I was asked by a reader to explain what a springpole is, (can be written as both one or two words) and began to type a long explanation but then felt I was reinventing the wheel. A simple google search will answer basics. Since for aficionados it’s such a potentially huge topic, and one I’ve already spoken about repeatedly, I’d prefer to answer specific questions in the comments section below. Only a few of my previous posts, since I didn’t tag them all for “springpole,” can be seen here.
In brief, a springpole is a device to exercise dog’s mouths and necks, keep them occupied, and most of all provide fun for dog and owner. If you have the lure low enough to allow the dog to stand or continually leap, it can also be an incredible conditioner for the hind end and back. This dog keeps his hind legs fairly straight. My foster, Emma, would continually jump around on her back legs. It was incredible to watch.
For those of us with athletic dogs, conditioning them is a source of deep fulfilment. A well-bred pitty loves to work and training them is great pack bonding. Check out these high leaps and dives. For pit bull athlete owners, other dogs seem to move in slow motion.
Dogs graduate to a springpole after a training on a flirtpole, (looks like a huge cat toy) though many dogs with gripping genetics will take up springpoling from scratch. My friend shows that a well bred dog is genetically equipped while still “in diapers.”And here she is using a pulley-mount to train instead of a flirtpole.
Traditionally made with a springy sapling and an animal hide, today a springpole is easily built from readily available materials. But this old favorite video shows one au natural. For a long time the video disappeared then reappeared without sound because of a conflict over the music. I was glad to see it return in original form. Though I’m not a blues guy, the music really fits. Watch the precision in this dog’s leaps. No one could watch this and think the dog is not enjoying himself enormously.
Emma was so driven on the springpole, the instant I’d stir the spring in the basement, she’d leap out of where ever she’d been snoozing and come running down. Eventually I’d have to drag her off of it. Then she’d lay on her side on the cool kitchen linoleum, tongue distended on the floor, frantically panting.
Many breeds will springpole. I’ve posted photos of Cap’n Jack as well as a Boston Terrier. But pits are the masters.
Here’s a fun video that shows how the length of the traditional garage door spring alleviates the stress on the dog’s neck. It cracks me up that the narrator calmly requests his dog to release. In my limited experience, dogs who are intense often zone out when performing their tasks. And I love how the dog runs up the tree trunk!
There are zillions of springpole videos out there, often showing high initial leaps. Here’s one that is really up my ally since water is involved! 🙂
Feel free to post questions in the comments section below. Though I have nowhere near the experience of Diane, I’ll answer as best I can.