Monday, 25 June 2012

How to Build a Practice Agility Tunnel

We were finally introduced to some of the agility equipment in our final two foundations classes, and Kobi's lack of confidence became incredibly apparent. Kobi was able to get through every obstacle at least once, but simply being around them freaked him out and actually cause him to have some out bursts towards other dogs that got to close to his space.

Since adopting Kobi, he has been terrified of enclosed spaces and it's that reason that we decided to not crate train him. But his fear of enclosed spaces reared its ugly head when we tried to get Kobi to go into the tunnel. He wanted nothing to do it and found it incredibly stressful. So I decided that in my two weeks off before starting level 2 I needed to boost his confidence, and what better way then to start with the scariest obstacle first, but to do that I needed a tunnel, and for anyone who has looked into getting themselves a tunnel there are only two options. You can either get the real deal for $150 (not in my price range) or you can buy a kid's tunnel, but they tend to be on the small side. So I decided to get creative a make one!

For less than $20 I was able to make a 4ft practice tunnel. It wouldn't support a curve, but is great for a dog like Kobi who just needs to learn that going through the tunnel isn't all that bad, and I can then start building some drive for the tunnel. This size is also perfect for indoor use and for small backyards as it can be collapsed or expanded for transport and various sizes to practice with.

What you'll need:

- A tarp (any size you want, I used a 4ftX 6ft tarp)
- Tarp tape or duct tape
- Coiled rubberized tubing (mine was about an inch in diameter, you could go smaller but I wouldn't get much bigger.

According to agility rules tunnels must range from 20"-24" diameter in competition. I made mine 24".
1. Cut your tubing to the appropriate length, I only needed about half of mine. Keep in min you need enough length for the coils to size properly, but you don't want so much that you can't alter the size of the tunnel.
2. Create a 24" loop at each end of the tubing
3. Coil all your tubing up so the spirals are the appropriate diameter.
4. You may need a hand for the next couple of steps, line each of the loops with the edge of the tarp and tape the loops to the tarp.
5. Spread the coils out and try to ensure they're all about the same size.
6. Start taping the coils to the tarp.
7. Roll the the tarp around the coils and continue taping
8. Repeat step 7 until all the tarp is wrapped around the coil.
9. Tape down any seems and make sure the coils are securely attached to the tarp so the dog doesn't trip wen going through the tunnel.
 10. Enjoy!

Kobi trying to help out

It's not the prettiest tunnel around but it serves it's purpose.


  1. This is a fantastic solution!!

  2. Does a tunnel have to be round? Could you use PVC and make a frame, then put the tarp on it? PVC is cheap also.

    1. you could build one that is square, but you would never see one like that on an agility course so this resembles what they'll be using in competition. It's also very portable and collapses easily!

  3. Thank you for sharing this! This just saved me a whole lot of money! :) Where did you get the tubing from?

  4. I have been looking for something like this for like 2 years!!!!! I tried to come up with an idea my self and I couldn't thank you sooooo...... much!!!!!