I may have mentioned once or twice that I am kind of spoiled.
No really. How many dogs can claim that their Mama designed the whole backyard just for me. Our yard features our very own canine agility run. For realz. It’s *awesome*.
What is agility?
Basically, agility is a sport where your dog navigates an obstacle course in a race for time and accuracy. The Handler human runs the course with their dog directing them which obstacles to take.
I coulda been a contender.
You know how the Mama has those delusions of grandeur? When I was but a pup, she decided that I, Kolchak T Puggle, was going to be a SUPERDOG! One day, I’d be a star and we’d see my NAME IN LIGHTS as we showed off my mad agility skillz to the world!
I`m totally confused here. You want me to stop *in* the tunnel? I thought I was supposed to run *through* it…no??
How is that working out for you Mama?
You might have noticed that I am not a hot shot agility star. As it turns out, to become a SuperDog, you not only need a pup full of energy, smart as a whip and built on a spring, you also need a HUMAN capable of handling that dog and successfully directly them through the course without their lungs exploding from over exertion. You know how a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link? Well, an agility team is only as fast as it’s out of shape handler, Mama. The in shape human requirement, along with that fact that one of out agility classes was held at dawn on a Saturday led us to give up the sport last year. Truth be told, we loved it, but three classes a week, plus trials were getting to be a bit of a life suck. I mean, we love the sport, but we also love weekends at the lake, BBQs with friends and snuggling on the couch with a cup of coffee and a plate of eggs and ham on a Saturday morning. I mean we’re talking about 7 am, for barking out loud!
Just because I’m not going to be the next Porkchop, doesn’t mean I don’t like to play anymore.
Back in the day, the Mama and I built our own little agility course out in the yard, so that we could play even between classes. It was so easy – and you could do it to! Even if you don’t want to built a full agility run, it’s super simple to chose the few elements you think you and your dogs will enjoy and set them up for some informal agility fun. Whether you run organized trials or just goof off in the yard, agility can be GREAT exercise for you and your dog.
Check out some great links on how to create your own easy Agility equipment.
No construction necessary. Order this affordable play tunnel from J.C. Penny
, cut off the caterpillars face and be done with it! While this won’t hold up to the speed and banking of a highly trained agility competitor, it’s perfectly functional for our backyard play.
Quick and Dirty Jumps
Check out this post from Canine Crib
in how to make your own jump. Rather than build a base, (the extremely lazy) Mama chose to pound out PVC pipe right into the ground.
I can’t seem to find a tutorial for this one,which is silly because it is SO EASY. Follow the instructions above to create the outer frame. Cover a kid’s hula hoop with a pool noodle and attach to the frame using zap straps. Want something a bit sturdier? Try this Octagon Jumping Hoop from Instant Agility
Weave Poles (aka my nemesis)
I hate the weave poles. I can never seem to twist my butt around in time, but if you love to weave check out this post from Dog Play
on some simple poles that you can pound right into the lawn. Want your own Weave Pole Guides
? The Mama used fish tank tubing and office alligator clips to make ours!
Maybe if the Mama had built me a footwork ladder to practice, I would have a better idea of how to maneuver my hind end through those weave poles! Check out this post from Instant Agility
on how to create a ladder…or um…lay down an actual ladder.
We don’t have a teeter, which I think is a total rip off
because these can be SO MUCH FUN! Check out this post from Canine Crib
on how to build your own Teeter.
Another Kolchak Puggle favourite that is tragically missing from my yard. Our walk wag huge and heavy and once we retired my SuperDog dreams, the Mama had it disassembled. This post from Agility Bits
show you how to make your own DogWalk in a size a little more yard appropriate.
Another fun piece that the Mama has put away. Boooooo! Tell her we ought to get out my whole course! An AFrame is simple to build and a simple obstacle to learn, check out how to build one of your own in this post from Instructables
. (I’d fill that gap at the top with a piece of pool noodle!)
Not that handy?
For larger dogs or those ready to invest in some sturdier equipment, the Agility in the Bag kit
is a great buy at under $200.00.
Have you ever built something for your dog to play on? Would you consider setting up a course in your yard? Is there a quick and easy way to make something we skipped? Bark at us!