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For those of you that follow me on Facebook, you probably know that I recently have started taking agility lessons. While being an agility loving Dachshund isn’t a new concept, some might think that due to my short legs and long back that agility might not be the sport for me. But lucky for me, my mom believes that being active and fit are more important to keeping me healthy in the long run than making me sit on the sidelines. Agility might not be for every dog out there, but for me it is one of those things that keeps me motivated to run my little tushie off and keep the middle of my “hot dog” from touching the ground.
So with my start into the World of agility, mom decided to help me build a set of my very own agility jumps for the back yard. Lucky for you I made sure we documented the entire process so that you too can build your own backyard set!
DIY: Build You Own Agility Jumps
The following step-by-step tutorial will show you how to build two jumps for your dog for about $40 in materials (we did most of our shopping at Lowes).
- Two 10′ pieces of 3/4″ PVC pipe (this will make 4 jump poles)
- Three 10′ pieces of 1″ PVC pipe
- Eight PVC “T” connectors for 1″ pipe
- Twelve PVC end caps for 1″ pipe
- Tape measure
- PVC pipe cutter (a circular saw or hand saw can be substituted)
- Sharpie (or item to mark the pipes with)
*You will also need to either purchase or make your own jump cups for this project. We opted to buy our own jump cups.*
It’s also helpful if you have a supervisor for this project on hand – if you do not have one I’m happy to lend my services for a nominal fee, you know where to find me.
Next you will need to make some cuts in the 1″ PVC pipe. After measuring and marking your cuts with a sharpie, you can use a pipe cutter or a circular saw to make your cuts.
Cuts to Make on 1″ PVC pipe:
- Eight 12″ pieces
- Four 1 3/4″ pieces
- Two 50″ pieces
- Four 30″ pieces
*make sure you are only making your cuts for these out of the 1″ PVC pipe (you will cut the 3/4″ pipe to make the jump poles later)
Next you will start the assembly process – if you prefer to make your jump really secure you can use PVC pipe glue to attach the pieces, but we opted to forgo the glue and just tightly assemble each piece. This way the pieces can be disassembled later or put away for the winter.
1. Create the feet of your jump by slipping the 12″ PVC pieces into the top and bottom ends of your “T” connectors. Then add an end cap to each end of the pipe.
2. Next add the 1 3/4″ PVC pieces to the open end of the “T” connector.
3. Then add another “T” connector to the ends of your 1 3/4″ pipe, make sure they face in the directions pictured above.
4. Add the 50″ PVC pieces in-between your two “feet”.
5. Place your 30″ PVC pieces into the open “T” connector and then add an end cap to the top of each pipe.
At this point your jumps are nearly complete, but you will need to add jump cups to them. You can purchase a set of jump cups* for $19 for a set of 10 (make sure you purchase the 1″ pipe size). After you have your jump cups you will need to measure the distance between the jump cups to determine how long your jump poles need to be. In our case this was 49 3/8″ wide.
So out of the 3/4″ PVC pipe you purchased cut 4 pieces at 49 3/8″ (or the measurement you took between the poles after attaching your jump cups).
After making your cuts for your jump poles, you might decide to paint the poles. According to the AKC Agility Rulebook, jump poles must be striped for visibility, so who was I to argue with adding a bit of color!
After taping off some stripes on my poles with painters tape and newspaper mom let me choose the color I wanted from the cans of spray paint we had in the basement.
After a few coats of flashy blue paint, my jump poles were looking mighty fine. (You can also stripe your poles with colored electrical tape).
And then after letting them dry overnight, they were finally finished, and they were glorious!
Oh and don’t worry, I only jump a 4″ height for practice – but I had mom and dad make me an extra jump rail for when Trooper comes over to practice with me.
Putting my new agility jumps to the test was the best part though!
Look at me, I can fly!
I’ve created this handy PDF for you to download that has all the instructions you will need to make your own set of DIY Dog Agility Jumps. Happy Jumping!
*These jumps are intended to be used for backyard fun. If you plan to build jumps for competition use make sure you build your jumps to rulebook specifications.
Disclaimer: To the best of our knowledge this equipment is entirely safe, however, we are not liable for any damages or injuries you or your dog may sustain from following these instructions. Use your best judgement when building equipment for your dog – and be safe!