THE BENEFITS OF TEACHING YOUR DOG THE FLIRT POLE
Promotes physical activity, mental stimulation and, most importantly, engagement.
It’s way more work for your dog than you, so it’s a wonderful way to expend energy without feeling like you ran a marathon yourself.
Great for small areas, or when the weather does not allow you to do other activities It improves coordination, for both you and your dog. As you play, you probably have to keep evolving your “moves” as your dog learns to outmaneuver your old ones.
You can use it to teach impulse control.
Once your dog is invested in the game, you can insert pauses where you practice waits and/or stays, or even other obedience components.I always have the dog sit before saying break and then releasing the flirt pole. As you know the drop it command gets it out of their mouth and as soon as they release I say yes, then treat! Then we have a “Sit” and then say “break” and the game starts again.
The dog gets to chase something at high speed but also stays close to you. This allows your dog to do “dog stuff” that’s right in their wheelhouse and still have a productive time with you.
Swing around and drag the toy lure on the ground. This simulates an animal running, which will trigger chase-drive with your dog.
Snap or flick the pole to cause your toy lure to change direction suddenly. If you time this right—right at the instant your dog would’ve grabbed it—this can ramp up their drive (we do the same move with our food rewards, sometimes!)
Swinging or flicking the pole higher in the air entices your dog to jump and catch the toy.
IMPORTANT: This is not a game of “Keep Away.” Your dog must be allowed to catch the toy once in a while. This keeps them interested and avoids a build up of frustration. If they get too frustrated they’ll bail out and lose interest in the game.
Play tug with the toy lure once your dog has caught it. This is an opportunity to teach “Drop It” and, later, to insert those obedience pieces mentioned above.
OTHER GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS
As with all activities with your dog, make sure to have a clear beginning and an end. Call your dog into the game, and then you decide when the game is over; don’t wait for your dog to tire out or lose interest. This preserves the integrity of your time together and tells your dog when they can put their attention into something else.
Also, don’t let your dog/s have their interactive toys when you’re not on the other end. We always recommend that interactive toys are restricted access. This keeps your dog from destroying them, keeps them from getting possessive with them, and keeps them from learning how to satisfy themselves on a toy without you (in which case, what would they need you for?). So, once your game is over, the pole AND the toy lure get put away. Our friend Ian has a great Kong video and a Great 4 Types of Toys Video on You Tube please watch it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ht8ncX4Kq7M
Rotate through your toy lures to keep things novel. The toys will probably also get tattered and dirty after a bit and require replacing anyways.
I hope this was helpful for you, and that you and your dog have a lot of fun with this! A flirt pole is a great piece to have around.