Standing in line, you look down at what will be your purchase as soon as it is your turn at the cash, and you smile. "Fido is going to love this toy" you think to yourself. You put so much thought into picking out just the right one; the one that will be the most cherished by your one and only.
Note that the grey guy laying in the midst of the destruction is fully intact, at the moment. He is not the carcass of destruction.
Within minutes, your dreams are shattered. The image you conjured of your dog lovingly carrying around their new toy for months, gone. There it is, dead; death to the stuffed guy. Looking at your dog you ask "why did you wreck that?" "I just bought it." Your dogs response? Satisfaction.
There are dogs who never destroy softies; they are the picture of cuteness as they carry their favorite stuffed guy around for months, if not years. But they are the minority; which is why the canine soft toy industry is a huge one. You can search and search for the seemingly illusive indestructible softy but they aren't out there. Do you know how many indestructible soft toy carcasses I have lying around? No, when a dog sets their mind to destruction, death to the stuffed guy will be the only thing that remains.
Most people know full well that when they buy a soft toy, it will be gone in a matter of minutes, hours, maybe days. Does the death of a stuff toy make it useless, no. Death only changes the possibilities of the stuffed toy. It goes from needing to be gutted to an object of chewing or tugging. Like I said, I have a basket full of carcasses that are hauled out and played with until they are but a speck of what they use to be. When they become bits and pieces of their former self; their life in our home is over and they are sent to their final resting spot.
All dogs being different, they all have their individual drive; each one likes to destroy in different ways. For Luke, there is no other reason to have a stuffed toy than to de-stuff it. Even now as an old man, he loves nothing more than gutting softies. Elsa is more selective in her destruction. Oh, by the way, Elsa made the mess in the top photo. She has toys that have been around for months and months. For some reason they have immunity and are the ones she goes to get at night to sleep on while we watch t.v. Jeffrey is the favorite and he is protected from destruction. I make sure that he is never tugged with and is quickly removed if Luke should lay a paw on him.
Killing stuffed toys is a common dog behavior. It is a very natural activity for a dog; think wolf in dog camouflage. Dogs like to rip and tear so when they de-stuff a softy they are going back to who they truly are. Carrying around a soft toy or "rabbit" in wolf terms and not killing it is not a typical behavior. With domestication has come the evolution of not killing prey; but don't kid yourself, it's still in there.
Aside from the extra work of picking up stuffing, string, along with bits and pieces; de-stuffing is a good activity for our dogs. They obviously enjoy it and can be entertained for hours if a toy has some substance to it. Don't get mad when your dog destroys yet another toy that you have ever so carefully chosen just for them. Be happy that they are enjoying themselves in an activity that makes THEM feel good. Supervise the destruction and allow your dog to indulge in being a dog. You done good bringing home a softy.
You must take great care when dogs are destroyers of softies. I luckily do not have a dog that likes to destroy and eat their toys. Luke does on occasion, enjoy ripping tiny pieces off now and again; only when he is in the mood will he eat a piece. This always boggles my mind as he turns his nose up at steak, chicken and just about everything else regularly. So if he gets into one of his eating of the toy moods, it is very abruptly taken away. He does not eat stuffing as he is gutting his toys; only small pieces of carcass that he pull off after the death.
Elsa is very good at not eating stuffing or carcass. She takes great measures to make sure that everything is spit out once ripped off; which is a good thing. But if you have a dog that eats toys, you must be VERY VERY careful. Not only may the toy die but your dog could as well. If you have a stuffed toy eater; never have them around when you are not supervising. Only allow them if and when you have undivided attention on your dog.
Death to the stuffed guys is a very natural thing.
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