The Dog Log

Flirt Poles – What are they?

This is a bit of fun but how should a flirt pole actually be used?

A flirt pole was described by someone I met in the park as “just a large cat toy”.  Spot on.  It acts in a very similar way.  Cats, like our dogs have a strong drive for moving objects.

Like I always say, every dog is different.  A toy on the end of a pole might drive one dog mad and another dog might just look at you and blink slowly.  In the ‘Flirt Pole’ sketch I show Barney looking at me madly waving it about as if he wasn’t bothered.  In actual fact he was sitting desperately trying to contain himself.  This is one of the great uses of a flirt pole.  If your dog finds it really satisfying to chase a flirt pole then you can use it in a training scenario to train your dog to control the impulse that they feel when they see a moving object.
Don’t go for the goal line of asking your dog to not chase those rabbits on your walk that you don’t see coming.  Do ask him to not chase a flirt pole that is moving ever so slightly in your boring garden and then step by step make the exercises harder.  From the dogs view they get told to play for showing some impulse control. If this game is played often then their impulse control will grow.  Asking your dog to wait will be so well ingrained in their mind that when you need to ask them to control a strong impulse to chase they will have a better chance of being able to resist that urge.

Having said all that its also just a great toy to burn some energy with your pooch! Get out there and have some fun!