This is my Vizsla puppy, Dexter. When he is a bored puppy, he is a very bad puppy! I wanted to make him some kind of spring toy so that he could burn off some energy. The only problem is that we have a yard that has no trees from which to hang anything off of. After a bit of brainstorming, I came up with this neat little toy!
If you have trees in your yard where your dog can play safely, you can skip the hangar and simply tie the spring to a branch.
Step 1: Tools and Supplies
You will need a storm door chain kit, an over the fence planter holder, 10 feet of heavy rope, some kind of twine or similar string, a 1" split ring (ie. key chain ring), jingle bells, a 3 or 4 foot strip of polar fleece, scissors, cutting pliers and a measuring tape.
The project materials cost me $15 to buy and approximately 30 minutes to make. You can find everything you need at The Home Despot and the Dollar Store.
Step 2: Removing the Chain
One end of the spring has a chain, which we do not need. Use the cutting pliers to remove it. If you have a hack saw, you can cut the mounting bracket off. I'm not worried about keeping it on, since the dog only plays with the rope.
Step 3: Adding the Split Ring
Put the ring on the spring on the end from which you just cut the chain off of.
Step 4: Adding the Rope
Thread the rope through the end of the spring without the split ring, find the center of the rope and make a knot.
Step 5: Adding the Bells
String as many bells as you want, onto the twine. Tie the bells onto the rope, above the knot on the rope. Cut the excess string.
You can skip adding bells to the toy, if you want. I find that the bells make noises that encourage and excite the dog to play with the toy.
Step 6: Knotting the Rope
Take the hanger and rope outside to the fence where you wish to hang the toy. Slide the ring onto the hanger and let the rope hang. Cut the rope so that the end will hang a foot or so off the ground. Make random knots on the rope, with one of the knots close to the end of the rope. The knots serve two purposes – Keeping the two strands together and to give your dog places to grab the rope.
Step 7: Adding the Strip of Polar Fleece
Take your strip of polar fleece and tie it to the rope above the last knot. Once I hung the toy on the fence, I took the fleece in the picture off, it was too short. I like to use polar fleece because it is strong when wet, is stretchy and quite resistant to puppy teeth.
Step 8: Admire Your Work!
Look at what you made! The best puppy toy ever! As with any dog toy, please supervise playtime for safety purposes.
If you would like to see a video of Dexter playing with his toy, please visit my super awesome doggie blog