I’ve watched my pooches take down dozens of stuffed animals in a few seconds flat. Seriously – if it squeaks, they will gut it just to find the squeaker, which they could then choke on. The risk, and vet bills, are so not worth it. We always get them at least one safe, new toy to share for Christmas, but I decided to make something special instead this year.
The surprise part of this otherwise-straightforward rope knot toy is the treat inside! My pooches LOVE their Kongs, which are dog toys you can pop little treats into, and are hard for pups to get at. Unfortunately, my pooches have mastered the puzzle that is their Kongs, so they solve them super quick. This rope ball should present a challenge!
105 inches (8.75 yd) of 1 inch-thick cotton rope like this
scissors or knife
2 twist ties
Using two twist ties, secure the ends of your rope from raveling. Then, follow the instructions below for tying it into a monkey’s fist knot. I find the monkey’s fist knot to be challenging, so it might take a couple of tries to get the knot just right. This toy is really just a giant monkey’s fist, but before finishing and tightening the knot at the end, you slip in a dog treat (see step 5).
Collage by me / knot illustration via
For my monkey’s knot toy, I used three wraps per section of the toy pictured in this post, though you can wrap it as many times as you like (or can fit into your knot). Also, for the sake of demonstration, I used nylon rope for the photos since it had a bit of color to it.
When you finish your knot, trim any excess rope and remove the twist ties before giving the toy to your pups! I like to wrap dog presents in plain tissue paper & ribbon, no tape, so they can open them themselves… Nerd. Alert. Sorry.
If your dog struggles getting the treat out, you might want to throw them a bone (sorry again) and replace the treat with a fresh one every once in awhile. Gotta keep ’em entertained!