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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question, please? I have an 11 week old german shepherd male that I am hoping to train as a service dog for me. I am currently in a beginning obedience class with him, just for socialization mainly. He will start a puppy class at our obedience club June 23rd.

The trainer of the class that we are currently in is suggesting that I go to Rural King and get a horse lunge whip and tie a floppy toy to the end of it, and teach Major to chase it for fun. She calls it a flirt pole. She showed me in class that Major really enjoys it. She also showed me how to teach him to retrieve with it (I will need a retrieve from him as part of his tasks).

My questions are:

1. Is a flirt pole and building prey drive bad for a pup that is going to be trained for service dog work?

2. Should I even be working towards a retrieve with him at this point, or should I wait until he is older?

3. Should I teach him a service dog retrieve through play retrieve, or formal retrieve?

Thanks.
 

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Flirt pole is ok. Just make sure you don't let the pup jump off the ground due to it's growing joints. Do the flirt pole in either grassy area or dirt.
 

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Flirt poles are a great way to increase drive for toys (used later in obedience), excerise your puppy/dog (keep it low to the ground for puppy) and to increase confidence in a young dog.

I used a horse whip and tied a toy (even did it with food) at the end or a rag and let Stark go to town with it. I only let him "win" the toy when he is really into it and working hard to get it. Have fun with it.
 

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I also have an 11 week old pup and we just made a flirt pole for him. He loves it and it gives him a great workout.
 

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I use a flirt pole daily to make training fun for Molly. I will have her either sit, down, or stand with the stay command and wave the toy back and forth then give her the okay command to have her chase it. Once she catches the toy we play tug for a bit then give her the "leave it and sit" command I found it was a great way to built patience and focus.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
then I will definitely be getting the things needed for a flirt pole. Thanks for the info.
 
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