Training your pup can be quite a task, especially if you're a new dog parent. But training is a necessary part of your dog’s life and no matter how long you put the process off, you’ll have to do it sooner or later. Luckily, dog agility tunnels make training a little easier and a lot more fun. These tunnels improve your dog’s dexterity, obedience, and quality of life while training them to follow your commands. What’s more, once they get the hang of it, your dog is sure to love running in and out of these awesome tunnels.
With all that said, choosing an agility tunnel might be more complicated than training your dog. The market is flooded with substandard tunnels and it can easily become overwhelming as you try to decide which tunnel is right for you and your pooch. To solve your dilemma, we’ve reviewed some of the highest-rated dog agility tunnels of 2023. So give this thorough buying guide a read and before you know it you’ll be training your pet to dash through one of these agility tunnels with ease.
Buying Guide: Finding Your Next Premium Dog Agility Tunnel
Agility training was formerly thought to be exclusively for Crufts competitors, but now with reasonably priced equipment on the market, you can train your four-legged friend in the comfort of your home. But with so many agility training tunnels to select from, finding the right one can be a challenge. To help, we’ve put together this handy guide covering all the essential training tunnel information. Read on to determine the perfect training tunnel for your pooch.
What to Keep in Mind When Buying a Dog Agility Tunnel
The AKC (American Kennel Club) sets the standards for agility tunnel design and many of these tunnels are built to meet those standards. These tunnels are normally 24-inches in diameter and 18-feet long. Your dog will be more competitive if they’ve been trained with one of these tunnels, but smaller dogs may find this tunnel size too large. If your dog is little, consider teaching agility using a smaller tunnel.
Dacron, a polymer fabric, is used in the majority of the tunnels for added durability. Because Dacron is a strong, adaptable material, these tunnels can withstand repeated use by rambunctious dogs. Even though Dacron tunnels are lightweight and inexpensive, it’s not recommended that you leave them outside for long periods of time.
Many tunnels are also built with PVC. These tunnels tend to be heavier, which means you won’t have to stake or sandbag them down. Plus, they’re completely watertight. If you’re an experienced trainer, you’ll definitely want to invest in one of these tunnels. PVC tunnels are better suited to a permanent location since they are less movable than Dacron tunnels.
When just starting out, we recommend that you do not invest in the most expensive tunnel for your dog agility course. It’s easy to find a high-quality tunnel for an affordable price; this way, you can see if your dog likes the tunnel first before investing in an expensive option. Keep in mind that lower-priced agility tunnels may not last as long and shouldn’t be left outside or exposed to the elements.
Benefits of Using a Dog Agility Tunnel
Agility training can enhance the relationship between the dog and its owner, as well as their obedience. As an added benefit, it activates certain muscles that your dog wouldn’t otherwise engage in when walking. Tunnels are a fantastic starting place for agility training for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they help dogs and their owners learn new skills.
Tunnels also allow for gradual training – you can scrunch up your tunnel at first and gradually add length as your dog gains confidence. Most dogs love running through tunnels, providing an encouraging springboard for further training. Plus, when you teach your pet to safely navigate the tunnel, it builds trust between you and your pet.
How to Train a Dog for Agility
Getting started in agility training with your dog may seem like a huge financial burden, but with simple steps and encouragement anybody can give this fun sport a try. To help you get started, here are some important points to keep in mind.
It’s critical that your dog knows a few fundamental instructions before you begin your journey into agility training.
More difficult activities require these abilities as a foundation. If you’re looking for further assistance with your dog’s training, try enrolling them in obedience lessons.
Start with the basics
It’s natural to want to push training forward as quickly as possible for outstanding agility, but you’ll have a more successful training experience and more time to develop a trusting relationship with your dog if you take your time. Reduce your dog’s anxiety by breaking down complicated tasks into manageable steps.
Similar strategies may be used to teach your dog to navigate various agility obstacles. Ultimately, you want to increase the difficulty gradually. Different pet agility gear is available for purchase, but you can substitute certain obstacles with common home objects in the beginning. When it comes to weaving poles or leaps, PVC pipes and broom handles are ideal. Eventually, you may want to invest in dog agility set so that you and your dog can practice with a broad range of obstacles.
Fortunately, there are a number of introductory agility programs where you and your dog can learn from a professional with other dog and trainer participants. If you can’t afford agility lessons, try meeting up with another dog owner to train your dogs. Together, you’ll learn more quickly and have more fun.
Get this training tunnel if you want your dog to have fun while learning. This 18-foot agility tunnel features 24-inch double-ended openings. It’s AKC-compliant and certified by NADAC standards. This coiled, shape-shifting tube is ideal for small to mid-sized dogs. Plus, it’s lined with a professional-grade covering and boasts 600D woven Oxford Dacron, all of which makes this agility tunnel super durable. What’s more, its zinc-plated, 7-inch stakes are completely rust-resistant. Plus, the downward angled tops of the stakes won’t protrude out of the ground when you train your dog. This training tunnel is perfect for sharpening your pup’s dexterity, obedience, and response making this our best overall choice.
If your dog is scared of longer agility training tunnels, start with a shorter one and work your way up. This 16-foot training tunnel by Trademark Innovations is a perfect starting point for your pup. Made of high-quality polyester, this blue agility tunnel is simple to set up. This fun, easy-to-use tunnel is sure to develop and deepen your relationship with your pet.
What’s more, you don’t need to buy the stakes separately as they’re included in the set so you can use this tunnel right out of the box. It also comes with a carrying bag that can be used for storage when the tunnel is not in use. Use this collapsible tunnel to improve your dog’s overall quality of life, obedience, and dexterity.
If your furry friend is hyperactive and doesn’t listen to your commands, then this agility training tunnel will make your life easier. The Better Sporting agility tunnel has two sets of sandbags that can hold about 15 pounds on each side. These keep the tunnel fixed in position to accommodate aggressive or hyper dogs.
The best thing about this tunnel is that you can use it both outdoors and indoors, depending on your available space and the weather. Ideal for both experienced dogs and amateur learners, this tunnel comes with a durable carrying case that’s super handy for packing up the tunnel, storing it, and overall organization. If you’re looking to build your relationship with your dog while also making them more athletic, consider investing in this agility tunnel.
MelkTemn products are tested by experienced dog owners to give your pets an ideal experience. You can use this versatile training equipment to develop your dog’s training skills and enhance its jumping, obedience, and agility. This agility tunnel is made of 420D Oxford polyester that doesn’t rip or tear easily. It’s perfect for most dog sizes and suitable for most dog trainers regardless of their experience.
Training your dog while using this agility tunnel will improve your relationship with your canine friend as you both will spend quality time together. To use, all you have to do is remove the tunnel from its case and it will expand to its full length like a pop-up tent. Plus, it comes with a bag that has nylon handles for convenient portability and easy storage. As an added bonus, the steel wires inside the tunnel resist ripping and tearing during training drills making this tunnel extra safe.
This agility training tunnel is perfect for training amateur dogs as well as well-trained pups to make them more active and obedient. Made of high-quality, professional-grade plastic, it is highly durable and made to be long-lasting. At 18-feet long, this agility tunnel is suitable for most dogs. Plus, it comes with everything you need to train your canine so you can start using it immediately. The set includes a handy carrying case and 7-inch-long stakes to keep the tunnel in place.
Weighing only 2.38 pounds, this dog agility tunnel is super easy to carry to the park or bring with you on trips to the beach. The frame materials are made of the highest standard steel, metal, and plastic. Plus, the grommets of the training tunnel are made from steel instead of plastic for added sturdiness and durability.
Features a short stake design for added safety
Can be used indoors and outdoors
Not suitable for puppies
People Also Asked
Q: When should I begin agility training?
A: To compete in agility contests, dogs must be at least 18 months old with training beginning when dogs are 12 months old. Agility training can be too strenuous for puppies as young as six months old, but brief bursts of careful instruction can be beneficial at the right age.
Q: How should I get my canine into agility?
A: In agility, your dog will be able to exercise both their mind and body, while also developing a stronger relationship with you. To get started, try taking a beginner's class or searching for instructions online. It’s important to teach your dog to sit, stay, and lay down before you begin training in agility. Agility training is a lot less difficult than laying a firm training foundation.
Q: Is dog agility a sport or a hobby?
A: Sled dog racing and sheepdog trials are considered 'dog sports,' which puts dog agility in the same category. Owner's participation in agility is almost as important as the dog’s participation, which is unusual among other dog sports. Agility is a sport that individuals of all fitness levels can enjoy, but the practice tends to make both you and your dog fitter. Similar to walking or jogging, dog agility can also be considered a sport for the dog owners.
Jarett and his vapor wake dog, Toxi, help keep the students and public safe on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. Jarett knows what equipment, food and toys to keep Toxi safe, productive and still able to have fun.