You may have heard of a flirt pole but are unsure of what it is.  What is this tool and how is it used?  Read on to learn more about how a flirt pole might be a great addition to your dog’s training and exercise regimen.

What Is a Flirt Pole?

A flirt pole, in basic terms, is a toy/object attached to a pole or stick via string or rope. It looks very similar to popular cat toys that have feathers and balls attached to the end, only larger.  Flirt poles are great for a variety of reasons.  They allow you to stay in place and move the toy around for your dog to chase – perfect for indoor or outdoor use.  Chasing a flirt pole is rigorous exercise for your dog but with low physical impact for you.    They can help with prey-driven focus, work as a reward, and get out excess energy in a safe, controlled manner. 

The Uses for a Flirt Pole

While this list isn’t exhaustive, there are many great uses for flirt poles. This includes increased focused, getting out energy, and developing instincts.

            Increase Focus: Working on grabbing and releasing the toy, or offering it as a reward during training sessions can help increase focus and self-control behavior. You can use a flirt pole as a reward when training goes right. Or, use it to teach commands such as “take it” and “drop it” or to help your dog learn to wait for their reward.

            Get Out Energy: On rainy days, a flirt pole used indoors can get out excess energy in a relatively small space. So, if your dog isn’t interested in fetch or running on a treadmill, a flirt pole can help. Most dogs enjoy chasing and chewing on things, and the pole encourages those behaviors.  To avoid frustration, be sure to allow your dog to “win” from time to time.

            Develop Instincts: Flirt poles are great for dogs with a high prey-drive to get out energy in a safe and controlled manner. Flirt-poles are often used in lure-coursing. This is a type of exercise that allows hunting dogs to get out energy and chase “prey.” A flirt pole works on a smaller scale, and is used to develop these instincts without using live animals.

Whether you’re just looking for a fun new toy, a way to reinforce a good training session, or to develop your dog’s instincts, flirt poles are a great tool. If you’re curious about how they work, talk with a local trainer or lure-course group for a demonstration.  You can even make a flirt pole on your own at home. Your dog will appreciate the fun new way to play and learn!


All images provided by Creative Commons/Pixabay