Just because agility classes are few and far between at the moment, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your pup at home! In fact, it’s more important now than ever.
Dogs love their routine even more than us humans, and they’re super sensitive to schedule changes. They also easily pick up on any stress or tension from their owners and can start acting up a bit as a result. A great way to burn off any of that potential anxious energy is playing more fun games together with your pup!
Whether you’re an agility newbie or already have some experience, setting up an agility course in your backyard and teaching your dog some new skills is a great way of keeping them happy and stimulated.
There are so many agility obstacles you can create with some simple items from your home, perhaps a trip to a homeware store – and of course a pinch of creativity!
We’ve listed six easy tips below to get you started – hope you find them useful!
Pool Noodle Uprights
Pool Noodle Uprights (PNUs) are great for teaching your dog some agility basics. They can be used for wrapping, practicing handling or anything else you normally use a jump wing for! The best type of pool noodle is the one that is hollow inside. This way you can insert e.g. a peg or a tomato stake into the ground and insert the PNU over it to fix it in place.
Jumps out of PVC pipe
A good old jump is an essential piece of equipment on an agility course and great for all kinds of fun and games with dogs. With a little effort, some PVC pipe, PVC 4-ways, PVC T-joints and basic tools you can build a pretty decent jump yourself. You can find lots of DIY ideas and instructions for these jumps on Pinterest. Once you’ve built your PVC jump, you can easily turn it into a wing-jump with some cardboard cut-outs.
Super simple broom stick jump
If you’re not too bothered with having a super pro looking jump with specific measurements and simply want to play, the easiest way to make a quick DIY agility jump is using two plant pots and a broom stick. Your pup will love it as much as they would a more professional creation!
Weaves from PVC and screwdrivers
A great way to make your own agility weave poles is by sticking a screwdriver into the ground and sliding a PVC pole over the handle. Place the poles 60 cm apart in a straight line. Pro tip: get cheap screwdrivers at a homeware store and then buy the matching size PVC poles so they fit snugly over the handle of the screwdriver.
Wide plank of wood for contacts
You can teach your dog contacts using a wide plank of wood that you paint with a mix of sand and paint to give it some grip. Rest the plank on a bucket or a step on one end so it’s on an incline. You can also turn it into a mini agility seesaw by placing a small round log underneath it in the middle.
Styrofoam or cardboard box wall jumps
Make your own wall jump by painting and stacking some Styrofoam blocks or small cardboard boxes on top of each other. Super simple, easy and fun!
Show us how you went!
These six tips should get you going, and with a little imagination there’s so much more you can do!
We’d love to see your creations and any DIY tips you might have, so please share them on social media and tag us at #oneminddogs!
Hey, and if you need some extra inspiration for your training, check out our new guided course by OneMind Dogs coach Niki Drage – it’s perfect for beginner agility teams, all the way up to advanced. Better yet, you can do it all from your backyard!
Sign up by clicking here – it’s free for premium members, and at a cheeky discount of 30% off a 3-month subscription for new members.