Dog Agility Tunnels, The Good, the Bad, and the Affordable

Dog agility tunnels

Photo by Donn Dobkin, Just a Moment Photography

I Wish We Could All Have Top of the Line Regulation Dog Agility Tunnels

Dog agility tunnels – what size, what material, how long, why do they cost so much? How to find the most of what you need for a price you can afford. Regulation style tunnels that are used at trials are very heavy, very expensive, and held in place by heavy sand bags. Can you get by with something simpler?

Look at that gorgeous tunnel above!  It’s heavy and uses sand bags to hold it in place when high drive agility dogs go charging through at full speed.  Most of us, however, aren’t going to be able to afford those for our backyard training, besides the hassle of moving their massive weight around by ourselves.

Too Many Cheap Flimsy Dog Agility Tunnels With No Way to Hold Them In Place

When you start shopping around you’ll notice, I want you to look for this, that some don’t have any mechanism for securing them to the ground.  Most of the backyard varieties are thin rip stop cloth which are impressive when shopping for lightweight backpacking equipment, but not when we need it to stay in place and not fly away with the first breeze.  Most of the tunnels used in trialing are held in place with sandbags.  The sandbags can be used on both outdoor turf and indoor matting.  The picture below shows an inexpensive, easy to use alternative if you are practicing on somewhat soft turf.  Looks like a good use for an extra hoop if you’re a NADAC enthusiast.

Dog agility tunnels

photo by Martina Vakoničová

First Priority, Dog Agility Tunnels That Will Stay in Place

If a large dog charges into a tunnel that starts rolling away with the dog inside, you could be looking at serious physical injuries as well as a dog who may never want to go into tunnels again.  Making sure that you can keep that tunnel in place will be the first priority, sending the cloth down to third priority for any one with a dog bigger than a toy breed.  Second priority is the size of the opening, the tunnel mouth.  Go for 24 inches.  There are many at a close 22 inches and then the ones that don’t list the size.  Assume it’s smaller and you don’t want it.

Click here for a very affordable tunnel on Amazon. It’s 18 feet long the opening is 24 inches, it is secured to the turf with stakes going through grommets on the sides.  If you don’t need one that long, you don’t have to extend it out fully.

Next, click here for a tunnel that is still affordable and much more durable on Amazon.  You will need to either buy the sand bags, click here, and some sand, or find some hoops like the ones in the picture above.  Let me know when you find them, thanks!  Also, let me know if you find a 26 inch tunnel.  Happy shopping!

My Practice Tunnel Didn’t Have Any Hold Downs and Marion Started Refusing Tunnels

Marion the papillon, AKA Greased Lightning, can be seen in this run here beginning her aversion to tunnels.  It got worse and worse to where every tunnel was an issue.  Probably because my practice tunnel did not come with any way to secure it.  I would try to prop it between or up against stuff, but if the wind came it took to flight.  Marion might have banged into something I propped it against.  I didn’t realize it at the time…hindsight???  Good reasons to take my advice above and find the right size, stay in place, dog agility tunnels.

In keeping your best friend safe from inferior practice equipment, have you read my discussion of Non Standard Agility Equipment at Zoom Room?

 

 

 

 

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