DIY Valentine Hugs and Kisses XO Dog Tug Toys

DIY XO hugs and kisses Valentine's Day dog tug toys

Smooches pooches! We have a special Valentine’s Day Dog DIY to share with you today – tug toy hugs and kisses! These DIY Valentine dog tug toys are made using our usual easy box weave fleece dog toy method, but with a few extra steps to make one tug into a closed circle for the O and combine two tugs in another to form an X. You can, of course, just make a simple woven fleece dog tug toy in Valentine colours, like our exclamation point, if you wish. The dogs will feel the love if you have fun together no matter what the shapes or colours.

An Oldie But a Cutie

This DIY was one of the first special shaped tug toys created and shared on the Dalmatian DIY blog, many years ago. My weaving and shaping techniques have gotten a lot more refined over the years. Although these tugs may not be quite perfect, the basics of making these simple shapes remains the same. And the dogs don’t care about perfect, just fun!

Weaving a DIY XO Valentine's Day Dog Tug Toy

Tug Toy Materials

The materials and craft supplies used in making the tug toys shown are:

  • Polar fleece fabric
  • Scissors

A basic tug toy made with these weaving styles uses four long narrow strips for fabric. Our X toy uses two shorter tugs, intersecting in the middle (eight strips total) and our O toy uses four longer strips, joined at the ends to form the circle. If making a matched set of XO toys, you will need roughly half the length for of the X as used for the O. 

You can scale the toy to suit your dog by altering the width and/or length of the fleece strips. See our post on fleece tug toy sizes for tips. You can make the toys larger or smaller to suit your dog and the size of fleece you have available.

Weaving a Circle Tug for the O (Hug Tug)

Weaving the tug:

  • Cut four long strips of fleece. The length and width are at your discretion to scale the toy to the size of your pet as noted above. The strips in the toys as shown were approximately 2m long x 4-5cm wide.
  • Tie a temporary knot securing both strips near one end. This knot will be undone before connecting your circle, so not too tight! Undo any time after your weaving is secure.
  • Knot using a square/box knot (as shown) or other weaving method of your choice. Detailed instructions as well as additional diagrams and step-by-step photos for this weaving method are available in our comprehensive post on making square knot dog tug toys.
  • Weave until you start to approach the end of your strips.

Closing the circle:

  • If you have not already done so, undo your temporary knot.
  • If using two different colours, as shown, align the ends so that the colour patterns line up.
  • Incrementally tie some of the strands, one by one, to secure your circle, taking care to try an create a uniform look that ties in with the existing weave.  This may involve pulling some strands through to the opposite surface. Not all strands need to be tied – just enough to close tightly and secure. 
  • Cut your ends, leaving enough excess to allow you to tuck them into the circle, taking care to follow the pattern of the weave where possible.

Don’t beat yourself up if the closure point is visible – this is going to be chewed, not exhibited. Imperfect is still pawfect!

Weaving a circle dog tug toy

Weaving a Crossed Tug for the X (Kiss Tug)

Weaving to the intersection point:

  • Cut eight medium strips of fleece. The length and width are at your discretion to scale the toy to the size of your pet. As noted above in the material details, if making a matched set of XO toys, you will need roughly half the length for the X strands as used for the O. 
  • Starting with four strips, tie a loop knot in one end to secure.
  • Knot using a square/box knot (as shown) or other weaving method of your choice. Detailed instructions as well as additional diagrams and step-by-step photos for this weaving method are available in our comprehensive post on making square knot dog tug toys.
  • Weave until you have woven a straight tug piece roughly half the diameter of your circle. This will be one of the four legs of your X.
  • Repeat with your other four strips.

Creating the intersection:

  • Take one of your tugs and loosen off the last woven knot, and then slip the end strands of the other tug through to join the tugs.
  • Arrange your strands back into a cross (+) shape for the working end of the receiving tug. Exchange some of the strips for added security (optional) and take care to ensure that the colour patterns remain aligned before resuming weaving.

Finishing the tug:

  • Resume knotting until the length is even on both sides of the junction, then tie a loop knot to secure the ends.
  • Return to the strands of the other tug at the midpoint. Pull on the strands if/as needed to ensure the first half of the tug is snug against the body of the other tug. You don’t want a loose joint or slackness in the loop. Arrange the strands and resume weaving until the length is even on both sides of the junction, then tie a loop knot to secure the ends.
  • Trim ends if/as needed.

Need more details? See our post on DIY double infinity loop dog tug toys for more details and updated instructions on methods for creating a tug toy intersection.

Weaving a crossed X dog tug toy

🚨  Safety first, furfriends! Remember, no matter what a toy is made of or how it’s made, toys are meant for supervised interactive play. Know your dog before giving him or her any new toy. Some dogs try to eat toys or parts (whether bought or handmade) and that’s dangerous. Toys are for playing, and playtime is always safer (and more fun!) with you involved. You can read more in our dog toy safety post, including tips and helpful links for safer playtime. Have fun and play safe!

DIY XO hugs and kisses Valentine's Day dog tug toys

You Might Also Enjoy: