Ok, so like me you’ve probably looked into dog agility course equipment but discovered how expensive it can be, which is so disheartening. I want you to know you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a great dog agility course. And in this post, I will show you how to make dog agility equipment out of household items.
Each of the 7 items in this post comes with dog agility equipment DIY plans and step-by-step instructions.
Building a dog agility course is so easy. Many of the dog agility equipment plans posted here are simple and your dog will thank you for thinking of them and giving them hours of focused boredom fighting fun.
Why Dog Agility Training?
Agility training is a great tool for highly active dogs. Dogs like Border Collies and Rat Terriers love agility training. It helps them burn off energy, overcome boredom and creates a stronger bond between you and them. Lower energy dogs can also benefit from agility training. Even elderly pups.
How Does Agility Training Help Your Dog?
Agility courses can help your dog learn valuable obedience skills in a fun environment. Not to mention dogs are very smart and agility training can help keep their minds sharp. It’s also a great cure for boredom and any trouble they might get themselves into. (who are we kidding, might? lol. If they are like my boys they purposely look for it 😉 ).
Puppies and small dogs can also both benefit from puppy agility equipment and small dog agility toys. Exercise is always good for them and us (many times for the same reasons)!
What is an Agility Course for Dogs?
A true agility course has more than just pole jumps — there are tunnels, teeters, and platforms, and more. And the good news is that DIY dog agility equipment plans are a lot easier to put together than it sounds. (Trust me if I can do this so can you!)
The aim of my post is to show you how to build a complete agility course from materials that you may have laying around the house – and it will save you a TON of money over buying pre-made agility course items. Don’t worry though if you don’t have all the materials you need, you can pick them up at the hardware store for less than buying pre-made.
A basic agility course should have:
You can even do slides and so much more, whatever you can envision (that is safe of course) that you think your dog may like. For instance, some bigger dogs love ladders! Who knew some could actually climb them?. Some have even been known to climb trees!
DIY Dog Agility Equipment
With all of the different types of dog agility items here, you’ll be able to make your own dog agility equipment with just a little elbow grease, patience and time.
DIY PVC Dog Agility Equipment
Probably one of the most widely recognized dog agility equipment items you see on a dog agility course is PVC poles and hurdles. Here is a list of what you need to create them in your own backyard.
- 1″ Sch. 40 PVC Pipe – 20 ft.
- 1″ 4-Way PVC Tee – 2
- 1″ PVC Slip Tee – 2
- 1″ PVC End Cap – 6
- 1/2″ Round Washer Head Screws – 6
- Tape Measure
- PVC Cutting Tool, Handsaw, or Electric Saw
- Power Drill
- Hammer or Mallet (optional)
- To make these hurdles, you will need to measure and cut eight sections of pipe: four 12″ sections, two 35″ sections, and two 45″ sections.
- Place the two 35″ pieces into the tops of the 4-way tees with the 12″ pieces sticking out on either side as shown. Between the two arms of the hurdle, place one of the 45″ sections.
- Place an end cap onto the end of each the 12″ foot sections to give the hurdle a more finished look. You can use a hammer or mallet to get all the pieces fit into place if needed.
- You can use glue, but you might want to dismantle the hurdle at some point. Screws may be a better choice. The piping fits together snugly, but the bottom of the hurdle should be secured so it doesn’t fall apart.
- Using a power drill, insert one screw into each of the places where a pipes is connected parallel to the ground. This can be a little difficult with just the screw and power drill, so consider using a drill bit to make the hole before putting in the screws. Once the screws are tight, the bottom of the frame should be sturdy.
- The bar of the hurdle will be fully adjustable. Put the slip tees onto the 35″ poles that are pointing upwards. The slip tees can be placed at any height, but they should at the same position on their respective poles.
- After the slip tees are on, put the last two end caps on the tops of the 35″ poles. Place the remaining 45″ section in the slip tees. To adjust the bar height, move the slip tees up or down the 35″ poles. They should be snug on the poles and maintain their position after being moved.
Thank you to Pvc Fittings Online for these amazing hurdle instructions.
Tire Jump for Dogs
These instructions make a 4 foot wide, 5-foot tall tire jump. You can adjust the size of this jump by lengthening or shortening the size of your poles. An example would be if you wanted a 3 foot by 4-foot jump you would use 36-inch poles for your width and 48-inch poles for your height.
- 2 – 4-way pvc fitting
- 2- 60-inch pieces 1-1/2 in. PVC Pipe
- 2- 48-inch pieces of 1-1/2 in. PVC Pipe
- 2- 1-1/2″ 90 Degree Elbow PVC Fitting Connector
- 4- 16-inch PVC pieces 1-1/2 in. PVC Pipe
- Corrugated Drain Pipe
- 5- eye bolts with nuts
- S-hook or carabiner clip that will fit through link in chain
- Duct tape or glue
- Place one of the 4 way PVC fittings on each end of a 48 inch piece of PVC pipe. The fittings should create a base with one fitting connector facing up, one to the left of the pole, one to the right, and the one in the middle connected to the PVC pipe.
- Take the 4 -16-inch PVC pieces and place them in the 4 way connectors so that they lay flush with the ground. Your pipework should look like an H.
- Now place a 60-inch piece of pipe in the 4 way PVC fitting in the connector that it facing up. Repeat this step on the opposite 4 way fitting.
- You can now place your 2 elbow connectors on top of the 60 inch pipes facing toward each other.
- Using your second piece of 48 inch PVC pipe, put each end of the pipe in the elbow connectors.
- You should now have a upright rectangle on an H shaped base. This will be your frame for your “tire”.
- If you want to glue your frame together or paint your frame, now would be the time. Just be sure to use glue and paint that is for PVC to insure it sticks!
- Now you will need to measure your side pipes ( the 60 inch pipes). Using a permanent marker, make a mark 10 inches from the top of the pole, and then 10 inches from the bottom of the pole. Do this for both 60 inch pipes.
- Following the mark you just made, drill a hole the diameter of your eye bolt aimed inward towards the center of your frame. Place a bolt in each drilled hole securing them with a nut. The “EYE” end of the bolt should be facing the inside of the frame. These eyebolts will be for securing the sides of your tire to the side of the frame.
- On the top of your frame (the 48 inch pipe) find the center and mark it with your marker. Drill a hole for the remaining eye bolt and secure the bolt in the hole with the nut with the “EYE” once again facing the center of the frame. This eyebolt will hold your chain.
- Now to make your “Tire”. Using the corrugated drainage pipe, you are going to make a circle with the pipe that will fit inside of your frame. You will want to make a the circle with an approximate diameter of 32 inches when measured from the outer edges of the circle. When your circle ends are together, you can use duct tape to secure it or glue it together. Now is when you will want to paint your tire for the look you desire. It will be much harder to paint once it is assembled.
- To assemble your tire to your frame, place the carabiner clip or S-hook to the eyebolt in the top of the frame. Connect one end of the chain to the hook and then loop the other end of the chain through your tire and back to the hook. You can adjust the tire to the height you desire by adjusting the length of this chain.
- To center and stabilize your tire, run a piece of paracord through the top eyebolt on the side pole. Secure the chord by tying it to itself. Run the chord through the tire, out of the other side and then back through the tire. Secure the paracord to the bottom eyebolt on the same pole. Repeat this for the opposite side. You will be aiming for about 8 inches of clearance on each side of the tire.
DIY Weave Pole Design
One of my favorites to watch when they have the dog agility competitions on t.v. The dogs always look like they are having so much fun zipping through these.
- 12 – 1 in. Internal Dome Caps
- 4 -1 in. 4-Way PVC Tee
- 2- 1 in. 3-Way PVC Elbow
- PVC glue
- 40 feet- 1 in. PVC Pipe – Cut to length-
- 6 – 35 inch
- 5 – 20 inch
- 6 – 12 inch
- Using 3 -20 inch long pipes and 4 -1 in. 4-Way PVC Tee you are going to connect the end of a tee to a piece of pipe, then another tee, then another pipe, another tee and another pipe, ending with the 4th tee. Lay this on the ground in front of you pointing away from you. Turn the first tee to the right, the second tee to the left, the third to the right, and the 4th to the left. Each tee should have a connection pointed up, and one to the side.
- On either end of the piece you just assembled, add a 20 inch piece of pipe, and end it with a 3 way PVC tee. Point the side connection in the opposite direction of your last 4 way tee.
- Place a 12 inch piece of pipe (6 pieces) in each of the joint openings that are flush with the ground.
- Add the 6 – 35 inch pieces of pipe to the joints that are pointed up.
- Place internal dome caps on all open pieces of pipe and glue all of the joints in place.
A big thanks to formufit.com for these plans.
Dog Agility Competition Tunnel
This one couldn’t get any simpler especially if you have access to hand-me-down toys or can find some at the dollar store, a yard sale or flea market. If you are like us your pup has a ton of toys so choosing is simply spilling the toy box and picking some out.
Dog Agility Teeter Trainer
This one is pretty self explanatory, who doesn’t love a good go on a teeter totter? Am I right?
- 4 – 1-1/4 in. 90 Deg. PVC Elbow
- 4 – 1-1/4 in. Slip Sling PVC Tee
- 2 – 1-1/4 in. PVC Tee
- 2 – 1-1/4 in. External End Cap
- 1 – 1-1/2-Inch 2-Hole Pipe Strap (you can buy it on Amazon here)
- 2×12 PLYWOOD BOARD
- 30 feet – 1-1/4 in. PVC Pipe -Cut to lengths:
- 1 – 48 inch
- 1 – 36 inch
- 5 – 24 inch
- 2 – 16 inch
- 1 – 9 inch
- 2 – 3.5 inch
- Place 2 of the Slip Sling PVC Tees on one of the 16in lengths of PVC pipe, then place an elbow joint on each end. Do not glue the Slip Sling PVC Tees!
- Attach an elbow joint to one end of a 24 inch link of pipe. Repeat this to make a second 24 inch pipe with elbow joint, then connect the two together using a 16 inch long piece of the PVC pipe.
- Join the 2 open ends of the U shaped frame to the open ends of the elbow joints on the first piece you created.
- Now using your 9 inch piece of pipe, slide on one of the Slip Sling PVC Tees and then adding a Tee fitting on each end connecting into one of the side wings of the T. In the end of the tee fitting, connect a 3.5 inch piece of pipe and finish it off with an external end cap. Repeat this for the other tee joint on the opposite end.
- Using the last piece you built, add 2- 24 inch pieces of pipes into the open connection on the tee fitting. Connect the open ends of these two pipes into the open Slip Sling PVC Tees of the frame you build in the first 3 steps.
- Using a hand saw, cut open one side of the remaining Slip Sling PVC Tees. (You will be using this as a clamp attached to a brace to allow for you to fold your frame for storage.)
- Now attach the cut Slip Sling PVC Tees to the end of a remaining pipe and attach the open end of pipe into the Slip Sling PVC Tees on the frame. You should now be able to swing down the brace arm you just created and the cut tee on the opposite end will connect onto the pvc pipe creating an A frame.
- To adjust the height of your base, just change the length of the pipe in the brace bar at the bottom of the frame.
- If you want to attach the board to your frame, you can use a 1-1/2-Inch 2-Hole Pipe Strap (you can get it on Amazon by clicking here) to secure the board to the frame.
Thank you again to formufit.com for another amazing set of dog agaility equipment plans!
Agility Pause Box
Another self explanatory object. This is great when your pup needs a rest or you want to give them a reward for their hard work. It’s also a good way to teach them obedience, like sit, stay, etc. And a pause during any work out is, to quote M, always a good thing.
- Particle board or plywood cut to 24 inches x 48 inches
- Astroturf or grass carpet to cover the board, 4 ft x 8 ft rug
- Tacks or carpet glue to fasten the carpet to the board
- 4 pieces of 4 x 4 post cut to the height you want your table
- 2- 4 foot long pieces of 2×4
- 2- 20 inch long pieces of 2 x 4
- Build a rectangle frame using the 2×4 pieces.
- Attach the plywood to the top of the frame using screws.
- Flip your frame upside down and attach the 4 -4×4 post legs using screws- one leg in each corner of the frame. You can screw the legs into place through sides of the 2×4 frame and then place a screw through the plywood top into the leg once it is flipped right side up.
- To add the rug, center the rug over the top of the platform so that it overhangs on all sides. You can either glue down the rug, or use tacks to hold it in place. (A good staple gun would work, also!) You want enough overhang to be able to wrap over the 2×4 frame and secure the rug on the backside of the 2×4 board. Feel free to trim away excess to make the rug manageable, but remember not to trim too much! You can always cut more, but you cannot add it back.
Note: An easy way to wrap the rug around the frame is to cut from the corner of the rug to the corner of the post. Once you do this to all 4 corners and the overhang will hang down your frame, you will be able to see where you need to trim.
Wooden Dog Agility A Frame
This is a fun strength training obstacle. It can teach our pups to slow their roll before moving on to the more zippy obstacles.
- 8 – 2 x 4 -8 foot long
- 2 – 3 foot x 8 foot cut – 15/32″ thickness plywood
- 42 feet of 3/8″ x 1 1/4″ molding cut into 14 – 3 foot strips
- 2- door hinges
- 4- hook bolts ( bolts that have a hook on one side, allows you to attach the chain)
- 2- 8 foot lengths of chain that supports up to 250lbs
- 1 bottle of wood glue
- 1lbs box of 2 1/2″ screws (or use nails, etc)
- 1lbs box of 1″ nails or some other nail, brad nails, etc) for tacking the molding to the frame
- 2 colors of paint – exterior paint is best.
- a few cups of dry sand to add to the paint for traction
- 1x pool noodle
To cut and use your 8- 2x4s: Keep 4 of them their original length. Use 2 of the other 2x4s to cut 4- 36 inch boards (2 from each 8 foot 2×4) and cut your last 2 -2x4s in lengths of 33 inches for a total of 4- 33 inch boards ( 2 from each 8 foot 2×4).
Cut your molding into 14 strips at 3 feet per strip.
Assembly- you will repeat these steps twice!
- Take the 2- 2x4s that you didn’t cut and lay these parallel to each other. These 2x4s are 3 inches short of 8 feet, the world of wood measurements is not very intuitive! Anyway, lay the 36″ boards above and below the 8′ boards. Lay the 33″ boards 32″ from either end.
- With a pencil, mark the 8′ board on the side in the middle of the 33″ boards. This will be used to know where to screw the plywood to the cross members. (I used 2- 1/2 inch deck screws to secure them. These should hold up to the elements, but feel free to use nails if you’d like.)
- Lay the 3’x8′ plywood sheet on top of the frame you just built. I first drilled, then countersunk each hole, then drilled in a 2 1/2 deck screw into each hole. I could have used smaller screws but this allowed me to use one box. I did this about every 6 inches or so. (We had 2 drills setup, one with the drill bit the other with a hex plug so we could quickly drop in the countersink bit and then the drill bit. This made a tedious job more tolerable!)
- You can optionally fill the wholes with wood putty to prevent the dogs paws from getting caught, we just filed them with sandy paint.
- Sand! At this time we sanded down the corners and any chips from the screw holes. We did this before installing the molding as it was easier.
- Molding. Measure about 4″ in from one end and lay a piece of molding. Repeat this every foot. I used wood glue and then tacked each strip of molding down with 1 inch nails. The nails act like a clamp for the wood glue. At this point, I made sure the molding didn’t have any sharp edges but bringing out the sander.
- Repeat the previous steps to build the second half of the A frame.
- Painting: A-Frame’s paint scheme is it needs to have 2 colors. The bottom 3 feet where the dog has to contact before it’s allowed to jump off of the A-Frame needs to be a different color from the top. Make sure to add the sand mentioned in the materials list to add some traction to the surface.
- Connect the two halves together using the hinges.
- Attach the hook bolts the the sides of the A frame at the same height on both boards, both sides.
- Measure and cut your chain to length, so that it reached from the hook on one board to the hook on the other. Repeat this for the 2nd chain.
- Grind away any excess bolt!
- Cut the pool noodle to the length of the gap in the top of the A frame. You can also secure it by running a piece of rope through the pool noodle and tying it under the hinges.
Bottom line, it is so very easy to come up with DIY dog agility course plans, you don’t need to be an expert, but you are sure to measure up to one with these plans!
Thank you to Instructables.com for these great A frame instructions!
If your dog loves agility then you will love these diy agility course obstacles.
They are fun and easy projects that can save you a ton of money.
And if your dog likes to swim make sure you check out my DIY Dog Pool post.
Also check out: DIY: How to Make an Interactive Feeder Toy.
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