65 Unique Tug Toy Ideas!

Posted on 03/19/09 20 Comments

Well here it is, our list of weird tug toys suggestions. Thank you to everyone who contributed, we should all be proud! If any of these items spark another idea for any of you, send it along and I will continue to build the master list.

  1. Bungee tugs
  2. Crunch N Tug toy
  3. Your long braided hair (if you have it)
  4. Your hat
  5. Plastic shopping bag
  6. Sheep skin toys
  7. real leather
  8. Bird Feather with or without added scent
  9. Rabbit fur
  10. Deflated soccer ball
  11. Shower puff scrubber
  12. Water bottle (with or without small pebbles inside)
  13. Tug-It! 
  14. A Stick
  15. A crumpled up piece of paper
  16. Your sleeve
  17. Cheap, dollar-store scarves
  18. Towels (tea towel, hand towel)
  19. Your Leash
  20. Flying Disc
  21. Golf Club head cover
  22. Old stirrup leather
  23. Feather duster
  24. Fly Swatter
  25. Shoe laces
  26. Empty toilet paper roll
  27. Empty Paper towel roll
  28. A shovel (ouch!)
  29. Dog Show Ribbons
  30. A Broom or wisk
  31. Hollee roller with a stuffed a rabbit fur mouse rubbed with rat litter 
  32. Hollee roller with a tennis ball
  33. Hollee roller with a Ball with Feet (Cuz)
  34. Hollee roller with a mini flying disc
  35. Hollee roller with a babble ball
  36. Hollee roller with a mouse with a realistic chirp
  37. Dusting Mitt 
  38. Piece of Rope
  39. Vacuum cleaner hose
  40. Winter mittens
  41. Hair scrunchie
  42. Dirty Underwear
  43. Dirty Sock
  44. Pillow case
  45. Well in bed move your hand around under the covers while your dog is on top of the covers (seems like a live animal under cover)
  46. Anything with Fringes on it
  47. Paper cup
  48. Paper plates
  49. Palm Frond
  50. Pantyhose with knots in them
  51. A sock with a tennis ball or squeaky toy stuffed & knotted inside
  52. Tissue paper braided together–let the dog shred the paper afterwards
  53. A tea cozy
  54. Nylon strapping
  55. Cat toys, feather boa on a stick
  56. Smooth items 
  57. Soft fleeces items
  58. anything that makes a ripping sound (like a stufffed animal ripping open)
  59. A branch with leaves on it
  60. A tough cotton table napkin with cheese rolled in the middle the knotted
  61. Plastic bag with food inside
  62. Tugging on food: a raw chicken wing or a steak, then put it in sock, then just use the sock
  63. A previously tugged toy (one with another dog’s saliva on it)
  64. A springy telephone cord
  65. A dust buster (mini vaccum)


  1. Snannon says:
    Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 1:07am

    My Aussiedoodle loves playing tug with pool noodles, old socks with an empty water bottle knotted inside, microfiber blind dusters and anything that’s bigger and longer than he is!
    Can make pool noodle chase toys by running small diameter string or rope through the center & tie a series of knots at the end of the noodle to keep the line from pulling back through.


  2. Sarah Anderson says:
    Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 11:19am

    #42 got me…. Haha, I can only imagine the look on a dogs face, one of pure joy, when the owner brings out a pair of DIRTY UNDERWEAR!! That was great for a laugh today… 🙂


  3. Roz Merryman says:
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 10:19am

    My dog always goes for my hand ???? I’m going to wear a shield in front of my hand ,i guess !


  4. Lisa says:
    Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 5:00am

    My 2yo maltese x poodle loves to tug on anything during play time, but during training and at dog school, she has never shown the least interest. I have tried developing value for a tug toy, purchased real un-washed rabbit fur tugs, a tug- it, put a ball (her fav toy) in a sock, put snacks in a sock, put salami in a sock, acted like a crazy woman- nothing. She simply looks at me then sniffs the ground, and to make matters worse, the next time I ask her to so something, she acts like she did it wrong, cos she got no treat. This has been going on for a year. Just recently, she has decided to show ever decreasing interest in her squeaky ball when at school. What an I doing wrong?????


  5. gentledogs says:
    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 7:15am

    #45 was the first tuggy game that I was able to play with my (formerly) non-tugging terrier. “heeeeeere…..come….the…..BITEY THINGS!” It was terrifically fun and we both still enjoy that game so much.


  6. greatdaneservicedog says:
    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 7:11am

    Hey! Number 45 at our house is known as “blankie monster games”!


  7. teambigdoglittledog says:
    Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 12:38pm

    I have been trying to build tug drive in the little sheltie but she absolutely LOVES to tug on the big sheltie’s tail… maybe I should send his fur away to be spun into yarn and knit a tug toy for the little one???? 🙂


  8. gentledogs says:
    Monday, March 23, 2009 at 11:12pm

    those sacrificial dollar store foam Frizzes kind of…..evolve in to more tuggable, “softer” versions of themselves after awhile. I didn’t expect to use them half as much as I do!
    Also good old braided fleece remnants from the fabric store, sew a pocket on one end to tuck liverwurst in to. Then, don’t forget to wash the darn thing!
    Where’s a visual for tugging with that mini-vac?


  9. Tracy says:
    Monday, March 23, 2009 at 1:30pm

    My BC goes nuts for the dustpan and brush. She also really goes mad with excitment when I change the rubbish bin (trash can??) liner as I have to wave that around to open it up before placing it in the bin. I have used this as a distraction in contact training then allowed her to rip it up if she meets criteria through the distraction.


  10. joyce says:
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 at 12:56pm

    my dog didn’t want to tug initially, but when i took a used white sock, filled it with liverwurst and poked some holes in it, well….she thought it would be just fine to tug on that. now she’ll tug anything presented to her. went from a non tugger to a tugging maniac!


  11. Sarah says:
    Friday, March 20, 2009 at 11:04pm

    I’ve been working on teaching my puppy to switch from a tug to food and back again, and tonight I discovered a real gem: little stick horse I got from the dollar store. She LOVES it. Go figure. I think it reminds her of her arch nemesis the broom…


  12. Angela says:
    Friday, March 20, 2009 at 4:50am

    ..I tried the sardines too! Not as successfull as you, I emptied the tin, poped them in a airtight tug and off down to the field we went, I placed them out of the way – but ready! Could I get Harry to work without rushing madily off to where I had placed the pot!
    So I think I may need someone else ready with the pot so he doesn’t know I’ve got them!????
    Ps. It worked for the BC’s though!
    Love ya blog.


  13. Ann Bridges says:
    Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 10:23pm

    I’m sure someone will thing I’m crazy, but I’ve had about 4 dogs who tugged on my fingers. Now, no the weren’t biting me. I’d present my hand with the first two fingers kinda curled in and they’d hook their canines over them and hold them as I kinda swung them back and forth and after a while we’d be tugging. Even my old Catahoula that didn’t play with anything would play tug like that. I’d always made sure they understood if they bit down it was over. I think one puppy bit once and he realized it’s not fun to make mom scream.


    • Karen Ayers says:
      Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 11:51am

      Oh, Ann, I used to do that with my last dog while we were waiting to go in the ring. I’d hook my finger around his canine and he’d tug away. What a great memory!

      Thanks! Karen


  14. Claire says:
    Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 8:34pm

    Michelle, I use the Caesar trays as a super duper reward for my Border Terrier, Robin- a combo fetch/tug/eat event that you could easily make into a not terribly stinky jackpot

    The Casear trays can be thrown, lid on. Robin will pick up the tray, and when she bites down on it, her teeth pierce the foil top and she gets taste of divine, yummie, goodness (a friend of mine calls it doggie crack- maybe she stole the term from Susan), and I then pick up the tray and play tug with it (some care is required here, as the foil can have sharp edgfes, but so far no problems). I let Robin have a bite and then, if I am at a trial, I toss the rest.


  15. Jeanine C says:
    Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 3:11pm

    lovely padded mailing envelopes, like the ones DVDs are shipped in — they sound great, already been ripped open once and are free (as long as you get people to mail you stuff)


  16. Michelle says:
    Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 10:20am

    Sardine trick – Susan you must have known that I would try the sardines in training. Yesterday I bought some and as I was unloading my groceries my husband asked, What Are Those? I said they are for training ☺, to his reply, Not in This House. Well of course not ☺ So off to the training hall I go, noting that Trudy will not know about the lovely treasure until she does something wonderful. Well wonderful happened and the sardines appeared. She did some awesome crate dives and wonderful A-Frames so she gobbled them up. Now sardines dont come out of the can themselves, and I didnt bring a spoon!! So used my hands to feed her, best way anyway. But gross is purely an understatement. I always bring wet wipes, but sorry, they dont do the job. I got home, scrubbed my hands and they still smelled. And worst of all, I forgot and Trudy gave me a loving smooch and guess what – sardine breath – yeow. So Trudy, you got lucky this time, next time, it may be delicious, but it wont be sardines ☺ Thanks Susan ☺


  17. Jen says:
    Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 7:35am

    My dogs love my old baseball glove or mittens/gloves.


  18. Patti says:
    Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 7:25am

    Love it! My dogs tug on my wrist watch strap!


  19. Jan V says:
    Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 4:53am

    I tried every single one of these yesterday, and NONE of them worked… just kidding 🙂 Thanks to everyone for this exhaustive list.


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