Not only is agility training fun for dogs and their owners alike, it is great exercise and can help dogs stay fit and healthy. Hurdles in particular are a great tool for breeds that have a tendency to suffer from hip problems. While you can go to an agility facility to train or purchase the equipment yourself, the most inexpensive option is to build an agility hurdle out of PVC pipe. With just a bit of patience and some easy instructions, you can build a fully functioning agility hurdle in no time.
- Skill level:
Cut schedule 40 PVC pipe into eight 12-inch pieces; two 48-inch pieces; two five, 1/2-inch pieces; two 6, 1/2-inch pieces; and two 15, 1/4-inch pieces. PVC pipe typically comes in 10-feet pieces so you'll likely need to buy three pieces and have some leftover.
Cut four PVC "Tee" connectors to make the cups. Hold the PVC connector so that the bottom of the "T" is facing upward and cut half of that portion off. Only cut to the part of the pipe that is perpendicular. If it makes it easier, you can place a piece of PVC pipe into one of the perpendicular ends to help hold the connector. The half that remains on the connector will act as a cup to hold the jump bar in place.
Assemble the posts. Starting with a "Tee" connector, place the 5, 1/2-inch piece into the short end of the "Tee." Next, attach one of the cut "Tee" connectors so that the cup faces upward. You'll then attach a 6, 1/2-piece of PVC; followed by another cut "Tee" piece; a 15, 1/4-inch piece and finally an end cap. Repeat the same pattern for the other side of the hurdle. You can secure each piece with a hammer or, if necessary, put PVC glue into each connection. Ensure that the cups are at the same height on each side of the hurdle.
Build the legs. At the bottom of each section, place a 12-inch piece of PVC pipe into each side of the "Tee" connector. Place an end cap on one end and attach a "Tee" connector at the other end. Place two more 12-inch pieces of PVC at either end of the "Tee" connector. Make one of these for both sides of the hurdle.
Place the 48-inch pieces of PVC in the cups to connect the two pieces.
Wrap colourful tape around the jump bars and the poles to increase the visibility for the dog.
Tips and warnings
- One-inch PVC pipe will be sufficient for this project. If you plan on moving your hurdles around often, you may want to use 1, 1/2-inch pipe instead. Just remember that whichever size pipe you use, your connectors need to be the same.
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