Dog agility classes can be expensive and time consuming. Furthermore, not every town has courses available. If you are interested in teaching your dog agility but are hesitant about enrolling them in a class, consider making a course at home using the following methods.
For your pole, your can use ski poles, metal bars, rebar, or PVC pipes. Bury the base of the poles in the ground, deep enough that the pole will not be knocked over if the dog runs into them. Space the poles far enough apart that your dog can safely maneuver through them.
You can use benches as hurdles. Be sure to space the benches far enough apart, that your dog can land the first hurdle and get a running start before the second. It may take a bit of trial and error to figure out an appropriate distance between hurdles. If you don’t have a bench, make one using cinder blocks and plywood. Given your dog may not be able to clear the hurdle right away, clamp the plywood between two layers of cinderblocks, rather than setting the plywood on top of the cinderblocks. This way your dog won’t knock the plywood off of the cinderblocks when they jump over.
Tie a large hula hoop to a tree, so that it hangs down at a reasonable height for the dog to jump through. Tie to ropes on each end of the hula hoop, to minimize spinning of the hoop in the wind. Another alternative is to fasten the hula hoop to a pole, and plant the pole in the ground. You can add a couple, spaced apart, and as your dog improves teach them to jump through several consecutively.
For tunnels, it may be easiest to purchase one. Check your local second hand store to see if they have a child’s pop-up tunnel for sale. You can also make one by forming several hops out of wire or clothes hangers. The hoops need to be large enough for your dog to comfortably fit through. Take a large piece of fabric, long enough to span the length of the tunnel, and staple the fabric around the hoops. Space the hoops about one foot apart.
Mix and Match
One your dog has learned each individual obstacle, you can create a more difficult obstacle course by combining all of the obstacles together.