How to build your own agility dog walk equipment

Written by jo chester
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Consisting of two uprights and three long planks that form a 4-foot-tall runway, the dog walk intimidates many dogs. Much to our dogs' good fortune, the average dog owner can construct this practice dog walk in a single weekend. Although the metal supports required for competition-style agility dog walks might require skilled cutting or soldering, this PVC version of dog walk supports requires no specialised skills or tools.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Four 1-1/4-inch PVC pipes, 10-foot lengths
  • 32 1-1/4-inch PVC tees
  • PVC pipe cutter or hand saw
  • Ramps and walk planks
  • Two boards, 12 inches x 2 inches x 12 feet
  • 1 piece of lumber,1 inch x 2 inches x 10 feet
  • 3-inch hinges
  • Paint, two contrasting colours
  • Sandbox sand
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Circular saw
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut the PVC pipe into eight 20-inch lengths, eight 12-inch lengths, and 24 8-inch lengths. Cut one of the 12-foot boards into two 6-foot lengths. The cut should be at a 45-degree angle to allow the board to rest evenly on the floor or ground.

  2. 2

    Assemble the supports. Make four support sides to form two support units. Using a 20-inch piece of PVC, connect two tees at the centre hole. Make two of these units.

  3. 3

    Secure an 8-inch length of PVC in each opening of the tees on one unit. You should have something that looks like a wide, short-legged capital "H" in front of you.

  4. 4

    Attach another tee to the free end of each of the 8-inch lengths. The tee should be connected at the side opening, with the centre opening rotated upward.

  5. 5

    Connect the second 20-inch unit to the "H" frame, using 8-inch sections of PVC in both tees at one end.

    You should have a unit that resembles a two-rung ladder, with four tee openings facing what will be the inside of the structure.

  6. 6

    Use four 12-inch lengths to connect two sides to form one support. Your support should be a rectangle that stands roughly 30 inches tall. When completed, the plank forming the horizontal portion of the walk will rest on the 12-inch crosspieces.

  7. 7

    Prepare the boards. Cut the 10-foot stud into 10 1-foot sections. Starting at the angled end of the board, measure and mark a horizontal line 12 inches from the bottom. Nail or screw the first of the five sections to each of the shorter boards at 9-inch intervals, ending 2 feet from the top of the board. Make the top of each nail or screw either flush with the top of the sections or slightly recessed.

  8. 8

    Give the boards a first coat of paint. Paint the long board entirely with the darker colour. Measure an area 2 feet from the bottom of each shorter board. Paint the 4-foot section of board in the darker colour; use the contrasting colour to paint the two-foot section. Sprinkle the top of the boards with sand to create a rough surface for traction. Paint the boards with a second coat after the first coat has dried. As an alternative, sand can be mixed directly into the paint.

  9. 9

    After the boards have dried, turn all of the boards face down, using sanded surfaces or those with slats attached as a guide. Nail or screw two hinges at each of the ends of the long board. Attach both of the shorter boards to the longer boards, leaving the angled ends free.

  10. 10

    Put the dog walk supports approximately 8 to 9 feet apart on a level surface. Place the top plank between the 12-inch sections of PVC, angling the ramps at a gradual slope with the slats facing upward. You've completed your dog walk.

Tips and warnings

  • Cap PVC ends on stands, if desired. Take caution that the capped ends do not slide on the floor during use.
  • Always wear protective eyewear when cutting materials.
  • Check connections for tightness and rough surfaces.
  • Check the dog walk for wobble prior to running your dog across it.

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