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How to Build a 3-Part Dog Agility Course

Build 3-part obstacle course: a climbing wall, teeter-totter and weave sticks.

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Step 1: Build the A-Frame Climbing Wall

Use a table saw or circular saw to cut two 4' x 8' sheets of plywood down to 3' x 8'. To make the plywood pieces rigid, attach 2x4s around the perimeter and one lenghtwise down the middle of each piece. Attach the 2x4s with a pneumatic nail gun through the face of the plywood.

Step 2: Add Wooden Rungs to the Wall

Wooden rungs will aid your dog's traction as he climbs the A-frame. Starting from the bottom, mark lines every 12 inches across the width of the plywood. Cut 1x4 lumber 35 inches long for each rung. Center each rung horizontally along your lines, you should have a 1/2" reveal on each side of the rung. Attach the rungs with wood glue and 1-1/2" galvanized nails.

Step 3: Paint the A-Frame Wall

Apply two coats of standard, exterior house paint. Mix the paint with sand to add traction to the walls. Having two different colors on each side of the A- frame is recommended so your dog can get a clear picture of the obstacle.

Step 4: Finish the A-Frame Wall

Use 3-inch hinges at the top and to attach the two sides of the A-frame (Image 1).

Attach eye-rings about midway down on each side of the wall (on the 2x4). Attach a chain through the eye-rings so you can adjust the height of the wall (Image 2).

Step 5: Construct the Teeter Totter

For the doggie teeter, use a standard 2x12 board.

Cut the 2x12 board to 7 feet. Cut two pieces of 2x4 to a length of 11-1/4" (the width of the plank). On the underside of the board, draw a line at center point of the 2x12 board (3-1/2 feet from each end). Measure 3/4" off each side of the center-point line. Line up the two 2x4s to the two lines, (you should have an 1-1/2" between the 2x4s). Attach the 2x4s to the plank with 2-1/2" galvanized nails (Image 1). The 2x4s will hold the plank in place on the base of the teeter.

Paint the plank with exterior house paint mixed with sand. It is best to paint the ends of the plank brightly so your dog can easily decipher it as he approaches.

Step 6: Build the Teeter Base

For the base, you will need:
9 feet of 2-inch PVC pipe
four 2-inch PVC 90-degree fittings
four 2-inch PVC T-joints
two 2-inch PVC cap pieces

Cut the 2-inch PVC pipe into the following lengths:
three at 14"
four at 8"
four at 5"

Assemble the base using PVC primer and glue. Add an 8" pipes to one end of each of the 90-degree fittings. Use a "T" fitting to join two of the 8" pipes with the additional female pointing straight up. Repeat for the other two 8" pipes. Attach the two 14" pieces to the other ends of the 90-degree pieces. You should have a rectangle base as pictured.

Step 7: Add the Teeter Support

Vertically insert two of the 5" pieces into the "T" fittings on the base. Insert two more "T" fittings on top of the 5" pieces with the additional female facing each other inside the base. Horizontally insert the remaining 14" pipe into the "T' fitting. Insert the other two 5" pieces on top of the "T" fittings then seal the pipes with a cap.

Drill 3/4" holes into the inner sides of the two top 5" pieces. Make sure the holes are parallel and directly across from one another so that you can insert a piece of 3/4" metal pipe between them. Lay the teeter board on top of the support with the metal pipe sitting in between the 2x4s.

Step 8: Build the Weave Poles

The last of the obstacles is the weave poles. They are made from 1" PVC pipe and fittings.

The weave poles general performance requirements are at least 36" tall and 22" apart. They are to be a part of a semi-rigid structure that's base is to be no more than 3/4" high. Attach "T" fittings to the 22" runner pipes (spacer bars). Vertically insert a 37" weave pole for a total of six poles.

To make the weave poles stay upright, use a "T" connector at each end with some extra pieces of pipe sticking out horizontally.

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