Tunnels – How to Stabilize them

Tunnels can be difficult to move and difficult to keep in place once you have them where you want them. Big dogs can shift them around, the wind can blow them out of place, and hard-hitting dogs can move them back a foot or two. So keeping them in place becomes important, particularly in a trial situation.

Some home-made solutions:

  • large plastic detergent bottles – these can also be used as course markers once you take the labels off of them. Big black letters stand out clearly on them. Fill with sand or water.
  • gallon milk jugs. Fill with sand or water with a bit of rubbing alcohol in it to prevent freezing and cracking.
  • Cheap backpacks from the dollar store. Spray with a water repellent solution. Then fill with sand OR put water into some heavy duty plastic bags and put into backpack.
  • old pairs of jeans or pants. If you sew the bottoms closed, you can fill them with sand and it makes a sort of saddle bag over the top of the tunnel. I suggest putting a trash bag in them first, and then fill the bag with sand or dirt…. to keep the moisture out of the sand/dirt. Or do the water in a bag trick.
  • use big cat litter bottles
  • small water proof camping/backpacking packs. The kind one uses when canoeing or out and about when you want to keep stuff dry. For an example go here.

As you can see, the sky is the limit. What do you have in your house that you can make work for tunnel stabilizers.

Now…for trialing situation you may need to look into something that is more durable. You may need to consider purchasing something specifically designed for this task.

  • tunnel bags. Example here.
  • PVC tunnel braces. Example here.
  • Tunnel stabilizers. New to me. example here.
  • I’ve seen but can’t find on-line – metal stabilizers that cradle the tunnel. Very good at the task, easy to stake down and tunnels DON’T move.  Ah…here’s one, not as big as what I’ve seen, but sort of an example.

All (homemade or purchased) require the use of straps.

One could consider using landscape gravel instead of using play sand for bags/bottles.

For people in the north, if you use water, you need to add salt (one part salt to three parts water) and or rubbing alcohol (one part alcohol and two parts water) to keep the water from freezing. But it is doable.


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