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How to Build a Dog Agility Course

Three Parts:Creating ObstaclesJumpsTunnels

Dog Agility is a growing sport in which a handler guides their dog through numerous obstacles such as jumps, weaves, and tunnels. If you are interested in dog agility, you may want to know how to set up your very own "homemade" agility course in your very own backyard.


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    Find a large, open space that has a lot of room for you and your dog to run the course.
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    Stay patient throughout the training. It takes time to teach a dog how to use an obstacle course, so this is about your own training in patience too.
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    Make sure your dog has enough water to drink after it has completed the obstacles. A few treats as rewards are vital too.

Part 1
Creating Obstacles

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    Create some obstacles. These are important for increasing your dog's agility and running skills.
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    Make weaves (a type of obstacle dogs weave through). You can make those from PVC pipes as well but they are more time consuming.
    • The best way to do this is to buy very large, tall orange cones, line them up in a line and have your dog weave through. Plus, since they are so much thicker than normal weave poles, your dog will find that the real weaves are a breeze to do. Cones can be purchased at any hardware or home depot type place.
    • Strong and sturdy sticks or bamboo poles can also be pounded into the ground in a pattern that requires your dog to weave in and out. Bamboo poles can be purchased from a garden center or hardware store.

Part 2

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    Build a jump. There are various ways that you can build your own dog jump, some suggestions are provided next.
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    Use broomsticks or long sticks.
    • Use two flowerpots and balance a broomstick or a long stick on top of them.
    • If you want a higher jump, use two identical height chairs. Line the chairs back to back, separated by about three feet/90 centimeter (35.4 in). Balance a broom or a stick on top of the chairs or through the top rungs.
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    Make a flower pot and PVC pipe jump.
    • Take two flowerpots and place them upside down on the ground.
    • Put a PVC pipe in the hole in each flowerpot.
    • Attach another PVC pipe to each pole. Use such items as heavy-duty rope to duct tape to affix the pipe.
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    Make a tire jump. Tie a tire (or a hula hoop/bendable pipe) sideways between two chairs or posts. Instant jump-through hoop!
    • Tie tightly so that the tire or hoop doesn't fall onto your dog as it jumps.

Part 3

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    Repurpose a play tunnel. If you go to any large children's shop they will usually have play tunnels for children. These are an inexpensive alternative to buying the special agility tunnels. True, it won't last as long as the specially made ones, but it will definitely work.
    • Box stores like IKEA also carry children's tent tunnels. You could also look at online auction sites or Freecycle for unwanted/used ones.
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    Make your own tunnel. Use a row of low tables––children's tables are a good height. Cover with blankets to create "tunnel" sides.


  • It takes time for dogs to learn agility, so persevere.
  • Dog agility is about having fun with your dog. Do not get frustrated at your dog if he/she doesn't do every obstacle perfectly. Practice makes perfect.
  • Make the obstacles the right height for either a small dog or a big dog.
  • Make sure your dog does not get distracted by the people passing by.


  • Do agility on a grassy or padded surface since blacktop or concrete can hurt a dog badly when it's performing agility. It will also make them slip on tight turns.

Article Info

Categories: Dog Tricks | Working with Dogs