Active dogs require positive ways to burn energy. Spring poles, also referred to as flirt poles, allow energetic dogs to jump and bite onto a surface hanging above the ground. While the use of spring poles is often associated with pit bulls or other terrier breeds, any responsible pet owner with a high-energy dog can make use of one. Although the first written references to spring poles are found in literature about training dogs for rat killing competitions, more and more responsible dog owners are utilizing spring poles as a unique exercise activity.
Dig two holes, approximately 5 feet apart, on a flat dirt surface. Set one 6-foot-long 2-by-4 post in each hole, and secure the post in place by filling the hole with cement. Allow the cement to set for 24 hours before back filling the remainder of the hole with dirt.
Sit a third 6-foot-long 2-by-4 board across the top of the two posts to create an upside down "u" shape. Screw the cross post in place.
Loop one nylon dog collar around the cross post. Slide the unbuckled collar through both wheelbarrow inner tubes and buckle the collar, using the collar as a device for fastening the inner tubes to the cross post.
Slide one end of the second nylon dog collar through the bottom of the inner tubes, which should now be hanging from the cross post. Buckle the second collar to create a loop.
Tie a length of 1- to 2-inch-diameter rope through the second collar. The length of the rope will vary based on the size of the dog using the flirt pole. Measure the rope so that the biting surface hangs no higher than the point where the dog can easily touch its bottom legs to the ground. Tie a small loop in the bottom of the rope.
Tie a 6-inch piece of small diameter rope through a clip. Secure the other end of the rope to a bite surface, such as a piece of rolled burlap, jute or another length of large rope. Clip the bite surface assembly to the bottom of the rope hanging from the spring pole frame. Pull on the bite surface forcefully to test the strength of the assembly before beginning to work your dog.
Do not use a spring pole with a dog that has been crated or chained for a long period of time. Always warm up your dog with walking or running exercises prior to using a spring pole.
Only dogs in good shape with healthy teeth should use a spring pole.
Items You Will Need
- Wheelbarrow innertubes, 2
- Nylon dog collars, 2
- Bit surface
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