Used dog agility equipment can be a big money saver for individuals who are interested in training but can't invest the kind of money required for brand new competition grade pieces. As with any other shopping, you need to know where to look, what you're looking for and to make sure that you are getting a good deal for your money.
Most agility courses consist of several basic pieces including jumps, tire jumps, weave poles, tunnels, and a pause table. For larger courses, you can also add in contact pieces such as the A-frame, teeter, and dog walk. Any of these pieces can be purchased through standard retailers and they can vary in price from $40 or $50 to as much as $300 or higher. More adventurous types with DIY skills may opt to save money by making their own equipment.
In between these two options is a third possibility and that's buying used dog agility equipment. You can often find good deals on online sites such as Craig's List and eBay, where individuals will put their used pieces up for sale. Before buying through one of these sites you want to be sure that any piece you buy is in good condition so that there isn't a risk of injury to your dog or of the piece wearing out soon after purchase, before you can get your money's worth out of it.
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Where to find used dog agility equipment? You can get deals on used equipment but there are things to look out for.
Because agility equipment is meant to be used by dogs running at top speed, it is easy for pieces to become worn down over time. This is particularly true for tunnels, where fabric can easily be ripped by sharp nails or for the non-slip surfaces of contact pieces, which can wear down over time and lose their traction.
These are just some of the factors you want to take into consideration when purchasing used equipment. Any reputable seller should be up front about the condition of the equipment they are selling.
Another great option for finding used dog agility equipment is through local obedience, rally and agility clubs. Many communities have these centers where you can take your dog to train if you don't have the space to set up a course at home. Often, these clubs or centers will upgrade their equipment and that will mean they are left with old equipment that is still serviceable but no longer needed by them and they will put this equipment up for sale.
The advantage to buying this way is that you can speak directly to the seller and, because these are clubs run by professionals with agility training expertise, they can let you know exactly what condition their equipment is in. Concerned dog owners may feel safer buying this way than through more impersonal online sites. You can check easily and find out if there are any of these clubs in your area. Even if they aren't selling equipment themselves they might be able to direct you to someone who is.
Remember that used dog agility equipment is no different than the new stuff and if it is in good shape, it should be particularly serviceable for those who are only looking to engage in agility as a hobby. If you are serious about competing, then you will probably want to upgrade to newer equipment at some point, but you could still start out basic training with good quality used equipment.
Don't let the expense of equipment put you off agility training. You and your dog can still participate in this fun activity even if you don't have a huge budget if you shop wisely and consider going with used equipment.
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