An activity ramp for dogs is similar to a balance beam in gymnastics, with ramps on each end. It is a contact component in dog agility competitions, requiring a dog to step in designated contact zones, both on the way up and the way down. Creating your own backyard activity ramp provides a perfect place for your dog to practice her skills.
Things You'll Need
- 3 wood boards, 2 inches by 12 inches by 8 feet
- 2 boards, 2 inches by 2 inches by 8 feet
- 16 square wooden dowels, 1-by-12 inches
- 2 heavy door 3-screw hinges
- 20 screws, 3-inch
- Galvanized nails
- Tape measure
- Paint and paintbrush
- Two wooden sawhorses
Cut 4 inches off each two-by-two board with the saw. Lay two of the two-by-12 boards on a flat surface and place one of the two-by-two boards in the center of each board. This will provide a support board. Secure each support board to the center of the main boards with two 3-inch screws, placed at each end. These are the ramp pieces. Flip them over so that the support beam is facedown.
Measure and mark off eight 12-inch sections on each ramp piece. Place the 16 wooden dowels over these markings and secure with the galvanized nails. These create traction areas for your dog when he walks up the ramp.
Lay the ramp sections down on the ground, support beam side down, and place the remaining two-by-12 board between the two ramp sections so they are all end to end. Align one of the hinges to connect the first ramp to the center section. Place the hinge in the center of each board and secure with screws. Repeat with the second hinge to attach the final ramp on the other side.
Sand any rough or sharp edges. Paint your activity ramp as desired. To get your dog accustomed to hitting the contact zone, paint the lower section in a contrasting color. Allow the paint to completely dry.
Set up the two wooden sawhorses about 7 feet apart. Adjust the height of the sawhorse legs to your desired activity ramp height by cutting the legs, if necessary. Place the center section of the ramp on top of the sawhorses, allowing the two ramps to drop down at an angle. Secure the platform board to the sawhorses with screws.
Tips & Warnings
- To disassemble for travel or moving, simply unscrew the platform from the sawhorses and unscrew the hinges.
- To get a new dog accustomed to walking on the activity ramp, practice with the ramp flat on the ground first. Consider a few different sawhorses so you can adjust the height of the ramp. Start lower to the ground and gradually raise it as your dog becomes comfortable.
- Another option for a more permanent activity ramp is to install two wooden fence posts, cut to the desired height and spaced 7 feet apart. Attach the center of the ramp to the posts, similar to the sawhorses.
- To create another agility ramp component -- the A-Frame -- remove the center section and attach the two ramps to each other. Attach two chain hooks on the underside of each ramp side and connect two chains to keep the A-Frame in place and stable.
- Test the stability of your activity ramp before letting your dog up. The walk should not sway or move.
- Photo Credit Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images