get your attention. As a result, they would not want to lose it or be detached from it, not even for a short period.

How Do You Solve The Issue Of Your Dog Crying Or Howling With His Squeaky Toy?

Exercise

Regular exercise can help solve his attention-seeking behavior. Establish a routine with your dog where you will play or go for long walks after work or during your off days.

Discourage behavior

You must avoid rewarding your dog after crying or howling while playing with his squeaky toy. Instead, reward when it does not misbehave.

Visit the vet

If the dog’s mouth has some sores or even bleeding gum, it is essential to have it checked by a veterinarian. The best thing is that the use of proper medication can resolve the problem.

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.