A great way to keep your dog healthy is with a fun agility course. And you don’t have to search high and low for an agility course. You can build one right in your own backyard! What’s even better is that you don’t have to break the bank when building one either. Instead of shelling out tons of cash for a pre-packaged kit, you can get the same items at your local hardware store. Making it the the DIY project of the summer! Plus, you can make it as little or as big as you would like. And if you can’t build it all at once, simply add on to it as you can.
But before you run out to the hardware store, make sure you have covered all your bases and planned out the course. We want to keep our dogs healthy and safe. So to avoid possible injury make sure to follow a basic guide. The American Kennel Club is the best place for resources on how to build the right course for your dog.
Agility Course Basics:
First, take in consideration your dog’s size. A course needs to be tailored to your pets size and weight. Also, consider how much space you have in your yard when making the obstacles. The AKC has recommended adjustments for space and placement of obstacles to make you agility course most effective. So, make sure to check out this Agility Brochure from the AKC before you get started.
A general course will consist of the following (click the links to get an idea of what they look like):
Instead of buying each item, you can follow this great tutorial from Petful to find all the right products and specs to build them yourself. You can also cut costs by shopping at thrift shops, yards sales and flea markets. Places like the Habitat for Humanity ReStore are a fantastic place to find discounted material. You can even recycle materials from around your house or from your neighbors.
- Improves behavior
- Better listening skills
- Fights obesity with exercise
- Give their natural instincts an outlet
- Strengthens your bond with each other
- Improves reaction time and cognition
There are a lot of benefits for making an agility course for your dog. And you may even find yourself feeling more fit by running alongside you dog during the course! They may have a hard time learning the basics at first, but in the end most dogs love it. Just make sure to give them lost of positive reinforcement as they are learning the basics so that they will want to stick with it.
Do you have or have you had an agility course for your dog? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below or on our Facebook page!