Undoubtedly the most popular dog sport in the world, agility involves running an obstacle course, jumping, negotiating tight turns and tunnels and coming out on top in manageable shape. All that and more, as a dog.
It’s time to start your very own living-room agility course. Your Shiba Inu will love you for this. The great thing about it is that all the equipment you need can be crammed up in a small closet, and there’s nothing more adventurous for your dog to do than this.
Of course, it won’t be regulation agility, but it’s a start in a sport that keeps thousands in high spirit. It’s so much fun you’ll want your friend teach their dogs too and have a competition together. You’re going to have 4 tests or mini-games.
Hurdles Are The Heart Of Any Agility Course
Don’t start jumping over hurdles until your dog is an adult. You can hurt his hips and back if you push him. If he naturally likes to jump then hurdles are totally fine. You can ask your vet if your Shiba Inu can try hurdles. Once you get the ok, here’s what you need.
You’ll need some sort of cut table, mildly sturdy material such as foam board. Cut two strips a few inches wide and about a foot long and make an indentation in the middle. Now cut another strip that will serve as the main board your dog will need to jump over. It should fit nicely with the indentations.
Start with a 1-inch jump; you don’t need to go very high. The main thing you need to know is that they need enough room to approach, or they can’t jump it. Teaching your dog how to jump them is fairly complex and will be discussed in a different article.
The Interesting Tunnel Is A Must-Have In An Agility Course
Again, getting the item is easy; training your dog to go through it is lengthier. We’ll delve into the latter in a different article. All you need for this obstacle is a kid’s tunnel. You can also use cardboard boxes.
There are two types of agility tunnels you can design for your Shiba Inu: the open and the collapsed tunnel. The open tunnel is just that, a stretch of surface, usually with a bend, with an open end. A collapsed tunnel has a long cloth at the end. To replicate it use the same tunnel and a towel at the end.
For A Dog-Walk You Can Use The Couch
You’re going to need a couple of footstools, tables or ways for him to lift up to the level of the couch. All you need to do is place them at each couch’s end, effectively creating a ramp of sorts consisting of 3 pieces which allow you to break it down for your dog in simple steps.
Teaching your dog to do the couch dog walk is not very hard, and Shiba Inus love running on the couch anyway. You’ll design different commands and you’ll have him running the course in no time.
Weave Poles Are The Final Obstacle
To practice weave poles you can use toilet plungers. All you need are 4-6 new plungers. If you’re uncomfortable buying 6 from one place try getting one from different stores and add up to 6. Now just set them 50 cm apart each and voila.
Now you need to teach your dog to run the course. It’s not so difficult, even though many people have tried to figure out the best way to make the dog faster and so on. You don’t need the world’s best, you just want to have fun.
I’ll cover training your Shiba Inu to run the course in later articles, simply because it would be unwieldy to put it all here. First get all your equipment ready and you’ll teach him to run the course in no time.