Dog agility is a fast-paced sport in which a handler guides his or her canine companion through a complex obstacle course full of tunnels, weave poles and jumps. The goal is to complete the course in the fastest time with the fewest errors, and practicing at home is an ideal way to polish your dog’s agility skills. Constructing jumps at home is a simple way to help shave seconds off your time on the competition course.
Insert one 14-inch piece of PVC pipe into the top and bottom ends of one of the 4-way side outlet tee connectors. These connectors have four openings; when viewed from above, one points forward, one points backward, one points to the left, and one points straight up. Leave the left-facing and top-facing holes open. Repeat this process for the other connector to form the feet of your jump.
Slide one of the connector units on each end of the 48-inch section of pipe to form the base. The bar in the middle rests on the ground and holds the base of the jump upright to support the jump poles. Push the bar firmly into the connectors, so the base does not come apart if you wiggle it gently with your hands.
Fit one 32-inch section of pipe into each of the remaining holes in the base, pointing up. These longer poles form the uprights, or the pieces that will hold the jump bars. If the upright sticks as you insert it into the connector, twist it gently with your hands as you push down.
Fit the open ends of PVC pipe with PVC caps. The caps prevents moisture, debris and insects from invading your jumps.
Attach one jump cup to each upright of the jumps. These small clips snap onto the upright and can be adjusted up or down depending on the height of your dog. Affix the clips parallel to one another, and point the U-shaped cup of each clip toward the sky. Place one 47-inch piece of PVC horizontally into the jump cups to complete your jump.
Never train a puppy over tall jumps. Repeated jumping is stressful on growing joints and may lead to permanent injury and lameness.
When training your dog to jump, start with the cups near the base of the jump, and increase height as the dog becomes more confident in her jumping abilities.
If your dog is taller than 24 inches, increase the size of the upright poles to 42 inches. In competition, taller breeds have higher jump requirements, and taller uprights allow you to adjust the cups to the proper height.
Items You Will Need
- 4 sections of 1-inch diameter PVC pipe, 14 inches long
- 2 PVC connectors, 4-way side outlet tee
- 1 section of 1-inch diameter PVC pipe, 48 inches long
- 2 sections of 1-inch diameter PVC pipe, 32 inches long
- 2 PVC jump cups, 1-inch
- 1 section of 3/4-inch PVC pipe, 47 inches long
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