In a perfect display of slacking on yard-work, we spent one afternoon turning our yard into a personalized agility course. We took our mostly empty yard, and a variety of not-in-use bits of scrap, and turned it into our very own agility course. It is pretty epic, I know. If you ignore the fact that it looks a bit like the beginnings of a hoarder’s back-yard collection. Then again, the fact that we had so much of this stuff just lying around is probably a good indication that we have issues with throwing things away.
And, of course, once we’d run through it a bunch of times, we figured we should take some pictures of Gwynn in action, and also give some ideas on things you can easily set up in your backyard, without going out and buying things.
Those weaving sticks? Those are actually marshmallow sticks… and a weed pulling device… and a crowbar… The jump is lawnchairs (obviously), and a big piece of metal that mysteriously fell from the side of our house. And the hose is the closest thing we’ve got to a hula-hoop, or tunnel. The small plastic table was the equivalent of the platform a lion stands on in a circus.If you’re planning on doing something similar to this, Clementine boxes are great to start off as the supports for a jump – you can increase the height easily by adding boxes.
… does this remind anyone else of Calvin and Hobbes’ happy dance?
Having something that your dog can crawl through is a good way to practice the crawl command, or even start it off… even if it is an old piece of hose. If you’ve got a kiddy tunnel, try bringing it out and getting your dog to go through it. I think a used kids tunnel might be my next purchase (hopeful for garage sale season!), because that was Gwynn’s favourite thing when our trainer brought in the agility type stuff. This entirely unrelated to obedience training is alot of fun, and gives you a new way to play with your dog. The other place I’ve found a use for some of his trick training is in meeting new people – it is hard to be scared of a dog that can wave at you, or bows to you. He’s charmed his way through a nursing home and a book shop with these tricks.