The supplies for making a DIY flirt pole are quite easy to find and are also inexpensive. They include PVC pipe cut to desired length, rope, two washers, and a toy to attach to the rope. I pulled up Erie-sisti-Bull's instructions and supply list while at Home Depot and went around the store looking for each item. After cutting the PVC pipe at the cutting station and getting our rope cut by an employee (annnnddd getting in a bit of training with Athena), we were in and out of the store in less than thirty minutes.
The flirt pole was super easy to assemble at home and Athena couldn't wait to find out why we had attached her bunny carcass to the end of the rope. She soon found out the rules of the game in the backyard. Once she mastered the game at home, we took it to the park for even more fun!
Focus, focus, focus:
Before we start a game of "chase the dead bunny," we ask Athena to be in a "sit" or a "down." The game won't begin until she follows this first rule.
Athena isn't allowed to move toward the flirt pole until we say the magic words, which in this case are "get it!"
The funny thing is, Athena is actually more mesmerized by the rope than she is by the actual toy at the end.
Drop it like it's hot!
After Athena has caught her prey, we give her the "drop it" command. After much practice with dropping her tug and toys on command, she now knows that she better spit out whatever's in her mouth when we say the words, or it will go into hiding. She's pretty good about dropping the flirt pole on command, but we won't play with her if she doesn't follow this rule. Not dropping it = bye, bye, flirt pole!
Here's a video of Athena in action (after about 15 minutes of playing with the flirt pole):
So far we've been loving the flirt pole as a different way to exercise Athena. The only thing we've found is that at this point, Athena gets bored of the flirt pole after about 15 minutes (maybe it's because she's so totally exhausted that she can't take much more?!). Apparently it's just not quite as entertaining as her beloved ball. She does get quite the workout with it though, even in our small backyard!
Has your dog ever tried a flirt pole? What has your experience been like with it?