Dog Tug Toy Basics

Make a dog tug toy using our basic information; or follow the links to multiple ideas supplied by visitors.

Two pugs playing tug-of-war with a stick

As many of you have probably found out, tug-of-war is the most fun some dogs can have, whether it's a person on the other end or a dog buddy doing the pulling!

There are quite a few ways to make such a toy. 

The main things you want are  strong materials so they won't come apart after a few tugs, and the right length.

About the Materials

If you’re using recycled materials such as old clothes that have become rags, it may not matter if the dog tug toy gets destroyed easily.

It’s usually quick and easy to just make another tug-o-war dog toy.

Some Suggestions for Materials to Use:

  • denim from jeans
  • string*
  • rope
  • yarn*
  • towels
  • combinations of these materials

*plait or braid for the best strength

  • old clothes such as T-shirts, skirts, dresses, pants
  • leather or fabric belts
  • sticks or branches
  • rubber from old flip flops, bungee cords, car mats
  • items wrapped in duct tape

Length to Make A Dog Tug Toy

An important thing to consider is the length. You want the tug toy to be long enough so whoever is pulling can get a good grip. At the same time, you want to make sure that the dog's teeth will not come in contact with the other dog or human playing with him or her.

We can tell you from experience that if you have a dog with big teeth or a puppy with sharp teeth, it hurts if your fingers get in the way!

We would recommend a minimum length of one foot (300 mm) for smaller dogs and two feet (600 mm) for bigger dogs.

Instructions for Making a Tug Toy

We have two pages of instructions based on submissions from visitors:

The first, labeled Homemade Tug Toys, contains those made out of fleece, rope or socks.

The second, Make Inexpensive Dog Toys for Tugging, deals with toys made from denim, fabrics, belts, and yarn.

You could also make one of our Paddio Sticks - a stick with strips of rag wrapped around it...

Please feel free to send in your own instructions for tug toys to add to our pages - note that we check each submission carefully to make sure you are not providing a duplicate idea... Thank you! Jo

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