Friday, December 7, 2012

DIY Fabric Dog Rope

My Australian Shepherd mix Luna has always loved her rope. When I adopted her at the animal shelter they told me she was 6 months old and wouldn’t grow much more. She was about 35 pounds then. As her first year with me came and went I found myself with a 65 pound puppy who would chew through sandals, sweaters and just about anything else left lying around. The solution to the problem was her rope.

As a puppy she used to tug the rope really hard, so hard at times it was hard to keep my balance because she was so strong. She’s not too keen on fetching balls, catching Frisbees or doing tricks beyond sit and shake, but when she wants to play she’ll bring her rope and not so gently nudge the nearest human leg. She will fetch her rope when asked to bring it and knows to leave it at the back door because it is an outside toy.

Although she still loves her rope I see her carry it around less and less. Since she and her teeth aren’t as strong as they used to be I figured she needed something a bit softer to play with. I had some old t-shirts lying around and thought they would make an awesome soft rope for old dog Luna.

Take your t-shirts and cut them into 1 inch thick strips. I just cut the length of the shirts and then cut each strip at the two existing seams. I used 12 strips total, 6 green and 6 yellow, so my ropes aren’t too thick. The more strips, the thicker the rope! I made a twist rope and a braided rope to see the difference and if the pups preferred one over the other. So far they don’t seem to care, but the braided rope is much thinner and is stiffer than the twisted rope.

Braided Rope:

Bring all of your t-shirt strips together and tie a tight knot at one end. Split the strips evenly into three sections and braid. I had my mom hold the knotted end while I braided which made it easier and neater than when I tried to hold the end myself. Leave enough room at the end for a second knot and make sure it is tight as well. Cut off extra long pieces from the ends and play!

Twisted Rope:

Again, start off by combing all of the t-shirt strips and tie a tight knot at one end.  Divide the strips so you have two equal sections and twist them tightly. At the end make a second knot to secure the strips. When let go, the twist will loosen up so make sure to twist them tightly. Cut off any extra long pieces and now you have another rope.

I love these fabric dog ropes because you can make them long, short, thin or thick, and with as many colors as desired. Oh, and it’s cheap! I just used 2 shirts that were in the Goodwill pile. My dogs usually rip apart a new toy 10 minutes after it enters the front door, so having a toy that is affordable and quick to make works for me.

Hope your pup enjoys their fabric dog rope as much as Luna and the rest of our pups did!


  1. This is such a great idea. By using fabric that carries the scent of their owner the doggies must enjoy snuggling up with it as well!


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