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DIY Agility Dog Tire Jump

Yes you can make your own agility dog tire jump!

Like most agility equipment, it's not that difficult, takes only a few hours to make, and can cost you surprisingly little.

Our GSD next to his homemade tire jump

The materials I used to make the one shown at left included cardboard, foam scraps, and an old plastic tablecloth. I added colored tape for decoration.

The frame was made out of PVC pipe, while bungee cords hold up the tire jump.



Things to Keep in Mind

The inside diameter of the tire is the most important thing to determine. No sense in making a agility dog tire jump too small for your dog to fit through - despite the funny show it could provide, it could scare him or her from ever wanting to try it again.

Common competition sizes appear to be 19, 20 and 24 inches in the United States. Check with event organizers about standards for building agility equipment for competitions your dog may be entering.




Tools & Materials

FOR THE TIRE:

  • Pencil
  • String or yarn [about 18" (46 mm) long
  • Scissors and/or serrated knife to cut cardboard and foam
  • Scissors to cut plastic tablecloth and tape
  • A large cardboard box
  • Foam from an old couch cushion or two
  • An old plastic tablecloth or white plastic trash bag(s)
  • Duct and electrical tape (colors optional)
  • Glue that will work with foam

FOR THE FRAME:

  • Twenty feet of 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inch (32 to 40mm) PVC pipe
  • Four bungee cords




Step One: The Cardboard Circle - 30 minutes

The aim is to end up with a circular cardboard frame 2.5" (65 mm) wide. The foam and tape to cover the cardboard will be a little wider than the cardboard, as shown at right, so you want to add a little extra distance to the inside as described below.

Unless you have a large enough box, you may need to do the circle in sections. For extra strength, use overlapping sections.

I used a radius of 10" for the frame to end up with a 19" inside diameter for the agility dog tire jump. (See The Math below).

  1. Take the cardboard box and tie the string firmly onto your pencil. 
  2. Place your finger on the loose end of the string at one corner.
  3. Measure the desired radius (1/2 your total diameter) plus an extra 0.5" (13 mm) and place your pencil at that point. 
  4. Hold firmly onto the end point of the string and draw one section of the circle. 
  5. By hand, draw a line 2.5" (65 mm) parallel to and outside the section you just drew - it doesn't have to be 100% exact, just pretty close.

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The Math: (19/2 = 9.5")   and   (9.5" + 0.5" = 10.0") - the 0.5" allows for the foam to fully cover the cardboard towards the tire inside.

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Repeat the above steps until you have the sections needed. Finally,

  • cut the cardboard pieces out, and then overlap and tape them together, making sure you keep your total inside diameter; and
  • trim as needed to get a nice, circular frame.




Step Two: Add the Foam - 60 minutes

  • Cut pieces of foam 3" (75 mm) wide and 2" (60 mm) thick.
  • Glue them onto one side of the cardboard, overlapping a little of each edge.
  • Hint: Pieces shorter than 10" (250 mm) may work better.
  • When done, turn the ring over and glue foam to the other side.

Foam applied to both sides of the cardboard frame for the agility dog tire jump.




Step 3: Cover the Foam - 45 minutes

  • Cut a long strip of tablecloth 4" to 6" (125 to 150 mm) wide, or make strips double that width from a large white plastic trash bag and fold them over lengthwise.
  • Wind the strips firmly around your ring, compressing the foam about halfway.
  • Use dabs of glue or tape to secure the ends. Firmly cover the last couple of turns on the previous strip with your new strip.
  • Overlap each wrap by at least 3/4 or 0.75" (18 mm), keeping an even tension and similar angle with each turn.
  • When the entire ring is covered, use colored tape at intervals for decorating and fastening the agility dog tire jump.
  • If things are not as even as you like, do not be afraid to redo.




Step 4: The PVC Frame - 45 minutes


CUTTING THE PVC PIPE:

Cut the pipe or have it cut as follows:

FOR A 19 OR 20 INCH INSIDE DIAMETER TIRE:

  • Two pieces 42 inches for Side Poles
  • Two pieces 36 inches for the Base and Top Poles
  • Six pieces 12 inches for Base Supports
  • Six T-connectors

FOR A 24 INCH INSIDE DIAMETER TIRE:

  • Two pieces 42 inches for Side Poles
  • Two pieces 42 inches for the Base and Top Poles
  • Six pieces 12 inches for Base Supports
  • Six T-connectors


ASSEMBLING THE PIPE INTO A FRAME:
  • Attach all six Base Supports to two T's
  • Put the straight end of a T on the two perpendicular Base Supports
  • Face the perpendicular part of the added T's upwards
  • Attach the Base Pole to the other straight end of the added T's
  • Put the Side Poles in each upward facing T
  • Add a T-connector to the top of each Side Pole
  • Attach the Top Pole between the T's at the top of each Side Pole


ATTACHING THE TIRE TO THE FRAME:
  • Hook a bungee cord around each quadrant of your tire
  • Hook the top bungee cords into the end of the T's at the top of the frame
  • Hook the lower bungee cords around the bottom of your frame
  • Use rubber bands to keep bungees in place on the Side Poles


Well, that's the end of this round! If you've built a bar jump and weave poles as well, you're getting to be a pro at building agility equipment. If you haven't made those yet, click on the links below.

Bar jump

Weave poles




Training Your Dog to Use the Tire Jump

Now that you've got your tire made, you may need to provide some training. Comet didn't realize what the DIY agility dog tire jump was for at first, but he got the point (with the help of a few pieces of cheese...)

Here's a YouTuve video that shows how you can gradually get him or her used to the agility dog tire jump using treats. You could also use your dog's favorite toy as a reward instead.