The Outward Hound Tail Teaser is one of my favorite dog toys, let me tell you why!
When I visit my training clients, I always have toys with me to make sure that their dogs like them before they buy them. This is because some dogs might be afraid of the noises that the toys make, or not like things that move quickly.
Today I want to tell you about one that is in my top two favorite toys.
The Tail Teaser is a flirt pole. What is that, you ask? A flirt pole is like a big cat toy for dogs, it has a pole, a rope and a squeaky toy that looks like an animal at the end. You move it around quickly for them to chase.
If using inside, I always use it on a rug or carpeted area to prevent slips and falls on slippery floors. Using it outside in the grass is the best though. I stand and spin in a circle, dragging it on the ground as I spin. They run as fast as they can in a circle, determined to catch it!
Keep it low to the ground so you don’t encourage jumping and accidentally cause an injury.
Fun Training Game
I do let them catch it, quite often, and praise them when they do. Most dogs are very reluctant to let go of their prize once they catch it, so it is the perfect time to teach them to trade you for something else.
I teach Trade Me as a cue instead of Drop it. You are swapping them for something of higher value, instead of just taking something away from them. This builds their trust in you, and helps avoid resource guarding since they don’t view you as a thief, lol.
Show them a treat and say “Trade Me” in a happy voice, once they drop the toy, toss the treat a few feet away for them to go after. Pull the toy back towards you and start the game again.
Using zigzag motions and circles are the most fun, and remember to keep it low. Celebrate with them when they catch it! If they stop and want to stalk it, let them, it burns so much mental energy when they are focusing on how to catch it.
Burning mental energy and physical energy at the same time is a win-win for you and your pup.
I like to use this for 15 minutes before a walk, to tire them out a bit so they aren’t amped up and ready to be reactive to things you might encounter.
I like this particular lure toy; I have tried many other brands, and this one holds up the best.
They have replacement toys you can order when your squeaker has been vanquished by your pup! Mine has lasted five years through hundreds of dogs; I just keep extra toys in the trunk so I can wash them and trade them out in between clients.
Before You Buy
To see if your pup likes this type of play, try tying a rope or string around a stuffed squeaky toy, and drag it around the room for them. You will be able to tell quickly if they will be interested in playing with it. If they give chase and try to catch it, then this would be a great toy to add to your toy box!
About the Author
Claire Clark is the owner of Soul Dog Training in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. She has been a trainer for six years and is the only accredited trainer in the Trust Centered Training method in the state of Illinois. Thinking outside the box to problem solve when dealing with behavior cases and rescue dogs is her specialty. She offers customized, in-home, private lessons so she can best help you with your specific needs.