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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, 1st the why. I have a small yard front only & Sonic is not yet off-leash ready, so I need some games to play in tight space that will be fun, active & help him burn off energy. Already have both (my flirt pole is homemade with pvc), but he is now tugging with enthusiasm, bouncing around, pulling back, chasing me, mutual fun. Last night I introduced 'sit' for more tug, and that went over real well, nice fast butt plant & begging eyes--game on, so fun happy control is right there with the welcome rowdy.
Soooooo.... what is the flirt pole good for? Should I bother? What will it do that tug wont? It's kinda more equipment than I would like to take on the road, while tugs can be stashed in my belt or bag.
Any thoughts--I'm close to dismantling my flirt pole even though I haven't tried it much yet.
 

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Can drain energy faster than just tug alone due to extra running and jumping if just playing got exercise. Flirt pole is a higher value reward than tug and just more exciting for my guys.

I also am working through impulse control exercises with the flirt pole (play is the reward). My guys are really good with tugs, balls, and other toys. Attached to pole ups the difficulty a lot.

I've used the pole in my classes to introduce a moving distraction to stays and recalls.

I have a kong chase it wand that stays in my training bag. Not sure if it is still a feature as mine is a couple years old, but the pole breaks apart into 2 pieces allowing it to fit in my bag and travel easily.

I also often just tie a tug to the handle of an extra leash (you hold clip end). A rope would work just as well. Either would fit no problem in a training bag.:)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks.
Will give it another try--but I think my yard might be too small, he just doesn't look that interested in things dragged on ropes (but could have issues with the pole itself--may have been hit or shoeed with brooms (3rd world street dog) )
--the tug I have a 3 ft fabric braid (denim & fleece) & he seems to like biting soft fabric things, so maybe with that length it's getting pretty close to flirt anyway?
So far, his fav toys seem to be the fabric, but we are still learning about what he likes (and he is still learning too), I don't think he's had much toy experience.
That kong chase wand looks fabulous...now I'm turning my gears thinking up a diy version, hmmm.
 

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I thought that my boy would LOVE a flirt pole since he love to chase and catch any toy that I move around with my hand, and he loves to play keep away with his toys. He'll grab his toy and wants me to chase him while he runs with it, then I'll get it and run with it while he chases me. Well I was wrong, I started moving the toy around with the flirt pole and he chased it for a minute then refused to chase it anymore. After trying a couple times I took apart the flirt pole and just played our usual games. He does enjoy tug but not quite as much as out keep away games.

You may be able to teach him to enjoy the flirt pole. I never had any success doing so, but with my dog if he decides he isn't going to play with something it doesn't matter how fun I try and make the toy seem, he ain't going to play with it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I thought that my boy would LOVE a flirt pole since he love to chase and catch any toy that I move around with my hand, and he loves to play keep away with his toys. He'll grab his toy and wants me to chase him while he runs with it, then I'll get it and run with it while he chases me. Well I was wrong, I started moving the toy around with the flirt pole and he chased it for a minute then refused to chase it anymore. After trying a couple times I took apart the flirt pole and just played our usual games. He does enjoy tug but not quite as much as out keep away games.

You may be able to teach him to enjoy the flirt pole. I never had any success doing so, but with my dog if he decides he isn't going to play with something it doesn't matter how fun I try and make the toy seem, he ain't going to play with it.
I will still be trying the pole out again, but your experience makes me think of one thing at play (or not at play with the flirt) is that with the tug, and you (or me) running and acting squirrelly, the play is engaging the dog directly with you (or me) and maybe some dogs want the human engagement more than just the moving thingie.
More stuff to think about, whatever floats his boat in the end.
 

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I only like using my flirt pole outside. I feel like it's too big for indoor spaces. I have toys on longer tethers (like 3ft?) that can kind of mimic a flirt pole indoors without the long pole. That might be a good middle ground.
 

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Levi LOVES our flirt pole, but Heidi, who I thought would love the chasing, pouncing, killing aspect of the game, just doesn't. No enthusiasm. She grabs it, because she knows that's what I'm after, but she doesn't care. Much happier with fetch, tug, or a combination.
 
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IME the flirtpole is better for developing prey drive, and as a fast energy drain for a dog that enjoys it. Tug can be done anywhere, any time, and tends to be a good displacement behavior for when the dog is getting overstimulated. As someone else said, flirtpole is less interactive with people vs tug, which may be good if you have a dog who is lacking in confidence, but some dogs like the fight/interaction involved in tug with a person. You can easily get a more "prey-like" behavior from a toy on the flirtpole vs in hand, though a ball or other toy on a rope can get some dogs into prey drive faster too.

When I got Bus, he had (and still does, though you wouldn't know it when he's playing!) sort of a soft temperament, and he wouldn't tug at all. He watched Annie, my other dog, play with the flirtpole and springpole, and learned to use both pretty quickly. Then I eventually started getting involved in those games (grabbing the rope on the spring/flirtpole and giving it a little shake, then letting him win if he kept tugging), and transitioned to regular tug over time. Now he does both, though he prefers to play fetch over the flirtpole and tug :)

Also, both my current dogs only chase/d the flirtpole when there's a ball on it- I usually also put a stuffie or scrap of fabric so they can grip it easily, but they're going for the ball. If he has any high value toy, you could try putting that, but remember to keep the sessions short, as it's a high intensity activity, sort of repetitive activity, which means many dogs will fatigue or get bored quickly.

I like to tie the tug to the springpole with a slip knot, so I can release it to let the dog win, and do the same with the flirtpole by dropping the pole and letting him carry it away, though if your dog isn't keen on the line/pole "following" him, you could tie the same sort of knot to allow winning more easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@busannie Thanks, just read this, but not to late. I only yesterday found a toy that Sonic will chase, a 'no stuffing' long furred 'fox', but very much looks like a squirrel, so I'll be trying it out again. Yay.
 

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I prefer roughhousing and tugging games, but i think it depends on the dog.
Sancho just isn't interested in toys when there's no human to play with.

i also prefer keeping myself involved in his games, because it is good for the relationship.
Since he's grown up, he rarely enjoys playing anyway. prefers contact sleeping or "cleaning" each other or watching "his family" and "his street".
he's a little Blockwart. <_<"
 
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