Dog agility equipment plans are extremely important for any of the DIY trainers out there. Building your own equipment is certainly an acceptable alternative to purchasing the pricey pre-made stuff, particularly for those who are only interested in agility training as a hobby or do not have a lot of money to devote to their training. If you do opt to go the homemade route, however, it is extremely important that you plan ahead in order to ensure the safety of your dog.
Most plans have a few things in common. They focus on the basics of agility equipment using materials that are either found around the home or can be purchased inexpensively at your local home improvement store. PVC piping is the agility trainer's best friend and is used for constructing everything from jumps to weave poles to pause tables. In most cases, PVC offers a sturdy foundation with just enough give to keep your four-legged friend from getting hurt.
Jumps and pause tables are the easiest pieces of equipment to build and generally involve just varying lengths of PVC and a piece of plywood for the top of the pause table. You might also find pause table plans that include such household items as ottomans, small tables, beds or benches, all of which work just as well. For tire jumps, some flexible tubing for the hoop itself will be required. All of these pieces of equipment can be made easily with very little effort even if you don't have a lot of handyman skills.
As with the pause table, dog agility equipment plans for the A-frame and dog walk will involve using pieces of plywood that are connected with a simple hinge. Again, the teeter or seesaw involves a plywood top and a PVC base. While these plans may be a little more complex, they shouldn't be too difficult to follow.
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Some pieces are simple enough that you don't even need plans, just an idea of what you want to build—like these basic jumps.
Plans are also available for jump wings or barriers, which are not required in training but can help to keep your dog focused on the jump or provide a delineated border for your agility course area. These can be easily fashioned from PVC, following a simple plan, or you can use a baby gate or even pieces of lawn furniture to achieve the same end.
There are also how-to videos and books available that contain dog agility equipment plans for you to follow. No matter where you get your plans, it is important that you look them over carefully before you begin construction in order to be sure that you know what you're doing…this way you can not only save yourself time and money but potentially spare your dog injury as well.
Money should not be an obstacle to agility training. If you know where to look, you can find plans for building your own equipment. Here are some free dog agility equipment plans to get you started. This way you and your dog can have the fun of training without having to spend a fortune.