Common Types of Agility Dog Training Equipment
Agility is a "dog sport" that the handler
and the dog participate in together. Handlers direct their
dogs through an obstacle course, which requires good
obedience training of the dog, speed, and accuracy.
And for beginners, agility dog training
equipment can be confusing! With so many types of
obstacles to learn, plus trying to maintain your
dog's attention, it takes time to learn them all. Here are
brief descriptions of some of the more popular types of
- Dog agility jumps
are familiar to most people. A horizontal bar is supported by a couple of
posts. The dog jumps over the bar, which can be adjusted for height, ie.
usually big dogs jump higher.
Other types of jumps are tire or hoop jumps
(the dog jumps through a middle of a circle shape);
(several short panels instead of the horizontal bar;
panels cover right from the ground all the way up to
jumping height); and broad jumps
(a set of slightly raised platforms that cover a broad area
over which the dog jumps). Jumps are adjustable.
are great fun for many dogs.
Sometimes also called chutes, they're a hollow
tube through which the dog runs. Tunnels are sometimes
connected together to make a longer tunnel, or they
can be "collapsed", meaning one end is open
while the other lies flat. The dog enters the open
end and pushes his way through the fabric until he
exits the tunnel.
- Weave poles
are a series of upright poles
through which the dog alternately weaves. Many agility handlers
say that this is a difficult task for dogs to learn, as it must
be done in a specific way and dogs cannot "skip" poles.
- The teeter or see-saw
is similar to the see-saws children use on the playgrounds.
Some dogs find it unnerving since they are required
to run up one end, balance and wait for the other
end to drop before they can get off. Dogs must
touch the "contact zones" at each end
of the teeter-totter to get full credit.
The contact zone are areas on the start
and end of some pieces of equipment. Dogs must touch
these contact zones with at least one paw when they
ascend or descend the equipment.
- The A-Frame
is exactly what it sounds like:
a platform hinged to form an "A" shape. The
dog runs up one side and down the other, and is required
to touch the contact zone on each side.
- The Dog Walk
consists of a ramp leading up
to a horizontal slat, then another ramp leading back
down. The dog crosses the dogwalk, again touching
the contact zone on each side.
- A pause table
is a raised platform where the dog must lie down for a specific period of time.
Most bigger cities and even some of the smaller
towns have dog agility centres or classes you can
join. Classes start right from the beginner level
to the advanced so there's something for everyone.
And of course, they have all the dog agility equipment
right there on site - much cheaper than having to buy
all the supplies
and equipment yourself! Agility is a great way to strengthen
the bond between you and your dog, and also great exercise.
Go out there and have fun!