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Agility is a great way to stimulate your dog’s body and mind. It’s terrific exercise and it’s almost like a puzzle your dog has to figure out, so it’s a good workout for their brain too. While there are plenty of great places to take agility classes, you can also set up your own DIY dog agility course. Here’s a how-to!
Train With Positive Reinforcement
The first step when you want to set up a DIY dog agility course is familiarizing yourself with positive reinforcement. This is a humane and effective training method to help your dog learn how to run the DIY dog obstacle course. We recommend starting with simple commands like “sit” and “stay” before you move on to more complicated movements.
Positive reinforcement is a training method by which you reward your pooch for performing an action. The reward can be verbal praise, a clicker clicking or a treat. This works because your dog’s brain will make the connection between cause and effect. “Whenever my owner says, ‘sit’ and I sit, I get a treat! I should continue doing that!” Positive reinforcement works the more you practice it. Reward your pup each time they successfully complete your command. Even if your dog doesn’t pick up on the training right away, after some practice, they’ll soon learn their commands.
Get the Right DIY Dog Agility Course Gear
Now that you’re comfortable using positive reinforcement to train your dog, it’s time to set up your DIY dog agility course! Here’s some of our favorite DIY dog obstacle course gear:
If you want a little bit of everything, but just want to make one purchase, this agility in a bag is a great buy. It comes with everything you need to create a nice little DIY dog obstacle course for your pooch in your backyard. Your dog will enjoy a tunnel, bar jump, bar weave, tire jump and pause box. It comes partially assembled and has its own carrying bag for quick and easy storage. Buy it here.
If your pet is more kangaroo than pooch, they’ll love this hurdle cone set. Plus, the cones are adjustable so you can set the rods to the perfect height for your dog. Get it here.
Here’s another hurdle cone set that you can adjust to a higher height. And the rods are 5 feet across and extra sturdy so they won’t slide around during training. Find the set here.
The way to a dog’s heart is through their stomach. It’s also a great way to train them in your DIY dog agility course. Reward your pup with a treat every time they successfully complete a command and they’ll be an agility star in no time. Get them here.
An effective and calorie-free way to train your dog in your DIY dog agility course is with a clicker. First “charge” the clicker by clicking the clicker and giving your dog a treat. Repeat this step many times. Then start rewarding your dog with a clicker whenever they successfully perform a command in the DIY dog obstacle course. You can learn more about clicker training here. And click here to buy your own clicker!
What DIY dog agility course is complete without a tunnel? This one is regulation-sized and modeled after tunnels you’ll find at sanctioned agility events. Running through tunnels is also easier on joints than jumping over bars and through hoops! Get the tunnel here.
Does your dog do agility? Let us know on Facebook!