Getting Started

If you are a dog owner, you probably know what agility training is all about. This dog sport has become very popular over the last couple of decades. This is probably because it is loaded with benefits for both dog and dog owner.

If you and your dog are planning on participating in this sport, you need to check the guidelines listed below. They will give you important information as to how you can prepare.

Before beginning, I would, however, like to issue one caveat. The tire jump should not be used by your dog at high speeds. Owing to injuries in these increasingly fast-paced events, agility competitions have introduced break-away tires. Because of the rising number of neck injuries, there is even talk of modifying or even eliminating the collapsible tunnel. Please be careful when training your beloved dog!

In any case, the first thing that you need is the obstacles that line the course. If you are operating with minimal space, you need to consider how to make the best use of space when setting up your course.

Some of the obstacles that you need include:

  • Standard hurdles
  • Pause table
  • Dogwalk
  • Teeterboard
  • Tunnels
  • Weaving (slalom) Poles

Below is a detailed explanation of how to construct each type of obstacle.

Dog Walk

All you need here is a picnic bench as a dog walk. If you do not have one, you can always construct one using 12-foot piece of plywood supported by 2 cinderblocks.

Weave Poles
You can create these using 10 to 15 ski or tent poles planted in the ground. Keep in mind that you need adequate space between the poles so that the dog can maneuver safely.

Standard hurdles

You can easily create these using cinderblocks. Just stack them on top of one another and place a broomhandle on top. Of course, their height is dependent on the height of your dog. This should be adjusted accordingly.

Tunnel

You can purchase a collapsible tunnel which will make a perfect obstacle for your dog. It needs to sit low on the ground and be stable.

Pause Table

You don’t even have to buy one. You can just use an old coffee table as an agility table for your course. It needs to sit fairly low to the ground and be stable.

Tire Jumps

Hang an old tire from a tree. This will create a perfect tire jump. Obviously, the opening should be big enough for your dog to get through.

Teeter Boards

You can always build this using a long piece of wood and some pipes. Cover the board with a mixture of antiskid additive and paint.

This will give your dog good footing when he walks on the board. Also consider buying a large pipe. This should be placed in the center of the board. Make sure that you drill two holes on either side of the pipe.

It is also advisable to attach a carriage bolt through each of the holes. This will help you when you are attaching it on the board. The next thing that you’ll need is to place some bolts inside the holes in the pipe. This will help you tighten the nuts on each of the bolts.

Now that you have successfully created the obstacles, you are now ready to start training.

 

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