Easily make cheap dog agility equipment – like bar jumps – out of PVC!
Things to note upfront:
- Pipe lengths can be inexact. Ours were cut at a store out of 10-foot lengths and pieces varied by an inch or so.
- You can use thicker 1-inch (25 mm) PVC to make agility equipment, which is what competition jumps are made of. This will cost a little more, but you’ll still be getting an extremely cheap bar jump compared to buying it ready-made.
- We paid only U.S. $16 for the 3/4-inch PVC and connectors – we already had the tape, cardboard, and rubber bands.
Materials & Tools For the Bar Jump
FOR THE BARS
- Thirty feet (9.15 m) of 3/4 or 1-inch (20 mm) PVC pipe
- [Cut the pipe into six pieces 4 feet (1220 mm) long and six pieces 1 foot (300 mm) long]
- Four 3/4- or 1-inch (20 mm) T connectors
- Colored tape
FOR THE CUPS
- 3 empty toilet paper rolls or equivalent
- 6 strips of stiff cardboard, approx 1 by 5 inches (25 by 120 mm)
- Tape: electrical, colored, duct, masking or whatever is on hand
- 6 short bungee cords, elastic cord pieces, or rubber bands
Instructions for Building the PVC Jump
ESTIMATED TIME TO CONSTRUCT – 1 hour 10 minutes
- To purchase pipe and connectors and cut pipe: 30 minutes
- To assemble pipe: 5 to 10 minutes
- To make 6 cups: 5 to 10 minutes each
- Final touches: 10 minutes
RIGHT HALF OF BAR JUMP
#1 is a 4-foot piece of pipe. Insert it into one end of T-connector, #2.
#3 is a 1-foot piece of pipe. Insert it in the other end of #2.
#4 is a 4-foot piece of pipe. Insert it in the vertical part of #2.
#5 is a T-connection. Attach the perpendicular end to #3.
#6 and #7 are 1-foot pieces of pipe. Insert in opposite ends of #5.
LEFT HALF OF BAR JUMP
Follow the same steps as above, starting with the other end of #1.
You should now have the base and sides of your jump.
Optional: You can make the base more stable by adding a T-connector each to #6 and #7 and attaching 1-footers (see photo with Comet at the top of the page).
Making the Jump Cups
- Cut a toilet paper roll in half across the roll.
- Now cut it open vertically to end up with two identical, cups.
- Nest the pieces inside each other and tape them together.
- Bend one of the stiff cardboard strips at 2 inches.
- Tape the 3-inch part to the outside (bottom) curve of your cup pieces to make the handle (see photo above).
- Cover both the cup and handle with colored tape
- Be careful NOT to flatten out the curve of the cups
- There’s your first cup! You’ll need two for each crossbar.
Using Your Cheap Dog Agility Equipment
ATTACHING THE CUPS
- Place the handle of your cup against your upright pole.
- Attach firmly to the pole with a bungee cord or rubber band. (Slide the rubber band over the top end of the pole. If need be, double or triple it to get the right tension
- Slide the cup to where you want it, then add a cup to the opposite upright at the same height.
- Put a bar across.
- Repeat the process for more cups and bars.
Adding Bar Jump Wings
Wings are a common type of cheap dog agility equipment that can be added to bar jumps.
They can be created out of almost any materials including thin plywood, latticework, plastic greenhouse panels, cardboard, etc. – just ensure they’re something your dog will not want to plow through, and that your dog will not get hurt if he or she lands on them.