A Guide to Dog Agility Equipment

Dog agility equipment provides exceptional entertainment and exercise. Many breeds need mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom. Bored pets tend to be destructive. Many pets are given up by owners who failed to understand their dog's need for both physical and mental stimulation. By equipping your back yard with agility equipment, your pet will be happy and your relationship with your dog will be incredibly satisfying.

The benefits to dog agility equipment are numerous. Dogs and their owners must work on obedience when running an agility course. Common commands are come, over, here and jump. Your dog independently maneuvers each piece of agility equipment, but then must heed your commands between each challenge.

Dog Agility Equipment to Promote Jumping

Bars are usually made from PVC piping and are easily moved from one area of the yard to another. Look for jumping bars that allow you to adjust the height. As your dog progresses, you can increase the height to provide more of a challenge.

Purchase lattice wings that require the dog to be farther away from you during a jump. This is especially beneficial with dogs that follow commands when their owner is right there, but resist when their owner is farther away.

Panel jumpers include a PVC grid and plastic panels that create a wall that the dog must leap. By adding more panels, you increase the height your dog must jump. Panels ensure that your dog jumps the obstacle and doesn't try to cheat by going under the bar.

Tire jumps are simple tires hung perpendicular to the ground. Look for tires attached to a PVC frame using flexible cording so that if the dog hits the edge of the tire, there will be some give to prevent injury.

Agility Tunnels

Many dogs hesitate to enter a tunnel simply because they can only see so far, and because they fear the unknown. By incorporating tunnels into your agility trials, you build trust with your pet. Tunnels come in a variety of sizes and colors. You can start a fearful dog with a short tunnel and then increase the length. Some tunnels have closed ends (chutes).

Tunnels are extremely flexible, so you can start by creating a straight line and then add curves as the dog becomes used to the enclosed space. Look for tunnels made from waterproof material that stands up to the dog's claws.

Weave Poles

Teaching a dog to weave in between plastic poles takes a little time. Once your dog has mastered the concept, you can start reducing the time it takes for the dog to navigate a series of poles. When purchasing weave poles, look for dog agility equipment sets that come with a minimum of six poles. That is the number that most competitions use.

Teeter Totters and A-Frame Dog Agility Equipment

Look for teeter-totter bases that allow you to adjust the incline height. This way, you can gradually increase the height as your dog becomes accustomed to the idea.

A-Frames are easier to teach. Your dog will run up one side and then proceed down the other. It's much like running up and down a steep hill. Make sure there are treads to prevent injuries caused by slipping.