Climbing Rope Dog Harness: How To In Easy Steps (For Beginners)

This blog post will show you how to make a dog harness out of climbing rope. This is an easy way to keep your pup safe in the event that they get loose and start running around! Keep reading below for step-by-step instructions on how to create this DIY project!

Note: If you click some of the links or pictures in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

How Do You Make a Dog Harness Out of Climbing Rope?

Take a good look at the length of rope you’re planning to use, because it’s easy to overlook a part of a rope that’s been frayed. Once you’re sure you’ve got a good one, try these steps:

  1. Untangle the entire rope so it’s one long coil
  2. Make a loose bowline knot up at the top
  3. Pull the rope through
  4. Loop the knot over again
  5. Pull the rope until it makes a loop
  6. Draw a regular knot underneath the loop and pull it through to make it secure
  7. Gently place the loop around your dog’s head
  8. Pull the loose rope around your dog’s back
  9. Position it underneath the remaining slack
  10. Tug until it’s tight but make sure your dog doesn’t show any signs at all of discomfort
  11. You should now have two leads; pull the loose one under the frame you have around your dog
  12. Tug both of these into a single lead behind the back of the loop around your dog’s head
  13. Draw a knot around these two leads to make it easy to walk your dog with
  14. Check to make sure that your dog isn’t in any discomfort, and then make adjustments if he or she is
  15. Walk around an enclosed indoor area for a few moments to make sure that your dog can’t easily get out of the homemade harness

Are Rope Leashes Good?

Rope leashes are great if they’re sized right for the dog and they’re made out of rope that’s going to stand up to a lot of usage. If your dog is a puller, then you may want to pair one with the right kind of harness.

Otherwise, these should usually resist wear and tear much better than conventional flexible leashes do. Those who make their own leashes will want to make sure that they pick out a stronger enough piece of rope or, perhaps preferably, paracord in order to reduce the risk of it ever just breaking apart into countless little strands.

How to Make a Dog Leash Out of Rope

Start with type 1 paracord rope and a swivel eye carabiner if you’re trying to make a leash that’ll rival the kind they kind they have in the pet shops. You’ll then want to try these steps:

  1. Use an existing store-bought lead to compare the length of the paracord to, and cut to the proper length
  2. Double-check the length of the material you have left, end-to-end
  3. Cut away around 1.5cm of the inner core on the end of the line
  4. Twist the ends of the cord so you can fit them into the end cap with pliers after melting them slightly with a lighter
  5. Add super glue to the end caps and apply them to the cord
  6. Twist the top of the cord into a loop
  7. Wrap the neck of this loop with a separate length of rope
  8. Attract the remaining wrappings until the end of the leash is solid
  9. Pull the end of the windings through the loop and make them tight
  10. Cut off any excess from the rope and you should have a handle
  11. Slip the swivel eye hook over the other end of the leash
  12. Fold over a small portion of the remaining paracord and wrap it onto itself with more rope
  13. Continue wrapping until the eye attachment won’t come off
  14. Use additional adhesive to secure all of the folds you’ve made
  15. Attach the eyelet to your dog’s collar indoors to test and see if the leash is stable before using it

Depending on the size of your dog, you may have to try using heavier cord. That being said, it’s not usually advisable to use anything too light.

How Do You Clamp a Rope Together?

Synthetic ropes could be melted together with a little bit of heat and natural ones could be attached using some adhesive. Wrapping them together with an outside piece of rope, however, is usually the best way to attach them in a manner that’s strong enough for your average pooch.

Start by folding a length of rope over onto itself and then begin to wrap a piece of much smaller rope over it to hold the fold in place. You might need a number of rotations to be sure that the rope is completely clamped in place, and you’ll probably want to add some adhesive or other sticky substance when you’re done to hold it there.

A few enterprising dog enthusiasts have used heat shrink tubing and other vinyl or rubber solutions to further solidify their clamps. That’s especially good for anybody who has a bigger pooch who may want to start pulling whenever he or she sees something interesting.

No Time to Make One – Top Pick to Buy

Knot-a-Collar dog rope collars from Ruffwear are made of actual climbing rope, so they’re very close to what many dog enthusiasts have been making at home. Their designers have made sure to use low-profile yet tough 7mm rope that should settle into your dog’s coat comfortably.


  • Comfortable around the neck
  • Readily settles into dog fur
  • Metallic parts are made from strong aluminum
  • Integrated fisherman’s knot is easily adjustable
  • Tag silencer is included to stop your dog from jingling
  • IDs hook onto the collar separately from the leash
  • Visible even in low-light conditions
  • Resists discoloration that normally occurs with time
  • Holds up well against moisture – including dog slobber


  • May get tangled
  • Harder to adjust over time
RUFFWEAR Rope Collar for Dogs, Medium, Pumpkin Orange, Knot-a-Collar
  • COMFORTABLE & VISIBLE: Our low-profile 7mm rope settles comfortably into fur and reduces matting; This climbing-inspired collar features integrated reflectivity for visibility in low-light conditions
  • ADJUSTABLE: Sliding fisherman’s knots allow you to easily adjust the collar to fit; To put on or take off the collar, simply loosen until it’s wide enough to fit over your dog’s head
  • STRONG: Attach your leash to the aluminum V-ring for a secure connection between you and your dog; Try it with our matching Knot-a-Leash (sold separately)
  • CONFIDENT: Never mis-clip again with the separate ID attachment; It ensures they’re always correctly clipped into the strong leash attachment points
  • LESS NOISE: An included silicone tag silencer can be positioned between tags to reduce noise; Ruffwear’s Quick Ring makes it easy to add and remove tags