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Homemade Tug Toys

You can easily make homemade tug toys!

It's surprisingly quick to make many inexpensive dog toys from materials around the house. On this page, we will focus on tug toys

Practically anything you make that is sturdy enough can serve as a tug toy. It simply needs to be something the dog can grab with its teeth that is long enough to be pulled between two things. 

Below are some ideas for homemade tug toys sent in by visitors to the site:

(Also see our homemade dog toys page or view more visitor ideas for homemade tug toys for other ways to make dog toys.)




Homemade Tug Toys Made From Socks

Tug Of War Sock Ball (Anonymous contributor)


Dog tug-of-war toy made from multiple socks

I basically got loads of old socks; around 20.

I started off with one sock and folded it into a ball; then put it into another sock.

Next I folded that sock with the other sock inside it into a ball etc.

I kept filling it up with socks until it got really big. I finished off with a football sock which I stuffed the big ball in half way, and left 2 ends out I tied a double knot in both ends.

Comments on this homemade tug toy: 

Super Cool by Daisy'sSis - I love it but i only used three big socks and made a pretty big ball but my dog only weighs six pounds so that was plenty. I threw it and she pounced on it immediately. Thanks for the tips - she was getting bored!

Anonymous I was looking for something simple like this to give to the dogs at my shelter so they can have something to play with and this only took me like 15 minutes!

Anonymous -  I had to make a Christmas basket for a couple of the dogs in my area and I needed an easy toy like this... Thanks so much for taking the time to write this down for everyone else to see!



Crunchy Knot Tube by Jaylyn from Missouri

Make a long tube out of fabric and knot one end, fill with plastic bags and knot the other end. Crunch in front of your dogs nose and throw! Also makes a great tug toy. a warning though watch your dog to make sure He/She dos not tear it apart and inhale the plastic. If it gets flat after awhile just untie one knot and refile retie and enjoy.

Don't forget to donate to your local shelter.



Pull-toy Enables Owner to Take Longer Nap! by Carol B. from Nevada, Iowa, sent us the following story:

I knotted a couple of clean socks together and added an extra knot or two. I tie this favorite pull-toy to the metal extension part of the recliner footrest. Into the loosely tied knots go pieces of his dry dog food which I can replace day after day!

Norman can work to get the food out while sitting beside me. Or sometimes he will come up to the chair with me in it and pull and pull on that sock toy! He gives it his all until I swear he's going to pull the chair with me in it right over! (End of nap on those days!)"



Simple Treat Tug-o-war Dog Toy by Kendall from Omaha, Nebraska

Fill an old sock with some dogbones/treats. Tie a knot in the middle of the sock, then tie the end closed also. You have a perfect toy that will last almost 5 months - mine did.


Treat Tug by Stefan from Orange, California

Take a long sock and put up to 3 treats in and tie a knot so the treats won't fall out. Have a good time with your dog!



Soccer Sock Tug Rope by Katie from Orangevale, CA

Take three old soccer socks or other long socks and tie them tightly together at one end. Next, braid them tightly together, ending the rope with a couple tight knots. voila! A simple, soft, stretchy, (and inexpensive!) tug rope. Try using two or three different sock colors for a cool pattern.



Tuggy Sock Dog Toy by Tabitha

This takes about five minutes and uses 4 socks.
Take two long socks and put another sock in each of the long socks.
tie a knot in the two long socks' openings and you have a Tuggy sock toy!!!! One more thing. . . It should be a new sock so holes don't catch in your dogs teeth.



Tug of War Sock Dog Toy (Anonymous contributor)

Takes 2 minutes. Use one strong sock ( It's better to be new; a holey sock could catch at dogs teeth). Tie a knot in the center of the sock. Hold both skinny ends and let your dog grab the knot PULLL!!!



Tug-a-Sock by Stacy Macintyre from Nova Scotia

I have a new puppy who was 2 months old so what I did was took a sock and since her teeth were just coming in I thought well I should make something that won't hurt her teeth. So I  got some stuffing and I stuffed the sock and sewed the bottom of it so she could play with it whenever she wanted and that's how I made my Tug-a-Sock.



Sock-o-Tug by Amanda from Camrose, Albert, Canada

Here is all you need:

  • two socks
  • duct tape
  • permanent markers(optional)

What to do:

Stuff one sock inside the other sock. Then wrap where the sock ball ends with two layers of duct tape. If you want to make it cute, put a face with permanent markers on the sock ball.

My opinion on this toy is it works great for puppies teething and my puppy loves it.




Tug Toys Made From Socks and Tennis Balls

Homemade tug toys made from balls and socks by Grace

You will need:
2 long socks 
2 tennis balls
Put the tennis balls in the socks and tie the socks together



Tennis Ball Tug Rope by Anna

First gather up a long sock and a tennis ball. Then, put the tennis ball in the middle of the sock. On either side of the ball tie a knot. Hold on to one end of the sock still hanging and let your dog grab the other! Also works great as a toss toy!!!




Homemade Tug Toys Made From Fleece

Easy Fleece Homemade Tug Toys by Patti F. from Nampa, Idaho

Seen the ones in the store? My pack of four can destroy them in minutes playing tug. Solution: I made my own! 

I had some leftover fleece and started experimenting, with help from the pack. A yard of fleece will make several sizes, depending on your dogs. My dogs are big, so I take 4' x 4" (four foot x four inch) strips and braid them. Annie helps by tugging, but if you don't have a 4-legged helper, knot three strips and have a friend hold and pull tight while you braid. You want it as tight as possible! I put an extra knot in the middle for long tuggies. Be sure to get those knots tight, too. I'm not very strong so I pull each strip individually and leave them a little long until the dogs have pulled the knots tighter. I then cut off the excess length. 

You can incorporate balls into your braid, or if you're really good, add "arms" to it!


Braided Fleece Rope by Stacy from Bend, Oregon

I made this for my 100 pound black and tan coonhound so decrease the size for smaller dogs.

Fleece (available at any fabric store - make sure to check the bargain or remnants bin)

- Cut fleece into 1 1/2 to 2 inch strips
- I try to get 4-5 strips per bundle
- Knot the strips together
- Divide into 3 bundles
- Braid to the end
- Tie another knot



Fleece Rope Dog Toy by Lynne from Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Just get a long piece of fleece. Tie a knot in it every 10-12". the finished piece can be anywhere from 1 foot to 4 foot long. My Basset Hound loves running thru the yard at full speed with his rope flying! The only thing he likes better is when one of the other dogs grabs an end and plays tug with him. Best part for people? 100% washable AND doesn't fall apart if left in the rain!


Fleece Rope Tug Toy by Rebecca D. from Glendale, CA

I had an extra piece of fleece leftover from a blanket I made for my dog's bed. It was about 24 inches long and 5 inches wide. I tied it in  a series of three knots, and we use it as a tug toy. It has lasted about 4 months so far. 




Homemade Tug Toys From Rope & Rawhide

Tug-A-War Rope by Payden

I wanted to make a Christmas present for my dog but didn't know what to get. I thought and thought and finally I got it.

I made a tug a war rope for my dog by braiding three pieces of rope. It is very simple if you know how to braid. Then just tie knots at either end.



Tug-A-Rawhide by jk

This is something I make at my house:

Get a piece of rope and tie both ends with rawhide. Make sure its tight enough for the rawhide to stay in its place.

My dog goes crazy for it when I bring it out.

It lasts for about a day or 3.

The photo shows her after she was tugging on the rawhide...



Homemade Tug Toys Tied At One End

A Dog Alone Can Play Tug-of-War!  (Anonymous contributor)

Tie a thick rope on a tree branch or fence so it hangs down at head level (of your dog). Make a large knot at the bottom. Let your dog play! My dog will have furious games of tug with her toy, of course never winning! It may take some encouragement to get your dog to play with this new toy; try various ways to teach it. You can also get a normal thin rope and tie a toy on the bottom of the rope instead.


Baseball Tug Toy   (Anonymous contributor)

I drilled a hole through two baseballs and tied them to a tree branch so that they are just too far out of reach for my dogs to bite onto. They can get them, but it is hard for them to hold on and they slip from their mouths and spin.

Another variation of this is to make a tire swing from an old tire, and from the sides hang the baseballs or another toy so your dogs can play tug of war with each other and the tree.



Stick Attack: Homemade Tug Toy for Chewers by Maddie from Oregon

I took a metal bar, planted it as far as I could in the ground, really deep, making sure my dog could not pull it out.
Then I tied a rope (not chain) to the metal bar, took a tennis ball with a hole through the middle of it, and put it on the rope.
Next I tied the rope in a triple dawg knot . . . 

My dog LOVES it, plays on it for hours and hours a day, and I don't have to take him/her to an expensive daycare anymore ! ... Now when I go away I know just to close and lock the gate to my outyard and my dog stays and plays with it. 

Some dogs may try to pull the pole out of the ground - if that's the case, you must put something around the bar or it might hurt your dog's teeth, but besides that ... have fun with your new and easy, free dog toy ! ! !




We sure hope you find some information about homemade tug toys on this and the next page (Inexpensive Dog Toys for Tugging) that help you make your own. If you come up with a totally different tug toy idea, please pay it forward and submit the instructions.



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