Introduction: Dog Toys for Heavy Chewers

These easy to make colorful rope toys are great for any size dog. Just scale up or down the diameter of the rope to fit your dog, 1/4" for small dogs or 3/8" for large dogs. Directions given are for a basic toss/tug toy pictured below. Pictured are several variations based on the basic knot that can be created with a little practice and creativity.

Step 1: Finding Center of Two Lengths of Rope

Start with two equal lengths of rope, I recommend no shorter than 5' each length. Find the middle of each length by folding the rope in half and lining up the cut ends.

Step 2: Finding Middle of Each Rope

After locating the middle of each rope, cross each rope at right angle to other rope.

Step 3: Secure With Small Zip Tie

 Then use a small zip tie to secure to the two lengths together at the centers.

Step 4: Begin the Knot

Lay crossed ropes over fisted hand with thumb extended.

Step 5: Loop Around Thumb

Loop first rope around thumb and over second rope, using thumb to hold first rope in place (see image)

Step 6: Loop Second Rope

Loop second rope over first rope and go over rope three, using thumb to hold in place.

Step 7: Loop Third Rope

Loop third rope over second rope and go over forth rope, use thumb to hold third rope in place.

Step 8: Loop Fourth Rope

Loop fourth rope over third rope and then insert fourth rope into loop created by first rope.

Step 9: Tighten Up Loops

Tighten each rope by pulling the tail of each rope.

Step 10: Continue to Tighten Loops

Pull all ropes tight until a small four section knot is created.

Step 11: Trim Off Zip Tie

Trim off zip tie tail, and place knot with zip tie side facing up.

Step 12: Repeat Steps 5-9

Repeat steps 5-9. Loop first rope around thumb and over second rope.

Step 13: Repeat Steps 5-9

Repeat steps 5-9. Loop second rope over first rope and over third rope holding in place with thumb.

Step 14: Repeat Steps 5-9

Repeat steps 5-9. Loop third rope over second rope and over fourth rope holding in place with thumb.

Step 15: Repeat Steps 5-9

Repeat steps 5-9. Loop fourth rope over third rope and feed tail of fourth rope into loop created by first rope.

Step 16: Tighten Up All Ropes

Continue to tighten up all ropes pulling together to form a four section tight knot.

Step 17: Tightened Knot

Tightened knot shown here from above and side view.

Step 18: Repeat Steps 5 Thru 9

5. Loop first rope around thumb & across the top of the second rope .

6. Loop second rope around first rope & across the top of the third rope .

7. Loop third rope around second rope & across the top of the fourth rope .

8. Loop fourth rope around third rope & insert tail end of fourth rope into loop made with first rope .

9. Tigthen up all ropes until a tight four section knot appears

Repeat until only short lengths of each rope remain

Step 19: Repeat Steps 5 Thru 9 Until Only Short Lengths of Rope Remain

Repeat steps 5 thru 9 until only short lengths of rope remain

Step 20: Tucking in Tails & Finishing Off

Insert hemostats or needle nose pliers into knot grabbing one
 rope tail and pulling it threw knot.

Step 21: Continue Pulling Rope Tails Threw Knot

Continue pulling rope tails threw knot.

Step 22: Trim Back All Rope Tails

Trim back all rope tails

Step 23: Trim Away Center Core of Rope

Push back outside braided cover & to expose central core and trim away to reveal leaving only the outer nylon cover

Step 24: Melt the Exposed Nylon Rope and Push Back With Side of Lighter

Melt the exposed nylon rope and push back with side of lighter

Step 25: Finished Dog Toy

Finished Dog Toy. From two 5' lengths of rope the finished toy will be 6" - 7".


SandyM123 (author)2017-05-25

Easy to make amazing instructions. My chow/rott and chiweenie loved theirs. However my pitt bulls on the other proved why they hold the gold as heavy weight chewing champs and had theirs destroyed in a matter of minutes lol. Will still use for other pup kids though! Thank you!

KaydoO (author)2017-03-15

I made the rope toy and it felt super sturdy. Took me about an hour to put together. My pit has had it less than ten minutes and already has the ends pulled out. I tried to fix it by tying regular knots but that was child's play for her. Wish there were a better way to tie it off at the end. I'll keep hunting. Thanks for the tutorial!

SusanD113 (author)2016-06-05

Okay, got this figured out. It makes a cool toy but would have been easier to follow if you had used 2 different colors of rope. Good instructions though.

AnnabellaMarie (author)SusanD1132016-08-23

It almost requires 4 different colors! Look up instructions on making gimp lanyards (plastic lacing). I want to try some leather shoelaces.

AnnabellaMarie (author)2016-08-23

Nice! I would never have thought of this. I acquired a Chihuahua puppy just last night and, being totally unprepared for dogginess, was anxious to create something for her to chew on besides me. This fit the bill, especially after I realized I'd made tons of lanyards using this technique! I'm going to try your Y-shaped 'ible next. OH..I used bakers' twine because she is very teen tiny and my nylon rope was just too big.

SarahW148 (author)2016-05-02

You can find them at a sports store, or a place like Lowes has rope like that.

Jackryckeley (author)2016-04-13

make a youtube video

Evanhout53091 (author)2016-03-29

Where is the best place to get rope to make these?

farley123 (author)2013-02-24

Is hemp rope the correct rope to use? Don't the strands get wound around the dogs intestines ?

KristinM5 (author)farley1232016-03-18

No, use regular nylon rope (like rappelling rope)

Brenda L Rusnak (author)2016-03-07

Stacey,this is something you can make for Baby Jax!!!

JesperN1 (author)2015-12-09

awesome tutorial, very detailed instructions

jemismom (author)2012-09-26

Our dog (black lab) is a heavy chewer. I was so excited to try this and will say it was quite easy to do (great instructions! Thanks!). However, we made the Y shape toy and she had it torn apart in less than an hour. It looks like a small stick with a bunch of alien tentacles sticking out of it now. We tried the circle ring next and the circle came apart in about 10 minutes, it doesn't look like it will last more than a day either. I twisted and tied and tucked the ends in so not sure why its so 'fragile', but any suggestions would be appreciated. I love this idea, but we need more than an hour out of it :-)

ImTheDoctor (author)jemismom2015-11-16

hmm. Maybe check that your dog doesn't have shark teeth! Lol

ccroft1 (author)2014-04-02

How do you make the loop one? Have a yellow lab that destroys everything and its my turn to win.

ImTheDoctor (author)ccroft12015-11-16

all you do is make it longer and make a d or b shape, then weave the ends into the other end and knot or burn them.

Tomahawk92 (author)2015-07-23

ive got a feeling this is going to be way too thin with 550 paracord...

ImTheDoctor (author)Tomahawk922015-11-16

if your dog is bigger than the average sized small or toy sized dog, it will be to small. I used 550 paracord to make one for my Yorkie, and she fights with my cat over it. It a little big and stiff for the cat thought he is the runt. It fits his brother fine but since the dog dropped it on him in his sleep he is scared of it.

KennedyJ2 (author)2015-11-10

If there a way to do this without step 20, 21, and 22?

ImTheDoctor made it! (author)KennedyJ22015-11-16

yes, tie knots at the ends, it doesn't look as nice but it holds up better, feels better of toungs, and gives more grip for you on that end.

ImTheDoctor (author)2015-11-16

Thank you! I made a keychain version of this and my little kitty loves it! Will have to make a yarn or smaller string version for him!

hoskmunch made it! (author)2015-06-03

Works really well. Great idea!

SparkySolar (author)2014-10-26

Thank you for this nice Instructable. I like it


jasher2 (author)2014-09-06

Please add a note about playing only with supervision. Working as a surgery tech for a vet clinic, I see braided toys need removing all too much.

shaydawn made it! (author)2014-09-04

Just made this for my dog Jax, he DESTROYS most toys so we will see how long it lasts! Nice instructable though, very easy to understand and not a difficult idea! Thank you!

pattybe52 (author)2014-04-23

I have made several of these toys for myself & friends. It holds up to lots of hard play! I haven't been able to figure out the weaving the ends back in, so I have used a bit more rope & tie the ends to make it more of a retrieve toy. It works wonderfully as a tug toy for 2 dogs that way!

bwest12 (author)2012-09-27

I've attached a pic of the toy I made using your instructable! Below it is the 10" tent stake I was using as a marlinespike. Thanks again!

Derpy Toy.jpg
bwest12 (author)2012-09-27

Just finished making one for my Belgian Malinois/Pitbull mix. He's a rescue a bit over a year old and he's got a heart of gold. The guy loves to chew and play! I took this outside and he immediately started playing tug of war with it and all around being a goof. I tucked the ends and melted them, but didn't snip them, I left about 6" on each end. He likes to grab the toy by one of the tassles and sling it around. Thanks for the instructable!!!! :D

pblanchard2 (author)2012-07-19

Any idea how to make this into a ball? Maybe into a cover to go over a ball?

bwest12 (author)pblanchard22012-09-27

Try the "Monkey Fist"! I've made a few of these in the Navy to use as heaving balls. Now be careful though, because these make hard balls (my dog LOVES chewing on his though) and if thrown at someone (or a pet!) would feel like being hit with a baseball. You can modify it with a few extra turns or some larger rope. I usually use 3/8" rope to make a fist slightly smaller than my own. A marlinespike ( (I use a long 10" steel tent nail) will assist you with pushing/pulling the last few turns of the rope through the fist to make it good and tight. My favorite tug toy for my dog (Belgian Malinois/Pitbull) is a piece of rope I've fashioned with a monkey fist on each end with a braid between them. He loves it!!!

J3443RY (author)pblanchard22012-09-01

Great suggestion on covering a ball I have not tried it but you got my mind in motion! thanks

shadow wave rider (author)2011-07-04

how did you mahe all of the different shapes. i only knw how to make one of the ones you made in this instructable and that was just the straight one. can you write another intstructable for the other shapes


Well I have finally released a new Instructable based on my original Dog Toys for Heavy Chewers this time it features a "Y" Shaped Dog Tug & Toss Toy more shapes and more instructables are in the works. So keep checking in to see the progress. Thanks for your interest.


Thanks & Yes I am working on that now, keep checking in

djlewis725 (author)2010-10-12

Hey Please make an instructable on how to connect ropes to make something like in your example. Great ible

J3443RY (author)djlewis7252011-07-28

Well I have finally released a new Instructable based on my original Dog Toys for Heavy Chewers this time it features a "Y" Shaped Dog Tug & Toss Toy more shapes and more instructables are in the works. So keep checking in to see the progress. Thanks for your interest.

irish2ice (author)2010-04-10

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome......

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do an instructable showing how to do this with a Double loop!!  Just like one of your examples, but with double loops!!

J3443RY (author)irish2ice2011-07-28

Well I have finally released a new Instructable based on my original Dog Toys for Heavy Chewers this time it features a "Y" Shaped Dog Tug & Toss Toy more shapes and more instructables are in the works. So keep checking in to see the progress. Thanks for your interest.

iamrusky (author)2010-12-18

wow. this is ... AWESOME! Christmas for my Seamus pup. this is so similar to gimp lanyards.they were super popular in the nineties, make super key chains.

Applejuice11 (author)2010-08-26

Great job! My pup will love this!

cwissduhfur (author)2010-04-25

isnt that just a lanyard with rope?

pitbull277 (author)2010-04-15

A hemp or cotton rope would not be harmfull if eaten, but cotton wouldnt be as tough.

damagedwings (author)2010-04-09

Oops, how do I vote for this?


BTW, I voted for this :) No strings attached as I don't have any ibles yet (pun intended).

Rottmaster (author)2010-04-12

These toys are great but make sure that after you are finished playing with your dog that you pick up these kinds of toys beacuse if your dog eats the string it can kill him.
It is always a good thing to pick up all toys after playing with your dog.

instruct39 (author)2010-04-10

Really great instructable I give it 4.5*. I will definatly make one of these for my own dog once i get some paracord.

pie R []ed (author)2010-04-09

 you should really make this out of paracord and put it in the contest!

damagedwings (author)2010-04-09

Excellent! I will be making a few of these for my grandson's dog who is a German Shepherd still in the puppy chewing stage at 2!

Biggsy (author)2010-04-08

Yuo know I have always wondered how they make those! Thanks alot, really welldone instructable!

mg0930mg (author)2010-04-08

I think this looks like those barrels we used to make with gimp. This looks promising and nice, though.

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