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Baderpadordercollie

Equipment questions

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For those of you who do agility and practice at home: 

Do you prefer to make your own equipment or buy it? What pieces of equipment is it better to buy? Where do you buy your equipment?

I am speaking of obstacles like jumps, weaves, etc, not crates and cooling mats and such. 

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I bought most of mine, to be honest.  It isn't hard to make stick in the ground weave poles, hoops (NADAC style) or jumps with PVC, but they're not expensive to buy, either.  Contact equipment and tunnels, absolutely just buy.   You run into some safety and training risks if those aren't a-) super sturdy and b-) to spec for your organization. 

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Most of my jumps are homemade, with the exception of the double. I would have bought a triple, but had a friend getting rid of her homemade one so grabbed it.

Weave poles: can use stick-in-the-ground or 2 X 2s,  to begin training, but will eventually need to get regulation weaves.

Agree with CptJack on purchasing contact equipment.

Tunnels - buy the sturdy regulation tunnels (although it seems that tunnels are no longer being made to be as sturdy and long-lasting as they once were - according to the complaints I have been hearing from my agility friends). Once a BC pup is more than 4 or 5 months old, the kiddie tunnels are not safe IMHO.

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1 hour ago, CptJack said:

  It isn't hard to make stick in the ground weave poles, hoops (NADAC style) or jumps with PVC, but they're not expensive to buy, either.  

The ones I have looked at seemed expensive to me, but then, I am only just starting agility so I don't know what "expensive" is in terms of agility equipment. 

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1 hour ago, Baderpadordercollie said:

Also, for jumps, is it important that they be regulation/competition jumps or can they be the "travel jump" kind? 


It's not, particularly not at the start.  As long as it's a removable/easily removed (ie: the dog hits it, the bar comes down) bar it's fine.  A stick on cardboard boxes works fine. 


(Contact equipment = thousands of dollars.  After that not much phases me cost wise o.O)

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1 hour ago, CptJack said:

(Contact equipment = thousands of dollars.  After that not much phases me cost wise o.O)

Yyyyep. Hopefully by the time I start needing contact equipment I will be able to attend classes regularly at a facility that has contact equipment and maybe won't have to buy my own. 

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Things like the dog walk, a-frame, teeterttotter etc should definitely be professionally made to your association specs, but to train stopped contacts, a board on the ground is good.  You can train your dog to target and stop, and proof not leaving until released. Nail half a round log to the bottom of it (and some weight to one end) and you have a tiny teetertotter to get your dog used to the board moving under his or her feet.  Not sure if you also have the table in your competition (it has been removed in Australia), but I trained that on an upturned clamshell pool.

A low cost way to check your distances between weaves is to get a length of nylon webbing and punch metal eyelets into it at the appropriate spacing.  You can then place your push in poles at the right spacing easily.  You can do something similar to check the lengths for a broad jump.

One thing I will say is that buying a sturdy tunnel is only half the picture - you need to buy many good tunnel bags to prevent the tunnel moving.  Watch a dog in a tunnel in slow motion and see how much the tunnel moves.  Tunnel bags help prevent motion and prevent injuries.  Look at the number of tunnel bags on major European or American competition tunnels.  One at each entrance and one in the middle will not really cut it.

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I have freestanding weave poles that were given to me ages ago, as well as a tire jump with no tire, both made by Affordable Agility I believe. Are freestanding weaves better than stick-in-the-ground weaves? 

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2 hours ago, Lawgirl said:

 

One thing I will say is that buying a sturdy tunnel is only half the picture - you need to buy many good tunnel bags to prevent the tunnel moving.  Watch a dog in a tunnel in slow motion and see how much the tunnel moves.  Tunnel bags help prevent motion and prevent injuries.  Look at the number of tunnel bags on major European or American competition tunnels.  One at each entrance and one in the middle will not really cut it.

Good catch. Yes, tunnel bags are very important for safety reasons.

Not sure what the OP means by free-standing weaves. I have channel weaves since that is how I like to train weaves, but they are more expensive.

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Weaves with a base, is what I assume is meant?  If yes, those are probably your best option.  Stick in the ground works but some dogs have trouble transitioning to ones on a base later (see also Kylie). 


That said, check the spacing.  If they're old they're likely 22"  and you need 24". 

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