DIY flirt pole with blue fluffy toy attached

How to make a flirt pole for dogs

A DIY flirt pole is the perfect way to play with energetic dogs.

Flirt poles are a must-have toy for playful pups. They're quick to make too, with only a few hardware materials needed. Breeds with a higher chase drive – such as sighthounds and terriers – will particularly love playing with this toy!

This game may be very exciting for your dog, and you may find that they struggle to leave the toy or sit when asked. If this sounds like your dog, build up the excitement of the game slowly.


It's important to make sure your dog has warmed up to prevent any injuries. Take your dog on a brisk walk to get their muscles working. You should also allow your dog to cool down after you're done playing. Scent games are a good way to slowly cool them down.

What you'll need:

  • PVC rod
  • Bungee cord or rope
  • An old, fluffy dog toy
  • A craft knife
  • Coping saw
  • A measuring tape

Putting together a flirt pole

  1. Using the coping saw, cut your pole to a size between 65cm and 85cm. The size you choose will depend on the size of your dog.
  2. Cut a length of rope to the size of the pole plus an additional 40cm
  3. Push the rope through the pole until it starts to stick out the other end. Tie a knot so that the rope is secured in the pole (you may need to tie more than one knot to keep it from coming loose).
  4. Tie the excess end of the rope around your dog's fluffy toy (you may need to tie a double knot to keep it secure). The toy should now be attached to the rod, and able to swing freely.

How to play with a flirt pole

Before you begin playing with the flirt pole, your dog should understand how to drop a toy when you ask them to. Once your dog has a solid understanding of ‘leave’, you can begin to play with the flirt pole.

It's best to use the flirt pole outdoors to prevent any accidents from happening indoors.

  1. Ask your dog to sit while you get into position with the flirt pole
  2. When you're ready, cast the fluffy toy away from you as if you're fishing. The toy should land on the opposite side to where your dog is sitting. Then ask your dog to get the toy.
  3. Twist and turn the pole in different directions, trailing the toy along the ground. The fun of a flirt pole is to make the game exciting for your dog, so keep your body language positive and playful!
  4. Although it might be tempting, do not hold the toy up high in the air. This could encourage your dog to jump which can cause injuries and long term damage to their joints.
  5. Let your dog catch the toy regularly. Give them time to hold and play with it before asking them to 'leave', then restart the game when they're ready.


If your dog is arthritic, elderly or not fully grown – which can take around 18 months depending on the breed of dog you have – this game will not be suitable for them. Instead try something calmer like ‘find it’.

Always monitor your dog carefully and ensure they do not ingest any part of the toy.

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• 23 January 2024

Next review

• 22 January 2027

Claire crouching next to her white staffie dog
Approved by
Claire Stallard

Animal Behaviourist ABTC-CAB