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Cheap Dog Agility Equipment:
Weave Poles

Like bar jumps, weave poles are another type of cheap dog agility equipment that can be more affordable to make yourself. 

Materials can be as simple as PVC pipe or branches that are somewhat straight.

You can set them up in a fixed row, or else make them so they're easy to take apart.




Imporant: Before You Start

We suggest you check out the videos and training tips here before coming back to the instructions. Different methods of training require different numbers of poles.

Also, while weave poles are an easy type of cheap dog agility equipment to build, they are one of the most difficult types for your dog to master.



Time, Cost & Materials

TIME & COST

It will take you about 30 minutes to purchase and cut the PVC pipe (or have store personnel cut it for you).

After that, it should only take another half hour to construct your setup.

The total cost ought to be no more than USD 20.



The materials at right will make it possible for you to add a vertical set of 4 poles, 30 inches tall onto a firm base.

          MATERIALS

  • Colored tape
  • Six 1 inch (25 mm) T connectors
  • A total of 21.25 feet (6550 mm) of 1 inch (25 mm) PVC pipe cut as follows: *See below
  • Four Vertical Poles 30 inches (760 mm) long
  • Six End Poles 12 inches (300 mm) long
  • Three Base Poles 19 inches (480 mm) long




*Some things to note:

If a store clerk cuts the pipe, ask if you can mark it to get the most accurate cuts, especially for your Base Poles.

The Base Poles are an inch (25 mm) shorter than 20 inches because you have to account for the fact that they don't go all the way into the connectors.

Thinner 3/4 inch (19 mm) PVC pipe will be less sturdy. One-inch pipe is used in U.S. competitions.




Building Instructions

THE BASE:

  • Working from the left: Take three End Poles and attach to T1
  • Attach one straight end of T2 to the perpendicular End Pole just assembled
  • Attach Base Pole 1 to T2 (straight end)
  • Add T3 to Base Pole 1
  • Attach Base Pole 2 to T3 (straight end)
  • Add T4 to Base Pole 2
  • Attach Base Pole 3 to T4 (straight end)
  • Add T5 to Base Pole 3
  • Take three End Poles and attach to T6
  • Attach the perpendicular End Pole to T5

THE VERTICAL POLES:

  • Put colored tape around the pipe at intervals
  • Make sure connectors T2, T3, T4 and T5 have the open end pointing skyward
  • Insert each Vertical Pole




Training Tips and Techniques

2x2 pole method:
Channel/leaning pole with leash method:


Another 2-pole method:


  • For the collar or short leash method, you may want to start with poles only 30 inches (760 mm) high.
  • There is another technique involving attaching wires between certain poles.
  • Depending on the training method, use 2 or 4 weave poles to start with (you can always add more later).
  • Use at least 24 inches (600 mm) for the spacing between poles, since the AKC determined in 2010 that is better for dogs' spines than a shorter distance
  • For competition training, get information from officials as to what distance they use, and space your poles accordingly when making this cheap dog agility equipment.
  • Weave poles are a timed event at agility trials. Teach your dog to do slowly at first, then try to get your dog to do them fast.
  • Vary the number of poles used in practice to get your dog used to different competition setups and keep him or her from getting bored.




Good, your weave poles are up! Making affordable agility equipment out of PVC or branches is a snap, isn't it?

By the way, if you haven't built a bar jump yet, see Cheap Dog Agility Equipment: Bar Jumps.