Over and Under and Through
Have you ever seen a dog agility competition on TV or in person? The dogs and their handlers maneuver through a series of obstacles including tunnels, A-frames and weave poles. It's a blast to watch and more fun to do. On the fun scale, agility games are off the charts. Agility is a fast-paced way to instill obedience in the dog. Navigating the course increases a dog's self confidence while providing a good opportunity for your child to bond with their four-legged pet.
You don't have to buy expensive equipment to set up your own agility course in your backyard. Your house is packed with things you can use. Just be creative. For example, an old tire tethered to a tree branch can become a great jump if the dog is small enough. The dog can run through an old toy plastic tunnel. A bar jump can be fashioned out of PVC pipe and using a couple of cinder blocks as a base. You can use any type of pole or stick, including plant stakes, as weave poles. You can also use a small table, or even a beach lounge chair, as part of the course [source: Ma]. Hula hoops also work well.
You can even enroll your pooch in an agility program. Most dog trainers will tell you to join when your dog's body is physically able to go through the rigors of the course and when it's old enough to understand the basic commands. The dog might have to take Obedience 101 before moving on to agility training.