Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Discussion dedicated to promoting the well-being of your dog through diet, exercise and general health tips.

Moderators: emmabeth, BoardHost

Fundog
Posts: 3874
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:31 am
Location: A little gambling town in the high desert

Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by Fundog » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:59 pm

*Mod Edit:

Agility can be a great way to give your dog exercise plus something new to think about.

If you want to attempt this, please consider your dogs age and fitness levels first - if they are young, old or not used to jumping/bending/twisting then start slowly and build things up gradually. Keep jumps low, ditto see-saws/teeters and any dog walks/a-frames/balance walks you might build. Puppies must not be jumping more than a couple of inches before they are 18 months old, and not at ALL before 6 months - even then, consider your pups breed and build - giant breed pups must not be jumping till nearer two, if ever as they are not built for this.

SAFETY FIRST - any item you use to build agility equipment from must first be SAFE - no heavy items that can fall, no sharp objects/edges, no gaps that paws can get stuck in.

Consider your dog - is he scared of heights, is he a bit 'gung-ho' - remember dogs cannot judge height/depth/where the floor is in relation to where they are in teh same way that we can, a common accident is a dog just stepping off a dog walk not realising the floor is a lot further away than he realises.

End of Mod Edit!


On another thread about exercise, some of us started a discussion about agility/obstacle courses made out of household stuff we already have on hand (like cardboard boxes, laundry baskets, furniture cushions, blankets, etc.), without having to actually purchase any materials. Let's get a list of ideas going here. Even if you've already mentioned it in another thread, please repeat it here. Thanks! :D

Some of the traditional equipment we can improvise on might be:

Jumps
Weaves
Teeter Totter/See Saw
Ramps
Tunnel
Horizontal Ladder
Stairs
Hoop
If an opportunity comes to you in life, say yes first, even if you don't know how to do it.

wvvdiup1
Posts: 3397
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:31 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by wvvdiup1 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:28 pm

My pleasure, Fundog! :D I'll repost it here:
Sounds like you loved my idea, Fundog! I made an agility course for my dog in the basement of my home because of the weather, the fact I had some work in my basement to do, and my basement is a wide-opened space. My dog LOVES it! I know it's not the same as being outdoors, but the time will come when I can take her out to my friend's farm to run. Way to go!"
Image
Image
"Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius." -author unknown

Fundog
Posts: 3874
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:31 am
Location: A little gambling town in the high desert

Re: Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by Fundog » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:58 pm

Thanks, wvvdiup, but what did you use to build the course? Didn't you use laundry baskets for the jumps and weaves? And of course, you just suggested (in another thread) using furniture and blankets, much in the same way we used to make "forts" in the living room when we were children.

Okay, I've got one: In our new backyard there is an old dog pen with dog house (not suitable for my girls). I can prise off some of that old lumber from the dog house and use it to make stuff like jumps and ramps, and I can balance a bit of ply wood on a mound of dirt for a teeter totter.

You can also find good pieces of scrap lumber off old pallets you might see lying around on the roadside, or even sitting next to the dumpster behind a store. You can even use the pallets intact for platforms, or stack them to make different levels. And the spaces in between the boards on the pallet make the dog pay attention to where he puts his feet.

Oh! Oh! Here's one: Line up several large cardboard boxes, so they are spaced one to two dog lengths apart, but so that the open part of the box is facing up. Then have the dog jump into and out of each of the boxes in succession! Or you could place the boxes all touching each other, to make it more challenging.
If an opportunity comes to you in life, say yes first, even if you don't know how to do it.

Sarah83
Posts: 2120
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:49 pm
Location: Bad Fallingbostel, Germany
Contact:

Re: Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by Sarah83 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:08 pm

Weaves can be made using those little cone shape things they use in sports practice as markers. Put long sticks in the holes and they work fine :D Or you could just ram long sticks into the ground I suppose but that leaves holes.

I made a fail tunnel from cardboard boxes. Had to hold the silly thing up otherwise it just collapsed into flat pieces of cardboard but we still had fun. I suppose you could use some of the make do weave poles to hold a sheet off the ground in a vaguely tunnel type thing too.

A jump can be made by wedging a flattened cardboard box upright between two objects. Or by blocking the doorway with something . Or just by teaching your dog to jump over a stick you hold out I suppose but that's not a lot of use if you want a course set up.

Could use an upside down plastic storage box for a table for a small dog I suppose. I just use a towel for Rupe coz I don't have anything sturdy enough to hold his weight.

User avatar
Mattie
Posts: 5872
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:21 am

Re: Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by Mattie » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:01 am

Jump stands

Cardboard boxes
empty tins, ie baked bean or dog food tins or bigger,
Upturned buckets
Wood
Upturned plastic storage boxes
bricks or breeze blocks

Poles

Broom handles, preferably without the broom head :lol:
plastic down pipes or gutters.

Soft Tunnel

Wire coat hanger cut and put into an arch threaded through the end of a material tunnel.

Other tunnel

Pinch your child's 8)

Walk

Scaffolding plank on a brick at each end, doesn't have to be high, often the height frightens dogs.
[url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/PIXIE.jpg][img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/th_PIXIE.jpg[/img][/url]

maximoo
Posts: 1111
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:07 am
Location: South Florida

Re: Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by maximoo » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:49 am

I have used a small trampoline for a landing (pause) table :D

emmabeth
Posts: 8894
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: West Midlands
Contact:

Re: Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by emmabeth » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:03 pm

See if a restaurant or fast food place has empty plastic drums that things like mayo and oil etc come in and will give them to you.

Use these as jump stands - you can fill with sand and stick weave poles in to use indoors, or weight with sand to keep them steady for jump stands.

Ditto the rectangular plastic containers you get for water/oil that have the handle built into them.

Plastic plumbing pipe makes great jumps and its easily cut with a hacksaw, see if you can find some free on craigslist/freecycle, or and ask around for cheap or free offcuts at builders yards, or ask if you can take things like this from skips outside peoples houses or where something is being demolished.

You can use garden canes as weaves, but i would put foam pipe lagging around thema nd tape a popbottle over the top just in case the dog snaps one or knocks it down, to protect eyes.

Watch out for nails/staples etc in things.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

Wicket
Posts: 739
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 11:36 pm

Re: Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by Wicket » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:12 pm

I used the measurements from an agility book I have, we got PVC pipe, PVC cement and tape at a local hardware store. My boyfriend and dad two bar jumps using a hacksaw (I think?) for the price of one; due to my dad's manipulations on a connector (?) with the saw, they each even have a displaceable bar too. I'm daft when it comes to construction and drafting...

Fundog
Posts: 3874
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:31 am
Location: A little gambling town in the high desert

Re: Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by Fundog » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:28 pm

Oh-- empty plastic laundry detergent buckets!

By the way, last night I got so excited by this thread and all the ideas that I raided our shed and set up a small agility course in the backyard. I ran Annie through it several times, and she had an absolute blast! Dottie wasn't all that interested, but that's okay. I had my son video record the whole thing. He's promised to work on editing and getting it ready to post for me today, so hopefully I'll have a fun little surprise for you all later today or tomorrow! :D

Emmabeth, can we put this thread in an easy-to-find/permanent place, and everyone can continue to add to it and/or post pics/video of their great bursts of creativity?!
If an opportunity comes to you in life, say yes first, even if you don't know how to do it.

wvvdiup1
Posts: 3397
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:31 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by wvvdiup1 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:10 am

I'm just reposting this:

Did any of you, when you were little, ever make a fort out of your parents' furniture and cushions? Using that little bit of imagination, you can still do the same thing, except, of course, you might want to try to make an agility course for your dog(s). I did this with all the dogs I've ever had and still do for the one I have now! Great exercise for both you and your dog(s), and the best part in addition to exercising and having fun with your dog(s), is that you don't get your rear-end spanked by your parents!
Image
Image
"Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius." -author unknown

emmabeth
Posts: 8894
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: West Midlands
Contact:

Re: Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by emmabeth » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:51 pm

Done, ill sticky it in a moment - just going to edit the first post slightly.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

wvvdiup1
Posts: 3397
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:31 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by wvvdiup1 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:58 pm

Fundog wrote:
Thanks, wvvdiup, but what did you use to build the course? Didn't you use laundry baskets for the jumps and weaves? And of course, you just suggested (in another thread) using furniture and blankets, much in the same way we used to make "forts" in the living room when we were children."
Fundog, I used whatever I could get my hands on, life, and to make sure that whatever I used for this agility course, I made sure it was going to be safe for the both of us. Yes, I did use clothes baskets, but I had dirty clothes in those. Thanks to the construction crew who did some work on my house, they left a lot of lumber, concrete blocks, bricks, so I used them as well. And, my dad had a couple of truck tire rims (although greasy & I made sure that was cleaned before using), I made use of those too!

The most important things I consider when using anything for an agility course is safety, my dog's and my abilities, and our sizes. Nothing like an injury to ruin the fun! :( :cry:
Image
Image
"Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius." -author unknown

Fundog
Posts: 3874
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:31 am
Location: A little gambling town in the high desert

Re: Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by Fundog » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:20 pm

Thank you, Ems! :D
If an opportunity comes to you in life, say yes first, even if you don't know how to do it.

MPbandmom
Posts: 1629
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:18 pm

Re: Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by MPbandmom » Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:05 am

I have made a jump using two kitty litter buckets and a left over piece of pvc pipe.
Grammy to Sky and Sirius, who came to live with me, stole my heart, and changed my life forever as I took over their care and learned how to be a dog owner.

troop
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:50 pm

Re: Impromptu Agility Course Ideas?

Post by troop » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:15 pm

i know this is an old thread but i just wanting to put i use old car tyres they are great for piling up to make jump wings or layed flat to weave leap in and out of or if you can secure them safely put together as a tunnel or jump through like a hoop

Post Reply