Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Amateur Indoor Agility Course

In my attempt to keep Charlie exercised - both mind and body - while staying indoors due to the cold temps, I found a really neat online article at with DIY agility course ideas.

I already had the mesh tunnel from a tent/tunnel combo I purchased at Wal-Mart about a year ago...

The remaining components were a matter of pulling the ottoman into the middle of the living room and creating a "bridge" to the couch with a sturdy board that was wide enough for Charlie to walk across.
I have a REALLY tiny living room - just 10' by 11' - so I think anyone could create something similar in just about any space you have available. It wasn't difficult to re-purpose regular household items I already had so there isn't a huge expense to doing this either. The article on Modern Dog Magazine even recommended searching your basement and yard sales for items to save money.
Anything is possible with a little creativity!
I'm going to keep my eye out for some used ski poles to create the weave pole station in the backyard when the ground thaws and will utilize bricks and the board for a dogwalk. I also need to remember to get a hula hoop next time I'm out shopping! I plan to just hold the hula hoop in my hand for Charlie to jump through rather than suspending it from a tree; I think she'll have a lot of fun with that one!
But for now, the living room agility course is working well to get Charlie's heart rate going on the super cold days and she seems to really enjoy it.
We practiced the course for about 10 minutes before recording the following video. I use a clicker-treat combo to reward her for successfully completing each command.
**I am NOT a trainer, and I'm sure I made a ton of mistakes in my use of the clicker and commands, but Charlie doesn't seem to mind and I get good results so I'm not going to stress it too much. After all, this is supposed to be fun for both of us!