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 Shaggy Dog

Shaggy Dog

Description:   The Shaggy Dog features the use of "Fur Yarn" to make the curly coat. You can also use twist style Macrame cord for the fur, if you can't find the yarn in your area.   The fur is arranged in two layers to form the head and short body. 

For a decoration, use a foam ball.  When making this design as a toy, use a sock filled with stuffing to form the base, making it as round as possible.

The nose and ears are made with a spiral design, which is the most challenging part of this Macrame Project.  For that reason, this project is rated moderate, but if you have experience, this animal decoration will be easy for you to make. 

Beginners should practice all the knots before making this design.

Supplies Needed:

  • 6mm Cord Material
  • 2mm cord material for ears and nose
  • One Ball of Fur Yarn (10 yards or more)
  • Two animal eyes (preferably with stems)
  • 16mm Barrel bead for nose
  • 6-inch Foam Ball (or a stuffed sock)
  • One 3-inch ring
  • Project Board and pins
  • Tacky Glue (or similar product)

Knots Used:

Lanyard Knot Star

Step 1:  To mount the cords for the Shaggy Dog, you first make a Lanyard knot with 4 cords, which looks like a star with 8 segments:


Cut 4 cords, each 60 inches long. Arrange two in an X shape (diagonal), securing them at the center. 

Place the other two on top, so one runs top to bottom and the other side to side (+ shape).  Match up the centers and secure all 4 cords with one pin.


Mentally number the 8 segments as "cords 1 - 8", beginning with the lower diagonal segment on the left. 

Move cord 1 to the right, placing it on top of cord 2.  Secure it in the curved position shown.

Cord 2
< Fold cord 2 over cords 1 and 3.

Fold cord 3 over cords 2 and 4. >

Cord 3

To create the rest of the Lanyard Knot for the Shaggy Dog, you pass each cord over the one before it, as well as the next one. 

Stop after you have moved cord 7 over cord 8.

Cord 8

Fold cord 8 over cord 7. 

Pass it over - under cord 1, in the area where it curves.

Gradually Tighten

Tighten the Lanyard Knot slowly and gradually, by pulling on each end. 

Remove all the slack so it's as small as possible.


Attach the Lanyard Knot to the top of the foam ball with glue.  Arrange the cords as shown, in four groups of two cords.

Secure it with a pin while the glue dries.


The Nose

Step 2:  The nose for your Shaggy Dog is made with Double Half Hitches arranged in a spiral design. It's attached to the Lanyard Knot.

First 3 Cords

Cut 3 cords, each 36 inches long (2mm material).  Place them through the bead for the nose, and slide the bead to the center of the cords.  Secure it on both sides.

Arrange the cords vertically.  The one furthest to the left will be the holding cord. Move it right, placing it on top of the two closest to it.

Half Hitch

Attach the two working cords (middle and right) to the holding cord with Double Half Hitches.

Since you move left to right, the loops are made in a counter-clockwise direction. 

Tighten the knots firmly so they rest next to the bead  (see next image).

New Cord

There is a large gap between the two cords you just attached and the three on the other side of the bead.
So you must add a new cord to fill that space.

Cut two cords 20 inches long.  Fold one in half and place it on top of the holding cord, with the ends heading towards the back of your board.

Reverse Larks Head

To complete the reverse Larks Head knot, move the ends of the new cord under the holding cord, pulling them toward you.

Pass them over the folded portion.  Match the ends and tighten firmly.

Half Hitches

Since the gap is so large in row 1, you will need to add Half Hitches with both halves of the new cord.

Turn the board so you are working on the other side of the bead.  Attach all three cords to the holding cord with DHH.

Add Cord

Turn the board again, to the original position. Add the second 20-inch cord with a reverse Larks Head plus a Half Hitch with each end.

This will rest on the left side of the bead, covering the gap on that side.

Second Row

Make the second row by attaching all the working cords to the holding cord with DHH (clockwise circle).

Cut and add 3 new
18-inch cords to fill in the gaps.  Attach them to the holding cord with reverse Larks Head knots only (No extra half hitches)

You should have 16 cords when you are through (includes holding cord). 


Tie 3 more rows of DHH (total of 5) working in a circle.

Do not add any more cords.

Tie an Overhand Knot with the holding cord, so it rests next to the last DHH tied.

Verify that the Lanyard knot is attached to the foam ball, and remove any pins.  Place the nose around the Lanyard knot to make sure it fits.  Stretch the nose slightly if needed.

The last row of DHH should rest as close to the surface of the ball as possible.

Attach Nose

Remove the nose, apply glue, and then put it back into place.  Temporarily secure it with pins while the glue dries.

Locate the 4 pairs of 6mm cords coming from the Lanyard knot.  Arrange two nose cords on either side of each pair.


Flip the 6mm cords out of the way, and tie 2 of the nose cords together, so the knot will rest under the 6mm cords. Repeat with the other two nose cords.

Repeat this with the other cords coming from the Lanyard knot.

Trim the nose cords (2mm) to approximately 1/2-inch. 

Do not cut the 6mm cords, as they will be used to create the net design around the ball.  The fur for the Shaggy Dog is attached to the net.


Net Design

Step 3:  To create the net design surrounding the ball, you must first add some cords to those already present. 

Cut four cords of 6mm material, each 45 inches long.  These are considered "new" cords.

New Cord
<< Place one of them under a set of two cords, balance it, and secure it to the ball.

Tie a Square Knot with the two halves of the NEW cord.  Those already present are fillers. >>
Square Knot

Add a new cord the same way, onto each of the remaining 3 pairs coming from under the nose of the Shaggy Dog.

These four Square Knots are considered the first row of the net design.


Mentally number the cords coming from two SK (1 - 4 for each knot).

Use cords 3 - 4 from the left knot with 1 - 2 from the right knot, to tie a SK for the second row (alternate).  It should rest close to the SK in row 1.

Repeat this process with the remaining cords to complete row 2. 


Row 3
<< For row 3, alternate again and tie one ASK with each group of four cords.

Tighten the knots they rest 1-inch below those in row 2. >>


Tie at least 2 more rows of ASK to cover the ball of the Shaggy Dog. Alternate the cords each time.  The rows should be around 1-inch apart, with the last row about 1-inch from the bottom.    

You can change the spacing as needed, but make sure the net fits snugly around the ball.


Place the ring on the bottom surface of the ball, positioning it so the ball does not tip over.  Once you have the right placement, slide 4 cords through the ring.

Attach them with Double Half Hitches. 

Repeat with the remaining cords.


Eyes and Ears


Step 4:  Place the eyes for the Shaggy Dog between rows 2 and 3, making sure there is equal distance between them and the nose.

For eyes that have stems, cut a small hole in the ball, add glue, and place the stem inside.

For flat back eyes, apply glue and place them on the surface of the ball.

Step 5: The ears for the Shaggy Dog are made with a circular Spiral Design.  These can be changed if you prefer a different shape.

Cut 3 cords, each at least 24 inches long

Secure one to your board horizontally, to be used as a holding cord.

First 2 Cords

Attach a working cord 6 inches from the right end of the holding cord, with a reverse Larks Head knot.  The ends should be heading toward the back of your board.

Attach another working cord to the left of the first, sliding it so the two cords rest close together.  The ends should be heading towards the front of your board.


Curve the long portion of the holding cord to the right, so it rests below the 6-inch portion.

Attach the lower working cords (near front of board) to the holding cord with DHH.  Slide these knots close to the ones above them, forming the curved angle.

Turn the entire board around.  Position the long portion of the holding cord over the second set of working cords (top pair), and then attach them to it.


Turn the board back to its original position, with the 6-inch portion of the holding cord on the left. 

Attach the long portion of the holding cord to the short portion, with a DHH.  This completes the first row.

Design Tip:  When making the spiral ears for the Shaggy Dog, each row ends with the step above, which is to attach the long portion of the holding cord to the short portion.  

The short portion should always be on the left prior to starting the next row.

Row 2

To start the 2nd row, move the long portion of the holding cord to the right.  Attach the lower working cords to it with DHH.

Add a Cord

Cut 2 cords, at least 18 inches long. 

Attach one to the long portion of the holding cord, with a reverse Larks Head knot.

Then tie a Half Hitch with each end. 

Next Two

Turn the ear so the cord you just added is on the left.

Attach the next two working cords to the holding cord with DHH.

Add Cord

Add the second 18-inch cord you cut earlier, attaching it to the holding cord with a reverse Larks Head. 

Use each end to tie a Half Hitch.

Holding Cord

Finish the second row by attaching the long portion of the holding cord to the 6-inch portion.

For the third row, repeat the same process, adding cords to fill in spaces. 

Attach the new ones with ONLY the reverse Larks Head knots.  You do not need the extra Half Hitches, since the spaces are smaller.

Tie a final row without adding any new cords.


Trim and unravel the working cords.  Do not cut the two ends of the holding cord, since they are used to attach the ears to the Shaggy Dog.

Make a circle with the fur yarn and attach it to the back of the ear with glue.

Step 6:  Repeat Step 5 to create another ear for the Shaggy Dog.


Step 7: Place one ear in front of the Square knot just behind the eye, and slide one of the holding cords from the ear under two cords in that area.

Tie both holding cords together with an Overhand knot to secure it.  Trim off the excess material.

Repeat with the second ear.


Add the Fur

Slide one 5-inch piece of fur yarn under one portion of the net surrounding the ball. Tie the two ends together with an Overhand knot to secure the yarn. 

Repeat this process until the Shaggy Dog is completely covered.

Attach all the fur before doing any trimming.


Shaggy Dog Haircut: The area between the eyes should be very short.

The area between the ears and just below the nose is one layer, representing the head.  Trim that area so it's shorter and stands out.

The second layer is the bottom as well as the back of the ball, which should be longer. 

In the center back, keep one piece long for the tail.


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