Saturday, 12 September 2015

DIY for Dogs: Square Knot Fleece Loop Tug Toy

DIY for Dogs: Square Knot Fleece Loop Tug Toy

For those of you who loved our square knot fleece dog tug toy (thanks!), you'll be happy to hear that we find ourselves needing to make a new tug toy every month or two, thanks to the destructive dog teamwork of "Sharky McFang" (one of Humphrey's many nicknames) and "Oli the Ripper"!  Oli prefers a nice loop to get his mouth through, so here is a simple little variation for turning a basic square knot fleece dog tug toy into a loop and tail tug toy.

Note: This post has been updated from the original grey loop to show my loop toy made with different fleece in four colours for added clarity in our how-to images.  This is especially helpful for showing the alignment of the colours on the sides as you join the loop and weave into the tug handle.  Hope the changes help! :)

DIY for Dogs: Square Knot Fleece Loop Tug Toy

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

To weave a square knot loop tug toy like the one shown:
  • Cut 4 long narrow strips of fleece. Note: You can scale this toy to suit your dog by altering the width and/or length of the fleece strips. I worked with approximately 4cm x 2m strips for the toy shown in this post. There is no need to be too fussy about straight lines when cutting if you are using scissors.  Align your strips into a single long bundle.
  • Loop and lightly knot your bundle at the point where you plan to eventually close the circle,  leave enough length on the other side to make your tug handle later.   Keep the knot loose - it is temporary.
  • Start on the working side of your temporary knot and begin to weave the fleece strips together using a simple square knot technique (detailed how-to diagram and images available here).  
  • Once you have woven a long enough section that you would like to make your loop, untie your temporary knot and pull the ends together. Try to align like colours.  Tip: You can tie your side colours if needed to close out the appearance of a ring when joining the loop.

DIY for Dogs: Square Knot Fleece Loop Tug Toy

  • Pair your fleece strips so that the eight ends become four pairs, and continue square weaving.
  • Repeat until you are approaching the end (not too close though!)
  • Loop and knot securely, leaving a "tassle" at the end, and trim if/as needed
DIY for Dogs: Square Knot Fleece Loop Tug Toy

Tips and tricks:
  • Square weaving long strips can feel a little confusing at first. You may find it helpful to work with four different colours (and perhaps try making a straight toy first) until you get the hang of things. As an added bonus, that also makes for a pretty result. 
  • You can secure the starting end to something, if you wish. I prefer to be seated with it nipped between my knees. This allows me to freely flip the strands to the front, back over a shoulder, and from side to side.
  • Don't leave yourself short on the tie-off - you'll need more fabric than you might think. 

Remember, this is for supervised interactive play. Know your dog before giving him or her any new toy. Some dogs would rather eat their toys (whether store bought or handmade), and that's dangerous. Toys are for playing and playtime is safer (and more fun!) with you involved.  You can read more about dog toy safety here.

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