To show you how to make a loop dog tug toy, we’re making a whole set of colourful simple loop tug toys, inspired by the Olympic rings. After catching the spirit with our gold medal treats and medal tug toys, I simply couldn’t resist. Woofs! Here are the DIY details for forming woven fleece dog tug toys into simple loops as well as options for creating other loop tug toy styles.
Does Dog Toy Colour Matter?
Dog Vision Colour and Contrast
Contrary to popular myth, dogs aren’t colour blind. They just see colours, contrast, and more quite differently than people. Check out our post about the differences between how dogs see things vs. how humans see things for details and examples.
Blue and yellow are the two true colours for a typical dog’s vision. We’ve even used those with black and white for maximum colour and contrast high visibility dog tug toy. In terms of our rings, the blue, yellow, and black are distinct shades to the dogs, but the red and the green are a similar shade of muddy greige. Of course, all my boys really care about is the fun!
Going Loopy for Loops
To make a basic loop toy, all you need to do is join the ends of a straight woven fleece tug toy. The fleece is pliable enough that the stick shaped tug will bend and form a loop. You can simply tie the ends together to secure, but joining together all those strips in one knot may require a bulkier end knot than you’d like for your toy. See our post on end knots for DIY dog tug toys for knotting options and tips.
The loops we’re going to show you in the post below use a pass-through before knotting to merge the ends with less bulk and two knotted tassel ends. They’re Humphrey’s favourite part of a tug toy, so this give him double the enjoyment.
Other Styles of Looped Dog Tug Toys
Closed Loops (Circles) Without Tails – You can close the loop and conceal the loose ends within the tug to create a closed circle without a readily visible connection, if you wish. See our Valentine’s day XO dog tug toys or Christmas wreath dog tug toy for examples and detailed instructions using this method.
Basic Loops with a Single Tail – You can easily have a tail instead of two knots by working as above, but leaving extra loose strips at your starting point. When you have enough for a loop, untie the knot and join the strips into four pairs of two at the closure point of your loop (take care to align colours – tie an extra knot if needed), then weave the tail until you approach the end for tie off. See our loop and tail DIY tug toy post for detailed instructions.
Basic Loops with Multiple Tails – Two tails can be easily made by weaving the ends separately instead. The longer the strips, the longer the tails. You can also merge tugs for as many tails as you’d like.
Double (Infinity) Loop Tug Toys – Instead of leaving tails, two tugs can be intersected at the midpoint and the then closed at the ends to create double loop toys. See our DIY double (infinity) loop dog tug toys for detailed instructions using this method.
Getting Creative and Having Fun – You can also come at it from a totally different approach too, of course! There are many ways to join and loop tugs. Did you see the combo double loop and tug toy that I made when Humphrey and puppy pal Cooper started playmates together? Crazy fun!
How to Make a Simple Single Loop Dog Tug Toy
If this is your first tug toy DIY attempt, you might find it helpful to you might like to try making a basic straight toy or two (square or spiral) first before you start joining and pairing ends for loops. The loop toys pictured here use a simple square knot weaving pattern. The repeating pattern makes it an easy technique for weaving projects. Check out our simple spiral DIY dog tug toys for an easy alternative weaving pattern.
Relax and try to have fun with your toy project. Remember, your dog won’t be judging his/her new awesome super fun play toy on looks. There is no right or wrong way to make your toys as long as they are secure and you are playing safely together – looks are secondary to fun (and safety, of course). Straight tug toys are the easiest place to start and once you have the hand of a basic weave you can try some of our “fancier” ideas or experiment with ideas of your own. If you’re making toys, don’t be shy to share with us on social media – we’d love to see them!
Preparing the Materials
To make a similar toy, you will need:
- Polar fleece or alternate fabric
To weave a loop tug toy as shown, clean fabric is cut into 4 long narrow strips. You can scale the toy to suit your dog and your materials by altering the width and/or length of the fleece strips. I’ve made many different shapes and sizes over the years. Fortunately, when making a tug with fleece there is also no need to be too fussy about straight lines when cutting. Yay!
Weaving long strips can feel a little confusing at first. You may find it helpful to work with four different colours until you get the hang of things. As a bonus, it also makes for a pretty result. My loops are each made with four strands of the same colour, with the colours chosen for each Olympic ring inspired tug toy.
Weaving the Loop Tug Toy
Starting the weave:
- Align your strips into a single long bundle.
- Tie a starting knot near one end of your strands.
You can use any knots you wish for the start/finish, but a basic “simple” or “overhand” knot (loop around self and pull end through until tight) is my personal preference. Gather the ends together into a single bunch, loop around the bunch as close as you can to the end of your weave, pass the free ends through the loop, and pull tight. This give you a nice tidy and secure end. If you are doing two-ended tug, like this one, you can also start with that style of knot, so it matches up nicely. See our post on end knots for DIY dog tug toys for knotting options and tips.
Weaving the body of the tug:
- Weave using your chosen method. See our square knot tug toy or spiral tug toys for instructions, weaving pattern diagrams, and step-by-step images for weaving.
- Repeat the steps until you start to approach the end of your strips. Don’t leave yourself short on the tie-off – you’ll need more fabric than you might think.
Closing the loop and finishing the tug:
- Close the loop near your starting knot by pulling the loose ends through the strand at slightly different points just below the starting knot.
- Tie a basic loop knot to finish the ends and secure the loop.
- Trim the ends to even things up if/as you wish.
Additional Information and Tug Toy Tips
Need a hand getting started? Troubleshooting a pattern error or problem? In addition to the detailed square and spiral instruction posts linked above, helpful information is also available in our tug toy FAQs, tips, and troubleshooting mini-series:
- Choosing (and Using) Fleece for DIY Dog Toys
- Common Pattern Problems and Weaving Errors or Issues
- End Knots for Starting and Finishing Fleece Tug Toys
- Tug Toy Strips and Finished Toy Size
Remember, your dog isn’t judging on looks. Just fun! I’m sure they think you’re the gold medal human and champion of their world no matter what. Woofs!
🚨 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!