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Ciren
10th March 2008, 01:17 PM
i have found myself wondering recently if you can buy your own equipment. i wouldn't want to actually compete or anything but i can see for myself how much the dogs enjoy it. i guess i have a vision of my new garden with a mini agility course in it.

any idea's?

Cathryn
10th March 2008, 01:37 PM
One idea is to buy a childs play tunnel, they are easily flattened down for storage and relatively cheap to buy from shops such as Woolworths or Argos. My lot love bombing through the kids tunnel when they play with it!!

Barbara Nixon
10th March 2008, 02:21 PM
That's what I did , after buying my grandson a tent tunnel combo and having problems keeping Joly out. Jumps can be plant pots with garden canes on top. I don't know whether you are in the UK, but PaH do agility equipment, which is rather expensive, cheaper being available, mail order fro ads in dog magazines or online.

Justine
10th March 2008, 03:36 PM
Hi,if any one does find a link for the agility equipment please pm me as we have half an acre up behind the house and i want to build a course there.I have found a handy man here and i am going to ask him if he can make me some poles at a later stage.jus.

Ciren
10th March 2008, 03:40 PM
thanks guys. i have this months copy of your dog so i will have a look in there.

Bruce H
10th March 2008, 05:30 PM
If you do some searching online, there are quite a few places that have free plans for a lot of the equipment that uses plastic PVC pipe and very basic tools. PVC pipe is really easy to work with: cut it with a hand saw like you would for wood, put the glue on the end of the pipe, insert the pipe into the fitting, give the pipe about 1/4 turn, and in about 30 seconds it's there to stay. Any hardware store can sell you the pipe, fittings and glue you need. And it's really pretty cheap.

Karlin
10th March 2008, 07:01 PM
Most agility equipment isn't stuff that can be left outside. Some pieces are very heavy, too. As Bruce and others note, basics are easy to build and if you want to buy, agility equipment is easily available all over the web in the UK, US etc.

One caution: Please do NOT do agility on a course unless you have done some classes with a proper trainer FIRST!!!! And do NOT allow dogs to do courses with people who have never done any agility, or if you do not know how to set up and train a dog to a course! Simply thinking it looks fun is not really acceptable. A dog could be very seriously injured doing agility improperly with lifelong damage to bones or joints -- if jumps are too high, if it lands the wrong way, if it doesn;t know how to *safely* stay on and get off items like the dog walk. Jumps must be appropriate to the size and weight of the dog and this is probably a lot lower than most people think is OK, if you haven't done courses with small dogs like cavaliers.

In short, just as you wouldn't head off to run a hurdle course or use gymnastics equipment without training on how to do it correctly and safely, nor should people's dogs start running around agility courses without any training or knowledge about agility safety and at what age it is appropriate -- and how much is too much.

Be aware that if you are making agility equipment and don't know much about agility or equipment requirements, it probably will not have the safety features that are built into good equipment -- displacement bars that fall in a collision, etc -- so you need to be careful about how you make things and what pieces you do yourself. Also, dogs are trained to observe contact points on equipment primarily for safety, not just because it is part of competition. If you don't understand what these things mean, take some agility courses so that you do before running your dogs or anyone else's on a course, professional or homemade.

I cannot stress this enough. :thmbsup: Doing small fun things like very low jumps (a few inches) and a tunnel are fine, but even then with jumps you must know some basics about safety and dogs under one should really not be doing jumps at all. And it actually takes a long time and many gradual steps to teach something like weave poles so expectations need to be in line with the dog's ability to learn.

In general trainers require dogs to have passed intermediate level obedience BEFORE being allowed to start agility -- and they must be at least 12 months old.

See: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=179915&ca=Pets
http://www.dogpatch.org/agility/FAQS/faqintro.html
http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/lp_dogs/article/0,2041,DIY_14061_4202941,00.html
http://www.dogwise.com/ItemDetails.cfm?ID=DTA214

Justine
10th March 2008, 07:06 PM
I agree with karlin on this one,poles would have to fall easily and not damage legs etc etc.If i was going to do it would be only low poles and tunnel.I wouldnt be doing a proper course.I have had horses all my life and have seen many an accident with fixed poles and with poles that are to high and solid.

Ciren
10th March 2008, 07:31 PM
same here, i used to work with horses so i understand the safety of jumps. thanks for all the advice etc it has given me alot to think about.

Cathryn
10th March 2008, 08:08 PM
Can I just add to this that most training classes prefer for dogs to be at least 1 year old and fully developed, this reduces the risk of neck and spinal damage to your dog.