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These are training hoops to teach handling on the flat before a dog is old enough to jump. They are the clever creation of my friend, Heather Christenson.  Hoops have all kinds of handling applications.  The hoop should be tall enough for your dog to fit through it with his head forward and running. It should be wide enough for your dog to fit through comfortably. The one in the photo is for my Beardie. The side pieces of PVC are 24" long. The cross piece is 12" wide (he's a narrow dog).  Five of these are needed for TEAMWORK BUILDING BLOCKS. To construct hoops, follow the Training Barrier Instructions - eliminate piece C and the two associated TEEs.




LADDER    (photo shows only 1 section of PVC ladder)

You can use a ladder to build rear-end awareness, to teach the dog to walk nicely in a narrow space and to teach the dog to focus ahead. Any of the following will work:

  • a regular home extension ladder laid flat on the ground
  • a 6 foot step ladder laid flat on the ground with a caveat for toy dogs - some of the steps on these can turn into an actual jump for a toy breed! That's not what we want at this point. <BG>
  • a mock ladder constructed from 1/2" PVC. This is a nice choice if you have more than one dog you will be training, plan to teach classes, or have a toy dog. The "legs" that support the ladder can be twisted to change the height of the rungs from the ground. See Ladder Construction Instructions.



These are optional but are very handy so I'm including them in case you'd like to make some. They can be used to limit a dog's options so as to Get the Behavior. They can be used to close of one side of something. They can be used as jump wings. The training barriers shown in the photos are about 30" long x 24" high. You can make them any size you like! Mine are within the range for jump wing size but clubs here in the Northwest no longer use jump wings this wide. However, having nice wide, obnoxious jump wings forces the handlers to get a little distance from their dogs. <BG> See Training Barrier Instructions. As an alternative one could use baby gates, ring gates, lawn furniture, be creative!



For complete trial specifications, please see the various organizations' web sites: NADAC, AKC, USDAA. Some around-the-house suggestions for a Pause Table are a bench, a foot stool, couch, bed, an ottoman, an old table covered with a piece of carpet. You can use a piece of plywood placed on 4 cement blocks or 4 milk crates. The height of the table is determined by the dog's jump height (see web sites of the organizations). Photos of my Pause Table at Table Photos. Complete construction instructions can be found in Clean Run Magazine (www.cleanrun.com), September 1997.



PLAY TUNNEL           (see Pop-Up Bag Tunnel for new training tunnel option!)

The agility tunnel is the most frustrating piece of equipment for me. I like to come up with my own construction (cheap and easy) for things and I just can't do it for the tunnel. The "real" tunnels are darned expensive!   So I'm always on the hunt for alternatives.

A child's play tunnel is very useful for training many of the parameters of the tunnel obstacle - angles of approach, distance, CALLs, SENDs, speed for example. The play tunnels fail when you attempt to use them in a curved configuration in sequences. They are not sturdy enough to allow the dog to bank off the side of the tunnel. I made this mistake with my first dog. I used two play tunnels clipped together, never gave a thought to speed and the need to bank off the side. Brady has always done the tunnel slowly and I think that is because that's how she was conditioned to do it by the limitations of the equipment. But play tunnels can be very useful for quite a long time!

JC PENNEY'S, White Plastic Tunnel with animals printed on it. It is called Giant !2 Foot Play Tunnel, Item # RN652-1153A and it is $26.99. These are what I have to loan out to students to do their tunnel work at home.

There are many types of nylon play tunnels available. Do a web search and check them out.

Suggestion from the NoviceA list:

The Big Lot Stores in Florida have 6' long, 20" diameter, nylon , wire stitched down , pop up play tunnels for $10.00 each. They are okay for small dogs and new dogs, teaching send outs, obstacle discrimination, etc. I sewed 2 together and threw it under my A frame , has lasted 2 months so far.

AFFORDABLE AGILITY has a tunnel that has some good possibilities for a practice tunnel. It's made of a type of canvas material so is sturdier than the plastic or nylon play tunnels. It's only $60. I haven't seen one in person so I can't vouch for the banking issue but is certainly worth considering.


The PVC Jumps are easy to make. I make them from 1" PVC as I prefer to have them be reasonably sturdy. My students have made them from 3/4" lightweight PVC and those are OK - easier to break is the downside. I haul mine around a lot - the 3/4" would not survive my man-handling! I have provided PVC Jump Instructions and photos of my jumps.

Instructions for Cheap and Dirty Jumps will show you how to make jumps out of 3/8" fiberglas fence posts, 1/2" PVC and office supply binder clips.

You will need at least 1 jump for starters. Later you'll need 5 if you choose to do the Clothier Jump Chute Conditioning program. There is a point in this program where you need 10 jumps - Cheap and Dirty Jumps work really well for your Jump Chute, particularly if you have to take your Jump Chute work to parks for sufficient space.


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This was originally a device Gary Wilkes posted about a long time ago - something to help train a fearful dog to the motion of the teeter. Somewhere along the way, it became known as the Buja Board (named for Brenda Buja) probably because she recommended it a lot.

You can see more photos of my Buja Board here. I simply use the plywood top from one of my Pause Tables with a child's playball underneath. The ball is squishy and so the board holds it in place. Many people build a little square underneath their piece of plywood to make a containment space for the ball. I prefer to let the plywood roll around on the ball. You can start with a golf ball, go to a tennis ball, then a mini-basketball, then on to a playball if you like. The surface you are working on comes into play also. If you are in a loose dirt arena, you need a larger ball - the small ones will be lost in the dirt!

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Tom Tutt of Sublimity, OR came up with this weave pole design - WEAVES. An outdoor alternative is to make your weave poles using the Cheap and Dirty Jumps. I stripe my weave poles using 2" wide tape (from Industrial Safety, co-company to US Plastics). I put the stripes 3" apart. That allows me to put a weave pole on the ground to use for measuring the 20" distance between poles.


Note: Used in Cyber Agility - TEAMWORK: Stepping It Up (Module 3)