Canine Obstacle Course
(Picture Credit: Jrg Weidemeyer / EyeEm/Getty Images)
If you happen to have a securely fenced yard, one of the more creative ways to get active with your dog is to construct a canine obstacle course.
It’s a fun way to use some of the items laying in the corner of your garage: lumber scraps, cinder blocks, buckets, tarps, stakes, and rope are all outstanding materials to build a few common obstacles.
A long plank over a bucket makes for a dog-friendly obstacle, famous on the agility course for requiring excellent balance and timing.
When training your dog for the seesaw, start by having someone hold the high end and slowly letting it lower until your pup gets the hang of the drop. Walk alongside your dog, rewarding often for a job well done.
You can make jumps for your homemade agility course out of most anything. Old hula hoops and some stakes make for a fine jump, as do plain old lumber scraps.
Place several of these jumps on the course, using the command “jump” right before your dog gets to the obstacle. As always, be sure to run the course with your dog — it’s about fitness, remember? — and reward and praise often.
Tomato stakes, tent poles, or even sticks can make fun weave poles to train your dog to go in and out like a pro.
The official AKC agility distance between the poles is 60cm (or 1′ 11.6″). However, if you are just having some fun, it’s okay to make them a bit wider for beginner dogs.
Start with just five of these poles and let your dog learn the obstacle well before adding more to increase the difficulty.