Dog Agility Equipment
 
 
 

Dog Agility Equipment

There's a lot you can do to get your dog ready for agility, such as making sure they have a great recall, but to really practice you're going to have to get some dog agility equipment.

Build Or Buy?

The fastest way to get started with your training is to buy all your dog agility equipment. But you'd better have pretty deep pockets if you want to get it all at once. For example, an A-Frame will run you $600 - $1000, a dog walk will be $800 - $1300, jumps are $50 each, tunnels are $200 - $350, and so on.

Eeek! Unless you have a sugar daddy (or sugar momma) somewhere who will pick up the tab, buying all your equipment isn't usually an option for most people. If you've been saving your spare change for a few years (decades?) and can swing it, GO FOR IT! But for most of us, that's not an option. *sigh*

However, you don't have to wait until your rich old uncle kicks the bucket and leaves you his wealth before you can get started with your agility training. Most people have more time than money so they end up building most (or all) of their dog agility equipment. Some of it's very easy, requiring only some PVC pipe, a saw, and some pipe glue. Other pieces will require more tools, but most "garage shops" will have all the tools needed to make just about everything. And if you have a spouse or friend who knows their way around a table saw and drill, you're all set. :)

Here at AgilityTrial.com we get requests every single day about how to build dog agility equipment -- so here's what we're going to do. Starting in the next month or so we'll be producing a line of "Weekend Workshop Dog Agility Equipment Plans" for the do-it-yourselfer. Some of the plans will be free because we're just nice folks (grin) and the rest will be very reasonable.

If you want to be notified as soon as every plan is available, subscribe to our DAfN email list -- everybody who's subscribed will learn about them first.

Here's Some Dog Agility Equipment To Get You Started

Here are the weave poles that we're still using -- after several years. We did add another section to make a standard six-poler, but we're still using the same pipes. This is an easy job to tackle, even if the following instructions aren't step-by-step.

100% PVC Weave Poles
By Jay Jennings

We needed a new set of weave poles and we had a few items on our wish list:
  • Inexpensive and easy to make
  • Portable, easy to store
  • Slanty poles for learning, straight poles for training
Figures 1 and 2 show you what I came up with. Figure 1 looks like a normal set of weave poles. But when dogs are learning it's nice to have poles that alternately lean out away from the base to create a path for the dog to go through. As the dog gets better, lean the poles less and less until they're straight up and down and your dog is whipping through them like those "Oh, aren't I great" border collies that the other handlers have. Dog Agility Equipment: Weave Poles
Figure 1
Weave Poles
Figure 2
The entire set is made of 3/4" PVC pipe. It takes 3 - 10' sections and 7 Ts to make a 5-poler. Want more poles? Add more on to the end. The one I made is plenty sturdy for training although if I was going to use it with scads of dogs I might use some glue (which means you can't change from slanted to straight poles). At this point things are just shoved together.
My original plan was to drill holes through the Ts and pipes so I could put in pins that would hold things in the right spots. But the pipes fit so tightly into the Ts that I don't find it necessary.

It was pointed out to me that a 6-Poler is handier to use than a 5-Poler (when you slant the poles). Why? Because with a 5-Poler, the dog can only enter from one end. Entering from the other end would mean they'd start on the left (a no-no). So, either use the same end for entry all the time, or cut another few pieces of PVC and create a 6-Poler!
Comments From the Net
About This Dog Agility Equipment
Sherry Wargo (gwargo@mill.tds.net) -- "Neat site! Just a suggestion/reminder about the weave poles........if you want to be able to practice them from either end (useful for incorporating "off-side" weaves) always use an even number of poles. Otherwise you'll confuse your dog about the entry, especially with the poles leaning. So make it six poles, not five! (You knew there was a reason all the professional poles come in sets of six, didn't you! )
Retriever (tbc10@amdahl.com) -- "My husband made the same set of poles (one minor change was that he made them in 4 pole increments so I could take them with me somewhere, never did however) for me and they worked great. I realized that they should be in some way staked to the ground so that when the dogs are going bonzai, the poles themselves don't get flung around. After 6-8 months of being outside the the dog broke one of the joints, not sure of being outside had anything to do with it or not. All in all they work great, but I recommend finding a way to stake them to the ground."
Denise Brown (RLShelties@aol.com) -- "I saw your post on the Agility list and then went to your web page. I have had weave poles like yours for close to nine years. My husband is a plumbing contractor and built them for me. I started with them not glued but after a short while they loosened up and would not stay in place. He glued them in 2, 6-pole sections which worked out great. Can't beat the price. They are now cracking and chipping at the base because of the weather and sunlight. They have alway been outside in the elements. They have held up better than my expectations. I have taught agility classes with everything from Great Danes to Min Pins running through them. The only draw back-being glued they are not able to create the channel for training and the storage for those who need it."

 

Popular piece of dog agility equipment - the teeter.
"A little help here? My paws are frozen to the teeter..."