Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Edi & Tess's Favorite Things: The Flirt Pole

With the warm weather we had this weekend, we found ourselves ouside doing one of the pooches favorite things...THE FLIRT POLE!

When we first got Ed, he was impossible to wear out.  A regular morning walk did next to nothing for his energy level.  A looong walk would give us about 15 minutes before he was back at it.
Since becoming a pitbull owner in 2010, I’ve scoured the internet for bits of insight.  One of my favorite go-to sights quickly became Bad Rap.  They have a ton of owner info in their website’s resource section and everyday insights on their blog and Barn Blog.
I found this info about my soon-to-be lifesaver last winter.  As soon as the warm weather rolled around, I found myself at the local hardware store purchasing PVC pipe and a sturdy rope.
Within about 15 minutes (part of which was cutting the PVC down to size), we had ourselves a flirt pole! 
 Don’t mind it’s raggedness – this flirt pole has seen over a year of intense action!

To make ours, I totally just eyeballed everything and it worked out great. 

Materials (approximate):
  • 1-inch PVC pipe with a wall thickness of 1/8-inch, cut to 4-feet long
  • 8-feet of rope, plus more for knots and loop
  • Washer - Optional (should be wider than the PVC pipe with a hole about the size of rope diameter)
  • Sturdy chew/tug toy (we used Kong Tugga Wubba and it's lasted really well)
1. Thread rope through the PVC pipe.

2. Add washer (to make sure the knot doesn't slide through the pipe) and tie a thick knot in the end of the rope.

3. Tie tug toy to other end.
Yes - The Wubba bit the dust shortly after this shot,
but we tied the carcass to end and it works just as well

Before using the flirt pole, we made sure the pooches were solid with "stay/wait", "leave it", "take it", and "drop it."  We started this off with one pooch at time until we were sure that Edison could handle the rules (plus, Tess had no interest until she saw how much fun Ed had).  

We put Ed in a "down wait" and made sure he was focused on us. Then we gave him the command to “take it.”  We let him run for a few rounds before letting him catch it.  At first we didn’t let him tug, but rather had to “drop it” immediately.  

Once Ed got the hang of the game and the rules, we added Tess and let them tug on it a bit before giving them the “drop it.” 

The flirt pole is a really great way to solidify command response.  In the throes of excitement, the pooches learn to listen to our commands.  This creates a more solid response in times when really needed.  If at any point they fail to listen, it's game over.  The flirt pole goes away.  Even if only for a few minutes, we still go through the routine of putting it away in the garage. 

I just recently found this post from notesfromadogwalker where she suggests dressing up your flirt pole with colored tape.  This will happen.

The pooches have so, so much fun playing with their flirt pole together.

And what we love best?  Our tired dogs.

Do you and your pups play flirt pole?  What's your go-to game on a nice day?


  1. We love our flirt pole! Although, our dogs still need some work with "drop it"

    1. Definitely the hardest - especially once the puppies get really rev'd up!

  2. Yes! We just won a Squishy Face Studios flirt pole from And Foster Makes Five! Nola LOVES it.

    1. Nice! Did you try the one that goes around the tree yet? That one looked so interesting!

  3. Great game! I think Boomer and Dottie might need one!

    1. Yes! I think they'll thank you for it. Let us know if you end up making one.

  4. I'd be curious if my kiddos would like this...they don't have very high drive for play like fetch or anything real athletic but it'd be worth a try. Madden would LOVE it, that I can guarantee. She loves ALL things play from fetch, to swimming, to tug, to chase so I really should invest in one!

    1. I never would have made one for Tess - she has no drive. But Edison loooves it! And Tess has gotten in on the action after seeing how much fun Edi has!