Fun interaction with our dogs allows them to burn off their excess energy. Otherwise, they can all channel it into erratic behavior. At the same time, dog owners spend a lot on toys since dogs can easily tear through most with aggressive chewing. The solution may be one of the most common DIY (Do It Yourself) props, a simple rope! Ropes are quite indestructible while offering low-cost room innovation. So here let’s brainstorm on how to make dog toys out of rope.


Simple Tug Rope

To start us off, we’ll go back to the basics of childhood ‘tag of war’. Tugging is an excellent energy outlet for our dogs too. Simply reinforce thick cotton or polypropylene rope with knots and a rounded knot at either end for the dog to pull on.

Make sure the rope isn’t too long, and sisal rope is an option also. Purchasing an already ‘twisted’ cotton rope may ease your workload when knotting. The rope should be 1 inch-thick in the least.


Classic Rope Ball

The beauty about balls is that dogs love them and a rope ball is more durable than your other sports balls. It’s a simple as it sounds, the only slight challenge is getting your knotting skills right. Fret not, as with decent knotting/braiding, you can find a workaround.

However, I recommend a ‘Stuffed Monkey’s Fist knot’ as it all round neater. Additionally, it won’t easily get untangled by your dog. The ball size will depend on the amount of rope that you use. Therefore, be sure to make it large enough to be inedible.


Shaped Rope Toys

One of the best ways to get the most out of rope is trying cool shapes with knots and braiding. There are many shapes you can achieve with different knotted rope. Some of these include star, dog bone, Olympic ring shapes, and traditional ring shapes.

Each new shape will feel like a new toy for your dog. You can use thick sisal, cotton or polypropylene ropes for this task. However, I recommend multi-colored rope. To get you started, we’ll guide you on getting the most basic knot structure which will act as a foundation and reference. You can best achieve this with braiding patterns when knotting.

Initially, make sure the type of rope is the same size and consistent. You’ll need 4 ropes for each dog rope shape that you want to make. Proceed to tie them all together into a tight knot at the top. After tying, separate the 4 rope pieces into a + shape such that one is facing North, the other South, East and finally West. Fold one side of rope on top down, so it’s facing “South.”

Imitate the same method as the bottom piece, so it is facing “North.” Move “East” rope and weave it over the “North” rope and under the “south” rope. Repeat this method too with “West” facing rope. Apply the same braiding pattern all the way down your rope. When done, proceed, and you’re good to go! You can now make it into any shape you fancy.


Rope + Bottle + Treat

Complementing your rope with safe props can open your mind to cool toy ideas for your dog. A Plastic bottle and a dog treat can get you going. You’d want to pick an empty 1Ltr/2Ltr plastic bottle (preferably milk) and remove the ring cover and labels. Then proceed to cut some holes in the side, enough for your treats to fall through.

Then pick your treats like dog biscuits (you can break them into smaller pieces). Proceed to make a hole where your rope can attach to the bottle. You can now allow your dog to chase the bottle as you ‘string it along’ while holding the rope. Be sure to do this with the treats falling out.


Rope + Bottle + Sock

Done with teasing your dog with the ‘bottle treat’? Another rope prop option is adding a sock to the bottle. Here we put a smaller and empty water bottle in a sock. Then tie the top closed and attach it to our cotton rope.

This toy will make a fun and odd crinkle noise which your dog will absolutely love. Also, it’ll probably keep your dog amused and distracted for hours.


Rope + Tennis Ball

Tennis balls are classic‘ toss and fetch’ toys, and can allow room for a lot of creativity if you have the time. What you want to do is get a tennis ball. Proceed to cut an end to end hole in it, which your rope will go through. Get your thick-knotted rope with one end having extra knotting to keep the ball attached to the rope edge.

Move on to place the thick rope through the ball and make sure your thicker knot edge stops it. This allows you to ‘toss and pull’ the rope and the ball simultaneously (while holding on to one rope end). Your dog will chase the ball, tug it and you can playfully pull the ball back with the rope. The rope can be any length that you desire for play. Same can be done with a soccer ball too if you have an old one lying around. An easy retrieval prop.


Rope ‘Tennis Doll’

Since we have entered the world of tennis balls, we may as well cite another use case. If you have an artistic side or good with knots and rope braiding, try this. Knot the rope into a human ‘doll model’ with the tennis ball as the head.

Similar to a mini scarecrow but with the tennis ball. This is a pretty inexpensive doll prop. However, always consider the size and material to avoid choking hazards and accidents as always. You can also try experimenting with innovating the rope into‘Slingshot’ tennis Ball.


Rope+ Pipe

It’s advisable, and that means you can also rotate your rope toy props. In comes our next prop, the plastic pipe/PVC pipe prop. Just cut holes in the plastic pipe to allow rope attachment. Then to the rope, attach a ‘rope ball’ squeaky toy or kong to its end.

And you’re good to go. This is interactive, and you can combine this with a tennis ball and allow the pipe to be your handle. Just beware to avoid your handle being chewed by your ‘strong chewer’ dog.



As always, dog safety is paramount, interactive play is vital for your canine friend because he needs active “quality time.”

The cheap rope dog toy hacks highlighted can help your dog to expel some energy while reducing stress to confinement and isolation and/or boredom.


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