How to Make an Origami Nodding Dog

by Ann LaPan
Nodding dogs can sit on a desk or a dashboard.

Nodding dogs can sit on a desk or a dashboard.

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Many types of origami perform some kind of action when they're folded correctly. The origami nodding dog is just one design that can be used as an action toy. Using sharp, precise creases allows the dog's head to nod back and forth, much like other plastic toys. The nodding dog is folded from two pieces of paper. Both the head and the body sections of this model are simple to fold.

Items you will need

  • Two square pieces of paper, equal in size


Step 1

Lay a square piece of paper in front of you with the colored side down.

Step 2

Fold the paper in half, bringing the left edge to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold to form the center line.

Step 3

Fold the top left corner of the paper down and in on a diagonal. What was the top left edge of the paper now rests evenly along the center line. Fold the top right corner of the paper down and in to rest along the center line as well.

Step 4

Fold the bottom edges of the right top corner, which you folded down in the previous step, back up on a diagonal. Fold so the bottom edge of this corner almost lines up with the top right edge of the model, but protrudes slightly past that edge. Fold the bottom edges of the left corner out to the left in the same way. These folds create a small diamond shape at the top center of the model. The two folds you performed stick out slightly over the edges of the model.

Step 5

Fold the bottom edge of the model upward. The bottom edge should come to rest just over the bottom corner of the small diamond shape at the top of the model.

Step 6

Fold the very top corner of the model down on itself, about one-third of the way, so it touches neither of the protruding flaps. This is the dog's nose, so exactly how far you fold it is determined by how large you want the nose to be.

Step 7

Fold the right edges of the model under the model to meet the left edges. You're folding the model in half vertically, but keeping the eyes and nose of the dog on the visible side.


Step 1

Lay a square piece of paper in front of you, color side down. Fold the paper in half vertically and horizontally. First, bring the bottom edge to touch the top edge. Crease and unfold. Then bring the right edge to touch the left edge. Crease and unfold.

Step 2

Fold each corner of the paper in, following the creases you made, so the tip of each corner meets in the very center of the paper.

Step 3

Fold the model in half, bringing the top right edge down diagonally to meet the bottom left edge. Fold the bottom right corner in a little bit to create the dog's tail.

Completing the Nodding Dog

Step 1

Let the body part of the dog open slightly, so it will stand by itself on a flat surface.

Step 2

Slip the head part onto the upper tip of the body part, balancing it.

Step 3

Gently press down on the dog's nose to make it nod.


  • "Practical Origami"; Rick Beech; 2006
  • "Origami Toys That Tumble, Fly and Spin"; Paul Jackson; 2010

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images