DIY Hemp Rope Pulling Toys For Dogs

Jessica McKeil July 6, 2020 0 comments

Pulling toys for dogs aren’t cheap! But these ones are actually really easy to make.

If you’ve been to the pet store recently, you’ll have noted how expensive dog toys are. And depending on your dog, you might also note just how quickly they enjoy ripping through toy after toy. Sometimes even pulling toys for dogs can’t stand up to your little destructo.

Another concern is what these toys are made from. As your furry friend rips through yet another indestructible stuffy or pull-toy, he or she is also inevitably swallowing some of the materials. These can include dangerous chemicals, like nylon and other synthetics, petroleum-based plastics, PVCs, and even formaldehyde. The truth is, most stuffies contain plastic batting instead of natural fibers.

We have a healthier, hemp-based pulling toy for dogs that you can make yourself! Pulling toys are essential for your doggo. It gives needed mental and physical stimulation while re-enforcing the bond between the two of you. So, why not make them at home out of all-natural products like hemp rope? Even better, hemp pulling toys for dogs are cheap and strong – especially if you make them yourself. Ultimately your pup doesn’t necessarily care if it’s bear-shaped or not. All dogs need is satisfying tugging playtime with their most loved human.

The Importance of Tug-of-War With Dogs

Quality doggy-playtime is not just about cuddles and fetch — dogs love playing tug-of-war. Yes, some owners may worry that too much tugging will lead to aggressive behaviors, but that’s not exactly what veterinary science has determined.

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Perhaps surprisingly, there have been scientific studies on the subject of human and dog tug-of-war games. Studies like “Links between play and dominance and attachment dimensions of dog-human relationships,” published in 2003. [1]Rooney, N. J., & Bradshaw, J. W. S. (2003). Links Between Play and Dominance and Attachment Dimensions of Dog-Human Relationships. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 6(2), 67–94. doi: … Continue reading

After examining different types of games (both aggressive type games, like tug of war, and others), “This study provides no evidence that games play a major deterministic role on dominance dimensions of dog-human relationships.” Essentially, the authors concluded that tug of war didn’t predict aggressive behavior.

pulling toys for dogs represented by two bog dogs pulling either end of a rope

The Benefits of Tug-of-War Toys For Dogs

Pulling toys for dogs which allow for tug-of-war type games may have several vital benefits for the health and wellness of your furry friend, including:

Mental Stimulation: Pulling toys for dogs means direct interaction between owner and pooch. As you pull back and forth, your dog is spending a lot of mental energy predicting your moves and counteracting them. Plus, if you are using the opportunity to train, it’s even more mentally stimulating.

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Physical Activity: Tugging is one of the most tiring activities there are for dogs, especially if running isn’t an option. If your pet has a lot of built-up energy when you get home from a long day of work, playing tug-of-war is a great way to release it all. Plus, you can do it all from the comfort of your living room.

Human-Canine Bond: Build a strong relationship with your puppy early on by setting time aside every day for play. Further, not all dogs like to play fetch, or if they do, they might not understand why it’s helpful to return the ball. Tug of war is a great alternative to get in the necessary quality playtime.

Training Opportunity: Use these play sessions to train your pouch new commands. These may include a “drop it” rule, where your dog learns to let go when commended. Another may include “down” if your dog becomes too excited during playing tug of war and begins to jump up. According to a Registered Veterinary Technician reported at the Spruce, during training, it is not only important for owners to initiate play but to set the tone as well.

A Little Information on Hemp Rope and Why it Works for Dog Toys

With the rise of hemp has come a revival of hemp fiber industrial supplies, which means hemp rope and cord. Classically, of course, hemp rope was used for all types of commercial applications. Most famously, hemp rope was the main source for the lines of sailing ships.

Further, hemp fibers are one of the most durable natural fibers on the planet. Unless otherwise stated or treated, almost all hemp fiber rope is one hundred percent natural, eco friendly, and biodegradable – making it an excellent option to make pulling toys for dogs out of.

Hemp cord comes in just about any width you can think of, and most suppliers will sell by the foot, spool, or in bulk. That’s good news for the crafty dog-owners out there. It means you can source the appropriate size cording for every breed of dog. Look for hemp cording at sailing supply shops, craft shops, and home supply companies.

DIY Hemp Dog Tug Toy

Making hemp-based pulling toys for dogs at home saves you money, gives you control over the materials, and, most importantly, benefits your dog. If you are not crafty, don’t worry – you’ll need no specialty equipment beyond a pair of scissors or sharp knife.

pulling toys for dogs represented by hemp rope on wooden table


  • 10 feet of hemp cord, (thinner for smaller breeds, thicker for bigger breeds)
  • Scissors or a sharp knife (ideally serrated)


  1. Tie a simple overhand knot about 6-10 inches from one end of the hemp rope. An overhand knot is also simply called a knot or a half knot.
  2. Tie a second knot roughly 3-5 inches past the first, and continue with knots and spacing until you’ve reached the length of pulling toy you need.
  3. Leaving a 6-10 inch tall, cut the cording.
  4. Unravel the cord at both ends of the toy, so the strains are separated. This helps your pup get a good grip during play.
  5. Get tugging!

Pulling Toys for Dogs For A Better Human-Pup Relationship

Why spend money on wasteful, plastic-filled, toys from the pet store? It makes much more sense to make tug-of-war ropes at home. With a short length of hemp rope and a pair of scissors, you are minutes away from a long-lasting and all-natural pull toy suitable for any dog.

Further, even for people without any creative talent, a hemp pull toy requires no sewing! It’s just a single knotting technique. Build a better bond with your pouch and help them release all that pent up energy with a good game of tug of war.


Author avatar

Jessica McKeil

Jessica McKeil is a freelance writer focused on the medical marijuana industry, from production methods to medicinal applications. She is lucky enough to live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada where the cannabis industry is exploding. When not writing, she spends much of her time exploring in the coastal forests.

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