Why does my dog kill toys and should I allow it?
There is no evidence to show that tearing up toys leads to aggression in dogs. In fact, it can be healthy for your dog to release her natural instinct to kill prey on appropriate toys rather than on your furniture or your shoes. There are many games that you can play with your dog to channel the “hunter” within like hide-and-seek and tug-of-war. Your dog can easily distinguish between things they are allowed to tear up and things they are not.
Is tearing up toys a sign of aggression in dogs? Is it safe?
Dogs tear up toys out of boredom, when they are stressed or simply because they enjoy it. This is not an aggressive behavior and can be allowed as long as the damage is limited to your dog’s toys, not household items. The danger in tearing toys up is if the dog is eating any part of the toy like the stuffing. Avoid giving your dog toys that are not meant for dogs. These may have dangerous stuffing, strings and other dangerous materials for your dog. Replace your dog’s toys when they are no longer safe.
Some dog toy companies are now offering no stuffing toys (most stuffing in not meant for dogs to digest). Always supervise your dog and make sure that he is safe in all his play.