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I mentioned I made a flirt pole for Capone to a friend, she ask me why I would use something that encouraged the dog to kill, honestly I wasn't sure how to answer that.
Capone does really kill the lure when he catches it, to the point I worry he will hurt himself, I have to let go of the pole for a few so he stops tugging and shaking it violently.

He does sit and stay and leave it till I say he can have it, its once he catches it, it takes a few good violent shakes and a repeat command to leave it before he does.

So how should I have responded to this, and does it encourage the prey drive.
 

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They already know how to shake and kill, they are terriers, it's instinctive and they love it. And ime, makes no difference in their prey drive. Some of my dogs like the pole, some don't and all have varying amounts of prey drive. I also drop the pole and just let them shake away as a reward. It will take him awhile to figure out the rules, Ripley still tries to jump and get the toy before she's allowed and she's not 100% on dropping but when we first started playing it was almost impossible to even get the toy from her, she'd run away and hang on for dear life but now she will drop it pretty quick and come to me.
 

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I dont think it encourages anything.. it is an exercise tool that plays off of their natural prey drive. Doesnt "teach" them anything or make them anymore prey driven than they already are. Our dogs love it and the house dog isnt any more "aggressive" towards the cat than before he started playing with it..
 

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My dog effectively dismembered a neighbors chicken before we used the list pole heavily lol! They have the instincts and drive, and capabilities to kill right out of the gate, I don't think it ENCOURAGES them, but I think it's a proper outlet for it.
 

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My dog effectively dismembered a neighbors chicken before we used the list pole heavily lol! They have the instincts and drive, and capabilities to kill right out of the gate, I don't think it ENCOURAGES them, but I think it's a proper outlet for it.
Exactly! It doesn't encourage anything. Many people think that tugging with a dog will make them aggressive. Which is of course false, if worked properly you can get a dog to do just about anything for a tug. It can develop a great sit, wait, get it...and so on. Do you believe people when they tell you feeding raw will make your dogs blood thirsty?
 

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My two dogs have such different styles with it, it's hilarious. Seamus is the infantry ground troops. I have a 6 foot pole with a toy, when I swing it around he chases after it, staying on the ground, slobbering, the whole nine yards.
Teaghan is more in the Air Force, like a blue angel. She flies up in the air to get it, spinning and twisting.

Both of them are very good at leaving it when I ask them to; and not playing with it until I give them permission. Same with tugging. My release phrase for the tug (and the lunge line) is "That'll do." They sometimes needs encouragement to drop it, but generally Seamus or Teaghan just drop it and sit, looking at me, waiting for me to restart the game.
I do them one at a time with the lunge line, otherwise I'm afraid they'll get hurt running into each other. With the tug, if I want to really work on impulse control I train them one at a time. If I just want to play with them, I'll take a tug in each hand. I have tugs from a company called "Crash Test Toys", they are faux sheepskin with nylon/bungee handles that are nice and long, about 18".
 

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I don't believe it will teach a dog to kill. Seeing how if the dog doesn't already have a prey drive, they wouldn't careless about it. I have 3 pups.One has a very low prey drive, if the "toy" isn't moving right in front of him (and fairly slowly), he won't chase it. Even then it's more pouncing on it. He prefers searching and digging "prey" out (which I find funny since he's a sighthound, lol). My second boy will chase and pounce, if it's not moving too fast or "flying". His preference is to smack it with his foot, pin it then bite. My girl (who has the highest prey drive) will chase, jump, pounce and dig to get at the "toy". When it comes to real animals, they kind of react the same (the oldest will kill a live animal though not the toy). Blaise will pounce on an animal (usually a lizard or baby mouse/bird), then let it go, nudging it if needed to get it moving until he's bored then snap (no shaking). Scotty will chase it a bit, pounce then shake (not much playing with it from him). Isabella will chase, pounce, release, repeat until she gets bored or the poor thing dies of fright. If the critter makes it "free", Blaise just walks away, Scotty checks to see if he can get it then leaves, Isabella will continue trying to get it until she's tried "all" her option, then will "give up" but will check to make sure it really is "impossible" to get to the critter. So playing with a flirt pole, really depends on your dog's natural reactions. Actually, this play might help keep an animal alive since you should have taught a leave or drop it command which could stop an "attack".
Oh, before anyone gets upset that I allow my pups to "torture" these critters, I do try and get to them as quickly as possible to stop the "fun and games" but sometimes it takes me a bit to get to them (even with voice command).
 
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Gunner is literally OBSESSED with his flirt pole and his prey drive is zero unless you encourage it. He can walk among the chickens peacefully unless you actually direct him to "get it".
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Nero's drop it on the flirt is good, not so much on the springpole lol.
Awesome pic, I just bought a bunch of stuff to make a spring pole... yours looks much more simple, how did you make it?

I am sure the spring pole will be a learning experience for both of us, he probably won't let go too well of it either, I will just wait till he is tired... at least I won't have to worry about him taking out me knees with it.

Its funny my son's pit has zero prey drive, but some how manage to be too curious with a porcupine and got a face and mouthful of quills, poor guy.
 
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the first one is a video if you click it. We used to have one built but it ended up leaning over even with concrete so we recently had to chop down these trees due to disease but they aren't all the way dead so we screwed the spring into that instead.

old pole
 

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the first one is a video if you click it. We used to have one built but it ended up leaning over even with concrete so we recently had to chop down these trees due to disease but they aren't all the way dead so we screwed the spring into that instead.

old pole
just watched the video...awesome! I have seen videos on you tube, the dog hanging a few feet off ground, same place I found how to make one, the only thing I worry about is there knees. I am putting it together tomorrow and hanging it from a huge maple tree
 

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I dont think a flirt pole encourages anything either. I have used a flirt pole and spring pole for many years with multiple dogs and I think its actually the opposite. The whole reason a flirtpole works is that certain dogs naturally have a higher prey drive than others. Using a flirtpole redirects this natural energy into a postive activity leaving the dog happy and exhausted and much less likely to go after animals. In contrast a dog that isn't exercised enough but that has a high prey drive could easily cause problems, injury or even death to other animals. Its a great tool that requires the dog to focus and uses a lot of explosive energy thus tiring them out much more quickly than walking or even running.
 
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