Do-it-Yourself Dog Agility Equipment

Building a dog agility course at home is simple and a chance to be creative. A few key obstacles should always be included in your at home practice because they appear in most agility shows. However, anything a dog can safely jump, traverse, climb, or go through will make excellent obstacles to practice on at home.

  1. Dog Agility

    • Dog agility tests a dogs obedience over an obstacle course that challenges them in a multitude of ways. Several jumps that resemble those in horse jumping competitions test the dogs' ability to jump different heights and spreads. Obstacles like the A frame test the dogs' obedience because they must climb down to a line before jumping off. Weave poles, the tunnel, and the teeter totter all test the dogs' ability to listen when they are unsure of where they should go.

    Equipment

    • Ideally, decide which obstacles you should build by which ones the dog will find the most challenging. The ones that give most dogs pause are the tunnels and chutes, the teeter totters, and the weave poles. Some version of these as well as some basic jumps would be good options for at-home practice.

    Weave Poles

    • Weave poles are probably the simplest piece of equipment to construct because they are typically small PVC pipes placed in a line on the ground as needed. For more stability, a tent spike or the like can be glued onto or screwed onto the PVC to anchor it into the ground. Weave poles can be three or four poles placed a foot or so apart in a line with up to 10 to 12 poles in a line.

    Jumps

    • A good option of making jumps is to use small PVC pipes. Being relatively inexpensive and easy to work with, several jumps can be made on a small budget. Go to a few dog agility meets to see what style they use to decide what style you want. Jumps can be made from wood or any other materials you have around the house provided they have a smooth surface and are fairly light to prevent injury if the dog knocks them down.

    Tunnels and Chutes

    • To make a tunnel or chute, first decide how wide the diameter of the chute will be. Of course, bigger dogs need a wider width to make it through. Then choose a durable material for the supports. In a pinch, hula hoops work quite well. The fabric connecting the hoops or making up the chute should preferably something that you can hose off, but to start, an old bedroom sheet will work just fine.

    Teeters and Dog Walks

    • Teeters and dog walks are balancing obstacles. Choose a wood wide enough for your dog to comfortably transverse. Again, larger dogs will need more room, so a wider wood should be chosen (for example an 8 x 2 or 12 x 2 piece of wood). The supports for both should be made of wood and sturdily constructed to support the weight of the dog.

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