In this video training tip I am using a flirt pole toy to help build impulse control and focus with my young golden retriever. I have done this type work with a regular toy first, as the flirt pole toys are very high value and I would not start out with the flirt pole. Once my dog can do a sit, down, etc. and can “out” on a regular hand held tug, then I will move to the flirt pole. Dogs love the flirt pole as it simulates prey with it’s movement and the fact that you are not holding onto it. I like the long line on the flirt as I can get the toy away from me, with this ability I can have the toy moving around me while I am doing fronts, finishes, signals, and I can have it follow me on heeling. When my dog ignores the distraction of the flirt, they will be rewarded with the flirt and we engage in play.
This video starts with Sparks performing simple tasks with the flirt, by doing this I am building impulse control, which you must have before you attempt to try more difficult tasks such as signals and heeling. By using the flirt, I am teaching my dog a high level of impulse control and I am also teaching them to focus on me.
I am not going to release my dog to the flirt unless they give me eye contact first. If my dog is fixated on the flirt, he is not going to get it until he acknowledges me first. This is a great way to build a relationship with you and your dog and it keeps your training FUN!
The Shaggy Flirt Pole is on sale till Apr. 12, 2017