While it may sound like something out of 50 Shades of Gray, I promise it’s not. A flirt pole is a pole with a rope attached on one end that has one of your dog’s favorite toy tied to it. Besides the invaluable KONG dog toy, flirt poles are one of the best and most versatile ‘must-have’ dog toy you can own. Not only is it an outstanding training tool, it is amazing for play and exercise.
For many dogs, a moving toy that they can chase is the ultimate playtime experience. For some dogs, it can simply cause them to zone out into their own fantasy world of chase and catch. If you have a cat, squirrel, or car chaser…you know exactly what I am talking about. The great news is…the flirt pole can quickly become a FAVORITE hit for both you and your dog.
Advantages of a Flirt Pole Dog Exercise Toy
Unlike a “regular” toy, the flirt pole has the ability to combine the benefits and experience of both a tug toy AND a ball toy in one. It allows your dog to engage in a high chase game, experience the maximum prey movement of the toy (“the catch”), and continue to allow you to maintain control of the toy all at the same time. Done properly, this provides you with the ability to teach your dog self-control, improve targeting, and hone striking skills.
A handy tool to teach self-control: If you have a dog that loves the flirt pole, utilize that drive to teach your dog that he only gets to play (chase) when you allow him to. Teach your dog to listen before, during, and after the game. It allows you to control the reward (try this with a cat or squirrel and the results won’t be as predictable) and only ‘reward’ your dog when he has earned it.
What to look for in the best Flirt Pole Toy
One of the most important quality in a flirt pole is determining the proper pole size and rope length. While it can vary depending on the size and athletic ability of the dog, I typically recommend a pole about 48 inches long with a rope length between 12 and 24 inches. A pole that is too short for the experience level or temperament of the dog can cause him to feel inhibited with the handler, or the ideal ‘prey movement’ may not be adequate to satisfy your dog’s interest. If the pole or rope is too long, it can easily become cumbersome and unwieldy for you, making it difficult to achieve ideal ‘prey movement’.
Regardless, I definitely believe anyone can easily build one themselves with a handful of low-cost items! However, for those looking for a simple or quick solution; you can check out Squishy Face Studio for a ready-to-go flirt pole.
Most importantly, feel free to try an assortment of ‘lures’ to see what might work best for your pup! For most, it is often the a tug-style tool; but I have found great successes with other toys such as stuffing free toys, durable plush toys, and leather hide scrap pieces!
VIDEO: Learn more about the flirt pole, plus some tips on how to reinforce good behavior and give your dog a great workout:
Flirt Pole Toy – Lure Ideas
This is a good way to increase your dog’s prey instinct so that they will go after any cat, squirrel or small animal eg. little fluffy dog and kill it. I’m being sarcastic. I’m not adverse to a bit of tug-of-war the way some people are, but this is too much. It teaches dogs to go after things, and that’s not okay.
Or, you can actually use the flirt pole to decrease prey drive with commands such as drop, leave it and wait.