The Best Dog Rope Toys -
Available In Australia
So simple, but oh so fun! For many dogs, rope toys are irreplaceable. From tug of war to playing fetch, a dog rope is the perfect toy to keep your dog entertained.
Most rope toys look pretty similar, but are they all equally good? Today, we’ll try to answer that question and help you find the best rope toy for your four-legged friend.
We teamed up with veterinarians, canine behaviourists and dog parents to form our very own panel of independent experts. We then spent months researching the best dog rope toys available in Australia, testing out dozens of options with our beloved doggos. Ahead, we share what makes dog rope toys so great, how to find the best one for your pet, and finally, our list of the best dog rope toys in Australia.
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
Mammoth Flossy Chews Three Knot Tug Bone
- Great for tug of war
- Available in 4 different sizes
- Fairly lightweight
Runner Up -
Chewers Knot Rope Toy
- Multiple knots create extra texture
- Available in 3 different sizes
- Thick rope
- Great for tug of war as well as fetch
Third Choice -
KONG Squeakair Ball with Rope
- Squeaker entices play
- The soft tennis ball is gentle on the teeth
- Perfect for playing fetch
- Great for smaller dogs
Are Rope Toys Good for Dogs?
Rope toys are a bit of a controversial item. These toys are ubiquitous and almost every dog seems to love them. However, there is also plenty of anecdotal as well as clinical evidence of the harm an unravelled rope toy can do to a dog (1).
Without going into the gruesome details, let’s just say that a long, thin string (such as those that can come out of rope toys) can get lodged in all sorts of places if swallowed and cause serious problems.
But does this mean rope toys should be avoided at all costs? Not necessarily. However, it is important to use these toys appropriately.
“Rope toys are generally safe for the right types of chewers. If you let your dog chew on a rope toy, never let them do so without observation, never leave it laying around, and always take it away if you see the dog pulling out and eating the strands.” - Dr. Beth Turner, Preventive Vet (2)
It’s best not to treat a rope toy as a chew toy at all. What rope toys are great for are interactive games that involve both the human and the dog, such as the obligatory tug-of-war and fetch.
Depending on the temperament of your dog, you could also let them chew on the rope toy for a while (if they are not doing so destructively), but make sure to always supervise the process and take the toy away if it starts unravelling.
How to Choose the Best Rope Toy
Are some rope toys better than others? And which one does your dog need? Here is everything our team of independent experts say you need to know about the matter:
The most important part of any toy that goes into your dog’s mouth is the material that it’s made of. Of course, we don’t want anything toxic there. Luckily, with rope toys, this is usually not an issue as most are made from natural materials like cotton.
In short, you’ll want to find toys with strands that are not easy to break. Your dog will naturally want to unravel the rope, so it’s best to make the challenge as difficult as possible.
Getting the appropriate size is always important when it comes to dog toys. There are no clear and simple guidelines when it comes to rope toys because they come in very different shapes, but there is one rule of thumb you should always follow: don’t give your dog anything they can easily swallow. That’s just a recipe for disaster. So, if you are getting a rope ball, for example, make sure it’s big enough.
But far more common than balls are the long rope toys that just a piece of rope with knots. In this case, you’ll be concerned with the length and thickness of the rope. Again, there is no exact recipe that works for every dog, but usually bigger is better than smaller. Search for a rope that’s long enough to allow you and your dog to play tug of war comfortably.
Dog rope toys come with all sorts of additional features. Which ones you opt for will depend on the type of game your dog likes to play. For example, rope toys with a tennis ball on the end are great for playing fetch.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a rope toy specifically for tug-of-war, you might want to choose one that has a loop handle on one side - this will make the game much easier for you.
Best Rope Toys for Dogs 2023: Our Top Picks
Ok, enough with the theory! These are the best and the cutest rope toys our panel of independent have found. Out of the several dozen we tested, these are the rope toys we (and our dogs, of course!) loved best.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
This toy from Mammoth is the classic type of rope toy you’ve probably seen in every pet store. It’s simply a length of thick cotton rope tied into three large knots - two at the ends and one in the middle.
You get to choose the length, though, as the Mammoth Flossy Chews toy is available in various sizes. The Medium, for example, is 51 cm long.
The Mammoth Flossy Chews Three Knot Tug Bone being tested by our independent expert team.
This is a quite decent rope toy if you accept it for what it is. Don’t expect this rope to withstand free-range attacks from power chewers - it simply won’t do that. But for an occasional game of tug of war or gentle play under supervision, this toy will work quite well - even for larger dogs like mine, providing that you get the appropriate size.
This toy from Chewers is another classic rope toy. It’s pretty like the one in our number one spot above, except that this one has multiple knots tied in the middle. This gives the toy a bit more texture which could make it more fun for some dogs. It’s also a bit more difficult for dogs to detangle the whole toy and turn it into a horrible mess.
The toy is made from thick cotton rope. Just like most rope toys, this rope is lots of cotton strings twisted together, making it especially similar to our fourth place pick below. This design creates a nice texture for dogs to gnaw on without getting hurt. However, our team of independent experts note that care must be taken not to let the dog destroy the toy which could lead to swallowing isolated strands.
Due to multiple knots, this toy has a bit of weight on it, which I realised makes it a decent candidate for playing fetch, along with the obligatory tug of war.
Some dogs simply love playing with tennis balls and having one of those on a rope brings the game to the next level.
But this is not just any tennis ball, it has been specifically designed for dogs. The texture of these balls is softer, so they are gentle on the dogs’ teeth. The ball also has a squeaker inside, which practically makes this toy a 3-in-1: a rope toy, a tennis ball, and a squeaker toy. And yes, in fact, the KONG Squeakair can perform all these functions.
The KONG Squeakair Ball with Rope being tested by our independent expert team.
I love how the toy works well for playing a combination of fetch and tug of war. The squeaker keeps things interesting for pups who need a bit of extra stimulation, which is my dog's personality to a T.
The main downside of this toy is that it can be quite easily destroyed. Unlike most KONG products, this is not a chew toy, and your dog shouldn’t be left to chew on it without supervision.
This is your classic rope toy, only in giant size. Being 92 cm long with 5 knots distributed along the length of rope, this toy is perfect for playing tug of war with larger dogs.
Our panel of independent experts were also happy to learn that the additional length also makes the toy perfect for multiple dogs. With shorter ropes, it can be hard to get two canines to play together, but this giant option gives them more space for maneuvering.
The BlueIsland Tough Rope Chew Toy for Large Dogs being tested by our independent expert team.
The rope itself is not that different from most rope toys available these days. However, it’s worth saying that the cotton strands are exceptionally thin and strong, similar to our number two choice. This does not make the rope indestructible, but it does make it a bit more resistant to regular wear and tear.
You’ve probably heard of Kong because of their world-famous rubber toys, but as demonstrated with our number three pick, it turns out their rope toys are also great. The Wubba is a rope toy that allowed me to play all the games with my dog.
Tug of war? Check. Fetch? Check. A good old chewing toy? Check. Plus, there is a squeaker inside that will keep your pooch entertained even if they are playing alone.
The great thing about this toy is that it’s made from tightly woven ropes that can withstand quite a lot of chewing. Truth be told, the toy is not indestructible - if you leave a power chewer alone with it, it will be gone within a couple of hours - but it is still longer lasting than most other toys.If unsure which rope toy to get, definitely go with this one. It allow every member of our team of independent experts to try out different types of play with our canine companions.
If you’ve used rope toys with your dog before, you know these don’t last very long. No matter how much you supervise and how gentle your dog is, they inevitably fall apart sooner or later. Buying a new toy every month is quite annoying, so why not buy a larger pack with a bunch of rope toys?
This variety pack from Youngever is one of the best we’ve seen. In short, it’s a collection of all the classic rope toys.
The Youngever Dog Rope Toy 6 Pack XL being tested by our independent expert team.
You get 2 long, thick ropes with 3 knots and a handle for grabbing or biting. These are the biggest toys in the pack, and they are 60 cm long. Besides those, you’ll get another long rope (different design); one simple rope ball for playing fetch; and two different rope balls with handles that can be used both for fetch and tug of war. The diameter of the rope ball is 10 cm while the ball with the rope extension is 25 cm long in total, for example.
Now, this variety pack received some negative reviews from our team of independent expert members which are mostly caused by inappropriate sizing guidelines. This pack is called “XL” and is advertised as being made for large and very large dogs. This could be a bit misleading as the toys aren’t that large. However, the dimensions are clearly shown (as described above) and that’s the size you’ll get. It’s up to you to decide whether the toys are big enough for your dog.
Aussie Dog is an Australian company that focuses on making toys designed to enrich the dogs’ world. Their toys might not be pretty, but they are safe and durable. And more importantly, my dogs find them to be awesome.
The Aussie Dog Home Alone is a tug toy and much more than that. The toy features a bungee cord attached to a hanging strap. From this contraption hangs a rope that finishes with a sturdy, reinforced loop designed to withstand the constant tugging.
The Aussie Dog Home Alone being tested by our independent expert team.
But that’s not all. The Home Alone also features a rubber ball set on the rope - above the loop that your dog will bite. The ball can be filled with kibble too, which will then fall out gradually through the small opening on the bottom side.
While adding the kibble is optional, the toy prepared in this way will activate all your dog’s senses: taste, smell, sound, sight, and touch. That’s one engaging toy!
This is another hangable bungee rope toy like our number seven product choice. It’s quite like the Aussie Dog option we’ve described above, but there are also some key differences.
First, this is a simpler set-up - it’s just a classic rope toy hanging from a bungee cord. The rope toy has a rich texture which can be more enticing for some dogs and keep them tugging and pulling for a long time.
The Loobani Outdoor Bungee Tug Toy being tested by our independent expert team.
The bungee rope is quite easy to set up too, providing that you have an appropriate tree in your garden. Once you do, your dog will probably never want to stop playing with this amazing tug toy. However, the rope is certainly not indestructible and will get apart sooner or later. That’s the main downside of this toy, albeit inevitable.
The best rope toy for your dog? Depends on their playing style. If you are looking for a classic rope toy, our team of independent experts could agree the Mammoth Flossy Chews Three Knot Tug Bone is a great, simple option. It’s quite affordable and it’s available in different sizes so you can find the right one for your pup easily.
On the other hand, if you’d like something that includes a ball too, perhaps consider the KONG Squeakair Ball with Rope.
In essence, what we’re looking for in dog rope toys is a type of rope that’s composed of strong, individual strands. We don’t want strands that will easily break into pieces as this creates a much higher likelihood that your dog will swallow small pieces of rope. Cotton rope is a great option as it is exceptionally strong when compared to various synthetic alternatives.
Yes, these toys are safe if used appropriately. And that means under supervision. You should never let your dog chew on a rope toy unsupervised as that increases the risk of the dog swallowing strands or parts of the rope. That’s something you really don’t want to happen.
In general, rope toys are safe for puppies with the same precautions taken as with adults. However, when playing with young puppies one should keep in mind that their teeth and bones are very gentle. No intense pulling or letting the dog dangle from the rope should happen.
- Hunt, G. B. 2011. “Lineary Foreign Bodies.”. World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings". Retrieved February 12, 2023. https://www.vin.com/apputil/content/defaultadv1.aspx?id=5124316&pid=11343
- Turner, B. October 30, 2016. “How to Choose Safe Dog Chews”. Preventive Vet. Retrieved February 12, 2023. https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/choosing-safe-dog-chew-toys
- Gilette, L. July 30, 2020. “How to Pick the Best Chew Toys for Puppies”. PetMD. Retrieved February 12, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/get-right-puppy-teething-toys-each-puppy-stage