My dogs love playing tug of war with me.  It’s a great way to bond or get them revved up for agility.

There are a variety of pull toys on the market, but I thought it would be fun to create some homemade Valentine’s Day themed pull toys from scratch. These toys are easy to make and add a personal flair to your dog’s toy box.

In this post, I’ll guide you through the process in a step-by step-tutorial.

First, you’ll need to stop by a fabric store and pick up three fleece fabrics of your choice. I bought a 1/2 yard of each, which is enough to make four pull toys.

fabric-dog-pull-toy

Lay your fabric length-wise and measure about 4-5 inches. Cut your strip. Repeat with all three fabrics.

marking-fabric-dog-pull-toy

This is what your fabric strips will look like when you’re finished cutting.

cut-fabric-dog-pull-toy

Start by tying the three fabrics in a knot with about 5 inches to spare on the end.

knot-dog-pull-toy

Now the fun starts. Start braiding the fabrics.

dog-pull-toy-braiding

Keep on braiding until you get about 7 inches from the end and tie in a knot again (the idea is that you want about 5 inches hanging loose on the end again, so the extra 2 inches gives you some space to tie the knot). I like to tie two pieces in a knot and then add the third in a separate knot, but you can use whatever type of knot-tying technique that is easiest and most attractive to you.

Tie a knot or two (or three) along the braided area of the toy to give your dog something to hold onto while they’re tugging.

dog-pull-toy-knot

That’s it! This whole process took me about 15 minutes per pull toy. Here is the finished product.

finished-dog-pull-toy

Now it’s time to play with your dogs! (Sorry for the blurry image – there was too much action!)

dog-playing-pull-toy

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