Tips for increasing your dog’s interest in the flirt pole

If you missed the article on how to build your own flirt pole, you may want to check out this article first.


While most dogs chase the lure on the flirt pole immediately, other dogs may need some additional motivation.

Dogs look at toys the way wolves look at their prey. This is why they’re naturally drawn to toys that taste like food, make noise, or can be torn apart.

Three ways to increase your dogs interest in the flirt pole:

1.) Use a dog toy that squeaks

One theory is that the squeaky sound resembles the noise that a frightened or injured prey would make, appealing your dog’s hunting instincts. By using a toy that simulates prey, it will increase your dog’s natural prey drive.

2.) Use a piece of cow hide

Dogs are naturally drawn to the scent and taste of cow hides.

You can purchase raw cow hides from your local butcher. Cut the cow hide into strips, hang the pieces outside, and let them dry out.

Once they’re dry, you can attach a piece of the cow hide to the end of the flirt pole and use it as a lure.

Cow hides are also a great motivational tool to use with spring poles and Jenny mills (also known as cat mills).

3.) Use verbal encouragement

Dogs are social creatures. When we’re excited, they get excited. By encouraging your dog verbally, you can increase their motivation to chase the lure.

working out dogs

Flirt pole lures that you should avoid using

Avoid toys that are very hard: Dogs show less interest in toys that are hard to chew or manipulate.

Avoid old toys: Once dogs become familiar with a toy, they often show less interest in it.

Avoid using rawhides:  Rawhides pose a choking or blockage risk. If your dog swallows a large piece of rawhide it can get stuck in your dog’s esophagus or other parts of their digestive tract.

Video on how to use the flirt pole: