7 Best Rope Toys for Tug o’ War in 2023

Dogs are notorious for their love of the classic game of tug o’ war. Even the most docile of pups can find joy in the simple game. What makes it even better is using a durable, high-quality rope toy that leads to hours and hours of endless fun. But why should you invest in a good rope toy over the other hundreds of toys available today?

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For starters, play tug o’ war with a rope toy is a great way to form a bond with your pup. Especially at a young age, playing and interacting with your puppy is so important. When you use a rope toy, you build trust and make your dog happy, just participating.

Rope toys are also excellent for families who have more than one dog. Other toys, such as tennis balls or chew toys, can only be used by one dog at a time. When you have two or more dogs, you can encourage collaborative games by using a rope toy. Not only does this promote bonding between your two pups, but it frees up time for you to get important things done, go to work, or spend time with the family while ensuring your dogs are happy and occupied.

Tug o’ war with a rope toy also provides your dog with a fantastic form of exercise. It takes a lot of energy and effort to keep up a solid game of tug o’ war, so if you have a high-energy dog breed, this might just be the ideal toy for you. It’s a fun alternative to running around the yard or going for a walk, too. Keep reading for more in-depth information about the best rope toys for tug o’ war:

What to Look for in a Good Rope Toy for Tug o’ War

The first thing that any good dog owner should look for when buying any type of toy is the level of safety involved for their pup. Our dogs are part of the family, so it’s crucial that we take caution in the things we buy for them.

Most rope toys are safe for dogs and puppies, as long as they’re well-made. We definitely recommend sticking to all-natural materials as much as possible. For example, you will notice that all of the rope toys on our list are made from all-natural cotton or cotton blends.

The next most important feature to dive into is, of course, durability. Puppies chew to soothe the irritation caused by their teeth growing in, while other older dogs are just heavy chewers in general.

Whichever one fits the description of your dog, you should make sure the rope toy you buy is made with high-quality materials and construction. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself at the pet store in a matter of days looking for something else.

Durability is also important to your dog’s overall health and safety. While in general, rope toys are safe for your dog, you still don’t want them to ingest the product. If a rope toy isn’t durable enough, your dog will quickly tear into it and pull strands of the rope off bit by bit. Depending on your dog’s personality, they may be inclined to consume these strands, which isn’t good for them.

Finally, make sure the rope toy you buy is size appropriate. If you buy an excessively large, 5-knot rope for your 8-week old puppy, she might have a hard time getting her little mouth around it to make it very useful and effective.

Likewise, a large, adult breed could probably easily tear up a small rope designed for miniature breeds and wouldn’t last very long in your household.

Overall Best Rope Toy for Tug o’ War for Dogs

We took the liberty of splitting our list into the best tug o’ war toys for dogs and puppies. Below, you’ll find the best rope toy overall for tug o’ war for dogs, followed by some of our other top choices for adult dogs.

Mammoth Cottonblend 5 Knot Dog Rope Toy

Best Overall

Tough, strong, and big – these are the attributes we like to see in a high-quality rope toy for adult dogs who love to play. And these are also the details we’ve noticed in the Mammoth Cottonblend 5 Knot Rope Toy.

This rope toy is made of superb materials designed to last long. While it is appropriate for any life stage, it’s large size makes it an excellent choice for adult dogs.

Not only is the all-natural cotton makeup durable for hours of playing and chewing, but the rope fibers are actually designed for flossing your dog’s teeth while he plays. So, while he’s happy using up all that energy, you’re happy that his health is getting a little boost. Long-lasting and safe, this Mammoth toy takes the cake.

KONG Tugga Wubba Dog Toy

KONG is a reputable brand in dog toys known for creating durable, long-lasting products, so it’s no surprise that their products would show up on our list.

The Tugga Wubba dog toy puts a fun twist on the classic rope toy, featuring a tightly wound rope in the middle and several fun tails on either end. Made for large adult dogs, this toy is perfect for tug o’ war with its durable, braided cotton.

The overall design of the Tugga Wubba is versatile in that you can throw it as a fetching toy or play tug o’ war – whichever your dog is in the mood for. The fabric is reinforced for extended use, comes in three fun colors, and even works to clean teeth during playtime.

Booda Multi-Color 2 Knot Rope Dog Toy

When in doubt, stick to the classics. The Booda 2 Knot Rope Dog Toy features a very classic rope toy design with a knot on either end that promotes interactive, tug o’ war playtime between your pets.

While the varying bright colors give the toy a fun twist, it’s the high-quality materials that will make your dog happy. The cotton blend strands are tightly intertwined to keep playtime going for hours on end.

Plus, like with some of the other products we’ve talked about, the cotton strands are super helpful in flossing your dog’s teeth and maintaining dental health – and he won’t even notice the difference.

This toy comes in different sizes, and you can wash it in your washing machine for easy clean-up.

Frisco Rope with 5 Knots Dog Toy

The Frisco Rope with 5 Knots Dog Toy offers endless amounts of fun for your dog, from indoor tugs in the living room to outdoor play with their best dog friends.

The cotton-poly blend is perfectly safe and sturdy for medium to large adult breeds, and the addition of five knots adds to the energy and excitement of playtime.

Since the toy is designed to be oversized, your dog will have a blast getting his teeth around all the knots and twists. Plus, you’ll have fun watching him try to figure it out. Its length is great for intensive games of tug o’ war, and the knots make it easy to grip for both you and your dog.

Overall Best Rope Toy for Tug o’ War for Puppies

Puppies have special needs of their own. For that reason, we’re presenting you with our overall best choice for puppies, followed by a couple of other excellent products.

KONG Puppy Goodie Bone with Rope Dog Toy

This two-for-one deal is one that will get your puppies tail wagging. The KONG Puppy Goodie Bone with Rope dog toy is perfect for puppies because it deals with two of their most prominent attributes: teething and high energy.

While traditional rope toys are fantastic for tug o’ war and playing for hours on end, this KONG toy also offers the attached puppy Goodie Bone to help relieve teething pains. Not only can your pup chew on the rubber bone, but you can also fill it with treats for extra excitement and reward.

When it’s time for tug o’ war, you can easily grasp the bone end while your puppy takes hold of the durable, textured rope.

Mammoth Bone with Cloth Rope for Dogs

Suitable for both puppies and adults, the Mammoth Bone with Cloth Rope toy is excellent for everyday play, tug o’ war games, and even fetch.

We love this toy for a puppy because of the added feature of the rubber bone in the middle of the rope. This component serves as a fantastic tool for owners of teething puppies. When playtime has settled down, your little one can chew away and soothe irritated gums.

Meanwhile, the sturdy cotton rope is perfect for tug o’ war, interwoven for superior durability. The knots on either end give both you and the dogs a good grip, setting you up for some quality fun and exercise.

Mammoth Monkey Fist Bar Dog Toy

Whether your puppy is going through his teething phase or he’s just a really strong chewer, the Mammoth Monkey Fist Bar Dog Toy is the perfect rope toy for both of you.

The standard design of a two-knot rope toy meets the durability of the monkey fist knot in this toy, offering classic tug o’ war play along with high-quality chewing resistance. The 100% all-natural cotton is perfectly safe for your puppy and offers long-lasting use.

As a plus, while your puppy plays, he won’t even notice he’s getting some great health benefits. Not only is he working off all that natural puppy energy, but he’s flossing his teeth along the way with the rope fibers. That’s a solid deal that any pet owner can get on board with!

Tips for Playing with Your Rope Toy

Tug o’ war with a rope toy can be a wonderful bonding experience between you and your dog, but it can quickly get out of hand. Use these tips to make the most of your dog’s rope toy for safe and quality fun.

  1.  Establish game “rules” early on: i.e., your dog must sit first, she must wait until you say she can grab onto the rope, she must let go when you say “drop,” etc.
  2. Immediately discourage contact with human skin, even if it’s an accident, to prevent accidental biting.
  3. Split tug o’ war up into intervals to avoid escalation; play for 20 or 30 seconds, then pause and start again.
  4. Don’t let your dog grab the middle of the rope – ends only.
  5. Use verbal encouragement to praise good playing and get your pup excited!

Following the above tips can provide fun, structure, and even discipline in your dog’s life, maintaining a safe environment for both you and your pup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning is the best way to ensure your dog has everything he needs to be happy, safe, and healthy. These frequently asked questions can help you learn a little more about rope toys and playing with your dog.

Does tug o’ war encourage aggression in dogs?

While some dog owners have been led to believe that playing tug o’ war increases aggression in dogs, scientists and animal experts have proven this notion to be false. In fact, any aggression seen during a game of tug o’ war, such as a snap at your hand, has more to do with the owner and how the rules have been established than it does with the actual game.

Is tug o’ war good for my dog?

If you’ve ever played a game of tug o’ war with any dog, you have probably noticed that they enjoy it and always want to play more. The game is great for establishing bonds between pets and owners, encouraging play between two dogs, and even learning new rules and boundaries. It’s also excellent for burning energy, and some rope toys double as awesome chew toys for teething puppies. Dogs are known to get both physical and mental stimulation from the game.

How important are boundaries when playing tug o’ war?

While it may seem overkill to have tons of rules and regulations during playtime with your puppy, it’s vital to their overall behavior and development. Without boundaries, your dog can quickly get over-excited, and someone could get hurt – even if it’s an accident. You should determine your rules ahead of time and enforce them every time you play the game with your pup. This will establish you as the leader, and will also promote consistency. Try rules such as requiring your dog to sit before the game starts. Don’t let your dog pick up his end of the rope until you have your end, and you say it’s okay. Make sure he knows when to drop the rope, such as when you say “drop” or “out.”


The products we’ve talked about today include some of the most highly-rated brands and items on the market, making them excellent rope toy choices for you and your dog. As highly durable, affordable, and pet-friendly options, they’re sure to make playtime fun, safe, and healthy for everyone involved.

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