Agility training has many benefits; it teaches and reinforces obedience training, while providing extra exercise for you and your pooch. Purchasing agility equipment is a great idea if you want your dog to compete professionally or if you are just looking for something to fill your time at home. Once you understand the different types of equipment, then you have choices with each piece. With a little research, you can find the best equipment to fit your needs. For the purpose of this article, weave poles and jumps will be covered; although, there are many other pieces of agility equipment.

Before you start shopping for equipment, you need to figure out what you need. If you want your dog to compete in a competition, then research the competition to figure out what types of equipment is used. Also, consider the space you have. The great thing about at-home agility equipment is that you can choose pieces that can be easily broken down and stored. So, if you do not have room in your backyard for an entire obstacle course, you still have the option to train your dog on one or two pieces of equipment at a time. Price is also a concern, because obstacles can be pricey. If training is just for fun and exercise, then you are probably not looking for the most durable, high-quality obstacles.

Weave poles are extremely common obstacles in agility competitions. They vary in number, but usually fall between 6 and 12 poles. The spacing of the poles depends on the agility level of your dog. At home, you can find poles that stick in the ground or are freestanding. Poles that stick in the ground are great for backyard use, because they can be easily moved or removed. However, make sure you have measuring tape in order to measure the distance between the poles. Freestanding poles will either be adjustable or have set spacing. If you are teaching your pet how to navigate the poles, then it’s a good idea to use adjustable poles. That way, you can start training by walking through the obstacle with your pet; as he gets the hang of things, you can shorten the distance between the poles.

Jumps are another common obstacle, but the type of jump varies with the competition. Bar jumps are freestanding; and, like weave poles, it’s a good idea to start with an adjustable bar jump. You can purchase multiple adjustable bar jumps to create a series of jumps, often seen in competitions. It’s also easy to find adjustable tire jumps. The frame on the jump stands on its own, while the tire can be raised and lowered. Find jumps that are easy to put together and take down. That way, you can store the jumps when you are not using them.

If you are just starting agility training, then consider getting an Agility-in-a-Bag set. This set comes with 5 popular agility obstacles, including a chute, bar jump, weave bars, tire jump, and pause box. All of the pieces are easy to put together and to break down and fit into an included carrying bag. Both the bar jump and the tire jump can be adjusted to different heights, so they grow with your dog’s abilities. The set is affordable and perfect for at-home training.

All agility equipment should be dog and owner friendly. The equipment should not pose an opportunity for injury. Tires should be smooth plastic, while the bars on the jumps should fall if your dog comes in contact with them. Other equipment, such as A-frames and see-saws should be coated in non-slip covering. Make sure the equipment is safe before use.

Finding agility products for your home is a task, but the equipment can provide great training and exercise opportunities for you and your pooch. There are numerous brands that vary in quality. For the beginner, affordability and adjustability are two important factors in choosing equipment. What you choose will depend on your needs, but it is a good idea to find obstacles that can be easily put together and broken down. That way, you can train your dog on all obstacles or only one at a time. Overall, the equipment should be safe for both the trainee and the trainer.

Author's Bio: 

This article was written by Brian Spilner and provided by a site featuring dog training equipment from: Petsafe, Innotek and SportDOG