There are dozens of obstacles that can be used in a dog agility course, so familiarizing yourself with the various types of dog agility equipment can help you to better understand the sport. Knowing the different types of obstacles can also help you to construct your very own dog agility course in your backyard if you are seriously invested in this sport. Let’s take a look at some of the most common dog agility equipment so we can better understand their functions.
The 7 Most Common Dog Agility Equipment Pieces
There are several different jump bars that a dog may have to clear in a dog agility course, so owning such dog agility equipment will be very beneficial for training your canine companion. Single jump bars are very similar to the hurdles that runners have to clear in track meets, as dogs will only have to clear a single pole that is placed at an elevated height above the ground.
Triple jumps are another common type of jump that is encountered on a dog agility course. A triple jump is a series of three poles that are lined up at varying heights. Dogs will have to clear all three poles in this jump.
A fence wing jump is a series of poles or simply a fence that is positioned vertically. Dogs will have to clear all of the poles or the fence.
A hoop jump is exactly what it sounds like-a hoop that dogs will have to jump through. This piece of dog agility equipment is elevated off of the ground, so dogs will need to get airborne and avoid touching any part of the hoop. Some hoop jumps have several hoops within the piece of equipment, so dogs will have to clear the correct hoop.
An A-frame is an important piece of dog agility equipment. A-frames are shaped like an upside-down V, and the purpose of this piece of equipment is to get a dog to run up one side of the A-frame before running down the other side. Dogs will be hesitant to run up an A-frame at first, so they will have to be conditioned to not fear this piece of dog agility equipment.
Seeing a dog run up and down a teeter-totter is one of the more fun sights on a dog training course. While it may look like fun, remember that it takes a lot of skill for a dog to be able to pull off this move.
During dog agility trials, one side of a teeter will be touching the ground. A dog will be expected to clamber up the teeter. Dogs often pause in the middle of the teeter before running down the other side.
Only a truly skilled pooch can successfully navigate through weave poles. Weave poles are vertical poles that anchor into the ground. Over ten poles are lined up in a row, and the poles have perhaps a foot in between them depending on the size of the dog that will be running through. To successfully navigate weave poles, dogs will have to weave back and forth between all of the poles without touching any of the poles or incorrectly weaving.
Dog Agility Tunnels
Dog tunnels are one of the most iconic pieces of dog agility equipment that can be found on an agility course. Tunnels come in different shapes, sizes, and lengths, but no matter the appearance, their purpose is always the same-dogs are supposed to sprint through these tunnels during agility competitions. Dogs are not naturally inclined to run through tunnels, so it takes an experienced and disciplined pooch to overcome their instincts and go through a tunnel.
A platform is a simple piece of dog agility equipment that tests a dog’s ability to stop on a dime and follow commands. Platforms are elevated off of the ground, but they are usually not more than a foot above the ground. As a dog sprints through an agility course and approaches a platform, it will have to position itself on the platform, quickly stop its movement, and sit until its handler instructs them to move on.
Those who have a serious interest in dog agility will want to acquire all of this dog agility equipment for themselves, as the 7 pieces of equipment listed in this article are likely to be found on all dog agility courses. These different pieces of dog agility equipment condition dogs to use different skills and abilities. Skills such as speed, quickness, maneuverability, and obedience are all tested by this equipment.
It can be pricey to purchase all of this dog equipment for yourself. Luckily, much of this dog agility equipment can be constructed by those comfortable with manipulating wood or PVC pipes-all of the dog agility equipment listed in this article can be made of these materials except for dog agility tunnels.
Dog agility is a fantastic way for owners to bond with their dogs while getting their dogs in top-notch condition. Those who want to get started for themselves will simply need to acquire these 7 pieces of dog agility equipment.