Different Agility Forums that I know of

AgilCan is the message board for members of the Agility Association of Canada (AAC).

CleanRun is the message board for readers of the magazine by the same name. It is an excellent resource for training in agility. Also has information about the different agility organizations throughout Canada and the USA.

Agility-equipment teaches people how to make their own equipment. Good site for ideas and for saying.. “how do I do …..”

Agility-Products-Equipment is mostly a group that suppliers use to promote their products. Occasionally advice on construction is given.

There is a another list called Agiledogs. Not entirely sure anymore how I got on it. 🙂 you go here to subscribe. It is very US-based, but is still an excellent resource for training. This is what comes at the bottom of every message

Archives: http://apple.ease.lsoft.com/archives/agiledogs.html
All AGILEDOGS email is Copyright 2007 by its original author.

There are few other groups out there that I know of, NoviceA, Agility-L, Agility and so forth. There are groups for training in specific areas and so forth. Do a search on yahoo, you’ll be surprised with what you might find.

Making a Small Contact Trainer

From Karen through agility-equipment yahoo group

Here are instructions for a small and cheap Contact Trainer I built
to use in my living room. Perfect for practicing our 2-on/2-offs in
the house! The dimensions are 2’x 2’when folded, and materials cost
all of $33.75 at Home Depot. Feel free to fancy up my plans in your
own way!

2 – 2’x 2′ pieces of sub-floor ($8 each, in the plywood dept.)
2 – 12″ door hinges ($5 each)
2 – eyebolts ($.50 each)
2 – s-hooks ($.25 each)
1 – 2 1/2′ piece of chain ($1.25)
1 – can of yellow spray paint ($2.50)
1 – can of blue spray paint ($2.50)

tools: screwdriver, plus a hammer-n-nail or drill to start holes
pliers to close s-hooks
time: 1 hour or less

1. lay boards flat on floor and up against each other on one edge
2. attach the two door hinges along that edge
3. attach an eyebolt to the underside of each board, 6″ up from
bottom edge and centered
4. attach chain to the eyebolts with s-hooks
5. take outside and spray paint, 10′ of yellow, 14′ of blue

There you have it!

These can also be purchased ready made. What they are good for is training contact behaviour which is really important to do. Much training is devoted to this behaviour. They are good for small backyards, in the house, and so forth. Nice for training puppies since you don’t need them to access big equipment that, being puppies, they might fall off of and hurt themselves. Mind you, an even cheaper and safer way to train contact behaviours is to use steps. Or a piece of wood that can be leaned up against different things.

Making a Tire Jump

Tire jumps are one of the hardest pieces of equipment to make properly.   You do want to be careful with this one to make sure that it is built safely to prevent your dog from injuring him/herself.

NADAC strongly promotes dog safety in it’s trials.   OF course that doesn’t mean that other organizations don’t.  But that’s what pops into my head when I think of safety.  This is a frame recommended by Nada.  They like the displaceable tire frame, of which there are a few on the market.

Do Note that tire jumps are a safe piece of equipment as long as your dog takes it correctly.  As the handler you need to make sure that it learns how to do this.   That means straight on approaches, not using any part of the frame for launching, and going straight through the middle of the hoop.

Mega-dogs lists two tire jumps.    Emry’s Corgis show one as well.   From CampBandy we find this one.    And the one from DogbeGood.

There are other ones listed on the web. Check them out.  When I made mine I looked at all the different ones out there, scratched out my own ideas and then built one.  It took me longer to figure out how to do it than it did to actually put it together.   I left the bases UNGLUED so that I could take it apart in the winter for easier storage.  This of course makes it harder to keep it upright in wind storms, but then when it falls, it lies flat so I don’t have to worry about it whirling off on me and hurting one of the dogs or a person either.

Making an A-frame

There are a number of ways to make an a-frame. What I did for my dog – about 50 lbs, might not work/be safe with a heavier dog – was to take two old wood doors. Attached two piano hinges at the top. Attached one hook on each side of the door (the part that would fit into the frame). Attached a chain between the hooks for easy in lowering/raising. Cut a piece of ABS (could use PVC) to fill the gap at the top. Then I added some strips of wood for a low rise slat, and then sanded and painted it three times. It is not light (in fact is hard to move), but it works just fine for home use. I don’t have to worry about the wind knocking it over either! 🙂

You can find a plan for building one here.

Emry’s Corgis have a plan as well.

Making Jumps

One of the easiest things to do when building agility equipment is to make jumps.

You can make really rudimentary jumps using a broom handle and two objects to rest it on. This works really well in the house. You can then situate them between doors to teach your dog to jump up instead of running around. To prevent them from crawling under, hang a light sheet over it. Works wonders to teach the initital jump over. 🙂

To make more “standard” jumps, or adjustable jumps here are some sites to go to. You can look at what is sold, and then figure out easily how to make them yourself.

Jumping Jacks. Embrys Corgis. Camp Bandy Pet Resort has two, solo and bar jump. DogBeGood lists these. Helix lists these.

Anyways, check them out.  Not too hard to do. Usually the first thing that agility enthusiasts will make.

How to Sew A Chute for agility

A question posted by Peggy on the agility-Equipment yahoo group.

I have all the material to build a collapsed tunnel. However, it occurs to me that the chute t needs to taper out toward the end. The books I have read said that it should be around sixty-six inches at the barrel end and ninty-six inches at the far end. Does anyone have any suggestions on making your own chute. I am trying to figure out how to accomplish the taper.

answer from Dee

It is very easy if you have enough room to lay your fabric out flat. it comes folded even up your selvage edges and then find the center of one end and then the center of the other end. Now this part is easier with two people if you have someone to help, and hopefully you know what a chalk line is. Measure one half the distance of the size you want each end of your chute and mark that measurement from the center mark on each side. Then take your chalk line and make you a mark from one end to the other to your outside marks this will give you the lines in which to sew on and after you do that you can hem the ends and you are ready to go.

answer from Ruth

I cut my chutes with the fabric on the fold with a top piece and a bottom piece. I taped all my paper together to get the length I needed including the hems at both ends. I measured up 1/4th the circumfrence at the barrel end and the same at the open end. then I took a metal 16′ measuring tape and drew the taper from those two points. I’ve made about 10 different chutes with this pattern….all my friends love me. I just make them hold the bulk of the fabric as I run it through the serger.

Answer from Beth

Directions for sewing chute:

1) You will have 2 pieces of material (however long the chute is supposed to be. Each one will make up half of the chute.

2) Lay the material out on a table (or a hard floor which is probably easier).

3) The material should be 49.5″ wide, this allows for about 3/4″ seams (so make sure you buy 60″ wide fabric and cut it to 49″)

4) Take a pin and mark in from the both edges 3/4″ on one end of the fabric at the opposite end mark in 8″ inches from both edges.

5) Hence you have one end of the fabric that has 48″ inbetween the two pins and way at the other end there is 33″ between the two pins.

6) Fold on a diagonal from the first pin down to the pin at the other end (this is your taper) Use an Iron to press the fold so you can see it. Repeat with the other side of the fabric

7) Now you should have a piece of fabric that has the tapers ironed into it. You would then cut 3/4″ out from the fold (towards the edge) this will be to allow 3/4″for the seam.

8) Now you should have a piece of fabric that is still 49.5 wide and the other end is 34.5 inches wide.

9) Repeat this with the other piece of fabric.

10) Now you should have two pieces of fabric that are however long a chute is supposed to be and are 49.5 wide at one end and the other end is 34.5 inches wide.

11) take these two pieces of fabric and pin them, right sides together (as in the pretty side of the fabric, not the direction) (if the fabric has a right side) the wide end should be pinned to the wide end and the narrow to the narrow.

12) Place pins in 3/4″ the whole way down the seam.

13) Sew the sides of the pieces together. Turn them right side out and you have yourself a bonefied 66″ x 96″ chute.

Good point from Mary-Ann

In addition to the other suggestions on marking the taper before cutting, I suggest you measure the circumference of your barrel before cutting. I used an empty barrel from the car wash with both ends cut off, but left the bottom lip/groove so I could use a lashing strap to hold it on. My tunnel opening measured ~73″, so I tapered my chute from 73 to 96″.

Building an Agility Table

I also built a table using scrap 4×4 piece of plywood and some pvc plumbing pieces. First I attached round drain type pieces in each corner. Then I put 4 inch round (or 3 depending on the end of the drain piece) for each of the legs and capped the bottom to keep bees out. I love this set up because the legs can be easily removed to adjust the height — my dogs are 20″, but my friend has an 8″dog–we can use the same equipment. – courtesty of Patricia through Agility-L yahoo group

To find another way to build a table, check out this link from Sue Fleig.

Here is another type of table.

To purchase a kit for making your own table, you can check out Agility Kits. Note: these types of places often show you what’s in their kit, and from that you could probably make your own as long as you can find the correct pieces.

If you come across any other ways of making an agility table, please let me know. I’d be happy to list them here.