A backyard dog agility course is a fun and constructive way to keep an energetic pooch active and engaged. Basic agility equipment can be constructed from PVC pipe. The lightweight pipe can be taken apart and stored when not in use or kept in the yard full-time.
Yard Weave Poles
There are two ways to create weave poles, with a base or without. To make 24-inch tall weave poles without a base, start with six 30-inch pieces of 1-inch PVC pipe and six 1-inch PVC caps. Mark each pipe with line 6 inches from the bottom. Cut each bottom on a 45 degree angle, trying not to shorten the pipe. Place the caps on the uncut ends. Using a mallet, hammer each pole into the ground to the 6-inch mark. Space poles 20 inches apart.
Travel Weave Poles
Start with nine 19-inch sections of 1-inch PVC, two pieces 2 inches long, six pipes 24 inches long, 10 PVC caps and eight “T” connectors. When assembled, the base will look like a Roman capital “I” with the six weave bars sticking out of it. Four of the 19-inch pipes will be used to create the legs and the other five will space out the weave bars. The 2-inch pieces will connect the weave bars section to the legs.
Make the hurdle jump with four 15-inch long pieces of 1-inch PVC for the legs and one 30-inch pipe for the ground level cross bar. Form an “I” shape using two 90-degree angle 4-way PVC connectors. The open connections should be pointed up to create the hurdle uprights. Insert a piece of 6-inch PVC into each and, using a “T” connector, add a piece of 30-inch pipe to that. Cap the ends. Insert the 30-inch hurdle bar into the open ports of the “T” connections. To make the jump higher, replace the 6-inch pieces with longer pipes.
The tire jump is built the exact same way as the hurdle, except that the top of the jump is capped off using two 90-degree angle connectors and another 30-inch PVC pipe. A “tire” can then be made from flexible, corrugated PVC tubing and tied on to the jump frame. The tire can also be made from a hula hoop.
- jumping dog image by Earl Robbins from Fotolia.com