If you are considering starting agility training with your dog, the price of all the equipment can be daunting, but the good news is; making an obstacle course for your dog can be achieved with many odds and ends you have around the home.
In this article, we look at.
Dog Agility is a lot of fun for both dog and owner and needn’t break the bank.
Can You Make Agility Equipment at Home?
Yes, you can, and we even have a full guide on beginner dog agility training as well to get you started.
There are plenty of obstacles that are easy to create with bits and pieces you might have lying around the house and in the garden. All you really need is a dedicated space and some imagination and before you know it, you will have learnt how to make an agility tunnel for your dog.
The main obstacles in a dog agility course can include:
You can use plenty of cheap materials and things that you already have to create these obstacles. For example, you could replace actual weaving poles with plant pots, PVC pipes, or even pool noodles! All of them will do the trick just fine, as long as they are at an equal distance from one another. A PVC pipe is also ideal to make small hurdles.
Instead of a pause table, you could easily make a pause box using one side of a cardboard box, some tape and some paint! As long as it builds an area that your dog can discern from the others, then it will do.
Finally, for the classic tire jumps, you could use a rubber ring, a large enough tyre if you have one, or a tube rolled into a circular shape that you can suspend from a swing set, from a tree, or a frame.
What is A Dog Agility Tunnel?
An agility tunnel is a fundamental obstacle in a dog agility course. They are usually made of vinyl material and have wire bands covering them to help the tunnel keep its shape.
The idea is to make your dog run through it as fast as possible and to make it to the other side without you helping them.
Agility tunnels are a great test of speed, intelligence, and trust between you and your dog.
Most agility courses have straight tunnels that go on for between 10 ft and 20 ft. Some tunnels are long enough to be put into an ‘S’ shape, making them more challenging for the dog to conquer.
Agility Tunnel Dimensions
Agility tunnels usually measure between 10 ft and 20 ft and are 24 inches in diameter. If you are starting your dog in agility training, you will need smaller tunnels, to begin with. The easier they can see the other side, the more confident they’ll be in tackling the tunnel.
Making a DIY Agility Tunnel
Making your own dog agility tunnel is actually very easy. You can create one out of general objects you may already have or buy a few extra cheap items such as a parachute tube or bungee cord.
You could use any of the following to set up a tunnel as part of an obstacle course for your furry friend:
This might seem like a bit of an odd list but stick with us. You’ll need to find the desired position in your garden – plan out plenty of space if you want predetermined ramps, too. The more space your dog runs around in, the more confident they’ll become!
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to make your own dog agility tunnel. All you need is time, patience, and some re-usable items from the local shop or your very own garden. However, there is no denying that some of these options may not last very long and should be built with care.
Do also consider setting up fabric stakes and PVC pipes for stability – and break out that tape measure to ensure your DIY project has enough space – and that your dog sees either end of your tunnel!
Use sand-filled containers connected by a bungee cord to secure the ends of your tunnel, or purchase a few tent pegs to keep it from blowing away in the breeze.
Training Your Pup to Go Through an Agility Tunnel
For beginners it can take some time and will take a lot of patience, but the process is really rewarding.
You’ll give your dog some amazing mental stimulation as well as tons of fun. There are a few things that you can do to help them get through the tunnel easily:
- Start with a straight tunnel. It’s not a natural thing for a dog to go through this kind of space, and not seeing the other side may scare them. Curved, long tunnels are for experienced dogs only. Start your dog off on a small, straight tunnel if you’re building your own agility course.
- Ask for help. A great way of getting your pup started is by getting someone to hold them on the lead and send them in at one end while you call them from the other side. Then, call them enthusiastically and maybe start by offering them a treat at the end to make them want to get there quicker.
- Gradually increase the length of the tunnel. Do not go from one extreme to the other! Instead, gently grow the tunnel until you reach a point where your dog can go in one end and meet you at the other on their own.
If you’ve read up on how to make a dog agility tunnel but want to try your pup out on a full obstacle course, you should start looking for local dog agility trials. Finding a dog agility club in the UK is actually fairly simple – all you need to do is head to the Kennel Club website, or AgilityNet, to find the nearest to you.
First of all, check the entry requirements of the club and make sure that your dog meets them. Most clubs will accept any dog over one year old, but some may ask for your pup to be a little older.
Then, you will need to find a suitable class for your pup. The agility clubs have to separate dogs based on their size to ensure that the obstacles are at the right height. For that, you will need to measure your dog or, depending on the club, have them officially measured by a professional.
Look at the dog agility training equipment when you arrive and make sure they are all up to standard. Are they clean? Are they steady? Make sure that there are no splintered or degrading areas that could hurt your pup on the course.
How long is a professional dog agility tunnel?
The size of the agility tunnel in competitions depends on the size of the course and the competitors’ experience. Most agility tunnels accepted by major organizational bodies measure between 10 ft and 20 ft in length, and between 22 and 26 inches in diameter, on a professional dog agility course. Be sure to start with the desired length ideal for your pup at home.
How do I make an agility course for my dog?
To make your own dog agility equipment, you will need a dedicated space in which you can place a dog tunnel made of durable nylon material, a pause box, weave poles, a dog walk, and a high jump. Many of these can be handmade with materials found in one’s home or bought online.
Now you know a bit more about how to make a dog agility tunnel, it’s time to put your creative skills to the test.
Tunnels are some of the most common staples of agility trials and dog obstacle courses. However, you must always make sure you consider your dog’s size and dog’s height level before you start. Some people also ask us how much exercise does my dog need which is also an important factor to consider. After all, it really is a full-body workout for both you and your pet!