Dog agility courses are a great way to train a dog, but how can you make one? This guide explains how to make a dog agility course.
Did you know that the only continent that doesn't partake in dog agility training is Antarctica, where dogs aren't allowed?
We're just as incredulous. But we'll take pleasure in the fact that dogs are very much allowed on all other continents, giving us the ability to enjoy dog agility competitions.
If you love dog agility competitions and are looking to create a course of your own, you've come to the right place.
Keep reading to learn how to put together your dog agility course.
The Benefits of Dog Agility Courses
Dog agility courses are extremely beneficial for smart and active dogs. By introducing your dog to an agility course, whether it be for fun or sport, you and your dog will both be entertained and exercised.
There are several great benefits to dog agility courses. These include mental stimulation, building physical health, and bonding time.
Mental and Physical Stimulation
We all know that a tired dog is a happy dog. By using dog agility courses, your dog can run wild and free, off the leash and on the grass.
The combination of mental and physical stimulation helps your dog exercise their abilities and build confidence. Whether your dog agility course is being used to train for a competition or just for fun, your dog will improve their speed and accuracy.
By activating your dog's mental and physical abilities, you'll encourage them to build stamina and improve their listening capabilities.
Cultivates Health and Happiness
Because your pet will get exercise doing what they love, involving them in a dog agility course will cultivate happiness and satisfaction.
By working with your dog to get them trained and used to a dog agility course, you'll help enhance their health and well-being as they get accustomed to a new way of life.
Bonding Time Between You and Your Pet
While improving your dog's abilities, you'll also be improving your own through learning how to communicate with your pet.
By training your dog to use a dog agility course, you will bond with each other while engaging in a productive exercise. By watching your beloved dog weave happily around your course, you'll feel a sense of pride and joy.
Bonding with your pet is an experience everyone desires. By introducing yourself and your dog to an agility course, you'll begin a unique bonding process.
The benefits of using a dog agility course are great and apply to both you and your dog.
What Breeds Excel in Dog Agility Courses?
Several factors determine what makes a good agility partner. These include intelligence, trainability, focus, and body structure.
Keeping these specific traits and abilities in mind, several top breeds work well with dog agility training:
- Border Collies
- Australian Shepherds
- Shetland Sheepdogs
- Golden Retrievers
- Jack Russel Terriers
- Cocker Spaniels
Because all of these dog breeds already include the right factors, you won't find yourself having to train specific traits. It might be easier to build their confidence, but can be difficult to teach a dog traits like drive and focus.
When working with your dog on an agility course, make sure they're able to do what you're asking of them.
Be careful with a breed that isn't as reputable for agility, as this might be due to their bone structure and stability.
How to Make a Dog Agility Course Using the Right Equipment
To successfully build your own DIY dog agility course, you'll need several supplies to bring a great dog agility course to your backyard.
When considering different objects to use for your course, take into account your dog's ability. You'll need to make sure that obstacles are size-appropriate, as a hoop made for an Australian Shepherd will be too big for a Papillon.
Make sure you're not buying dog agility equipment that is difficult for your dog, especially if they have other agility issues like back problems or other physical limitations.
That being said, there are several common pieces of equipment and supplies you'll want to make a great dog agility course.
Contact objects are typically built from wood or aluminum, usually in an A-frame shape. You can buy ready-made contact objects or make your own.
These are great for having your dog run up one side and down the other.
PVC Pipe Weaves and Jumps
PVC pipes are your key to a great DIY dog agility course. Buy these along with pipe tees and elbows, as this will help you construct obstacles.
These pipes can be great weaving objects for your dog to practice weaving through or even for DIY dog agility jumps. Piecing together PVC pipes to create weaves or jumps can be easy and effective.
Buying or making a teeter-totter and installing it will add to your dog agility course. Your pet will be able to show off their skills using a teeter-totter in their backyard course.
You can make a teeter-totter out of PVC pipes and a plank of wood, as this is often a cheap and easy DIY project.
One of the most common parts of a dog agility course is the tunnel.
You can find appropriately-sized collapsible tunnels in the children's aisle of most toy or department stores. Adding this obstacle to your dog agility course will enhance its level of challenge.
Making the Course
Once you've bought or made the right equipment for your dog agility course, it's time to put it all together.
Prepare the area for your course by clearing away sticks, rocks, and other distracting or harmful objects. Make sure your desired spot for a dog agility course is mostly level, as a flat surface is ideal.
Space all your obstacles throughout your dog agility course, checking each object twice to ensure its safety.
Now you're ready to start training your pet to use their new agility course.
Using a Dog Agility Course With Your Pet
Before you start training your pet to use their new course, let them sniff and explore everything first.
Familiarizing themselves with the equipment around them will help your dog become comfortable with the course. After they've become aware of each object, slowly start encouraging your dog to use each object.
After you've taken them on a walkthrough and they get active, your dog might get hot. Make sure you give them water and a quick cool-down with The Absorber® Dog Lover's Towel.
Cooling Down Together
Once you and your dog have gotten comfortable with your new dog agility course, you'll be ready to pick up the intensity. Take care to respond to your dog's needs and to listen to them as much as they listen to you.
If you enjoyed this article on how to make a dog agility course, take a look at our blog post on more summer activities to enjoy with your dog.