Instructables

DIY Dog Agility A-Frame

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With A-Frames ranging from $500 bucks to $1,000 or more I figured I would save some cash, have some fun, and build my dog an Agility A-Frame to practice on!

On the following pages, you'll see that it's actually quite easy to do, and yes, I am 100% confident it will hold my dog's weight, then again, my dog weighs 16lbs... If at any point you want it stronger, modify the plans as you see fit. I've had a 70 lbs German Shepard use the frame and I've also climbed it myself as a test.  This thing is a beast and is pretty heavy.

Also keep in mind this is a practice frame.  Regulation frames are 9 foot per side, these plans are only 8 foot.  The rest of the dimensions are to rules so it's a reasonable practice setup.

My Flickr Page with the photos is at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chuybregts/sets/72157615091503140/

See my other instructable for making your own Dog Agility Jumps

As Requested, now with video!
 
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Step 1: Materials List

The Materials need for this can all be found at your local Home Improvement center.

Wood
  • 8 x 2" x 4" x 8' (two by fours) (Note: 8' is what they're listed as in the store, their actual measurement is 8' - 3", or 93", this allows a builder to build an 8' wall using a 2x4 above and below the cut 93" 2x4 to give you 8').  Note: As pointed out by alan481 "8' lumber is an actual 96". you are thinking of the pre-cut 92 5/8" stud" I must have purchased studs.
  • 2 x 3' x 8' x 15/32" plywood (or, if you're concerned, feel free to use a thicker plywood, buy a 4x8 sheet and have the home improvement store rip it to 3 x 8!)
  • 42 feet of 3/8" x 1 1/4" molding (this will be used as the rungs to add traction for the dog, this is sold by the foot and you have to cut them yourself. We cut 7 lengths of 6' per length to aid in fitting in the vehicle)

The Rest
  • 2x door hinges
  • 4x hook bolts ( bolts that have a hook on one side, allows you to attach the chain)
  • 2x 8' lengths of chain (we picked up chain that can hold about 250lbs, overkill, but it's cheap)
  • 1 bottle of wood glue (for the molding)
  • 1lbs box of 2 1/2" screws (or use nails, etc)
  • 1lbs box of 1" nails (or some other nail, brad nails, etc) for tacking the molding to the frame allowing the wood glue to dry.)
  • 2 colors of paint, exterior paint is best.  For the Yellow, I had some cans of Krylon paint leftover from my Christmas Pacman Lawn Ornament.
  • optionally, exterior base coat (I'm using it on mine, but do what you would like)
  • a few cups of dry sand (we're going to mix it with the paint to add some more traction for our pups)
  • 1x pool noodle (This will be used to fill in the gap at the top)

Total cost excluding wood glue, paint, screws and nails (I already had these) was $100 bucks.


rufftie7 months ago
just finished building this 9/13. it is indeed a great practice a-frame. an update on the costs tho. it cost me, and I am fairly cost conscious, about $150, and I already owned assorted screws, sand, glue, noodle and 2 cans of primer.
cavachonpup8 months ago
For my eagle scout project i built an agility course for a local dog park. I made 2 a frames and i based their design off of these plans. Thank you!
ffie1 year ago
I have just built this and it's really great, my doggy loves it. Thanks for the plans!
lmbell3 years ago
Very nice and helpful for a reference as I am currently building my own course. Do you have any plans to make an instructables on your jumps? Also, how did your friend make the weave poles flexible? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
chuybregts (author)  lmbell2 years ago
Hi Imbell,

I just finished my Instructable on making jumps! Sorry it's a few weeks late, hopefully it's still useful for you!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Dog-Agility-Jump/
randofo3 years ago
Is there a video of the lil gal running the course?
chuybregts (author)  randofo3 years ago
A quick video has been uploaded!
chuybregts (author)  randofo3 years ago
Not yet, but I'm sure I can make it happen!
Lets see a vid of your dog running over it
chuybregts (author)  patriots88883 years ago
As requested! I've uploaded a vid of me and Ruby running a simple course in the backyard. Note that the Weave poles are also homemade (by a friend), and the 4 jumps are homemade as well (and contain 2 sets of cups for the 12" height for Ruby and 26" height for a German Shepard).
alan4813 years ago
8'=96" not 93"
chuybregts (author)  alan4813 years ago
As labeled at the lumber yard, 8' does in fact = 93" Each 2"x4" is actually 1.5"x3.5" You buy the 8' board, slap on two 2"x4" for the header and the footer, that gives you a perfect 8' wall. So in this case 8' does in fact = 93" measured :) You have to love lumber measurements.
8' lumber is an actual 96". you are thinking of the pre-cut 92 5/8" stud.
chuybregts (author)  alan4813 years ago
That must have been it, I must have purchased 8' studs. Thanks you for your persistence in tracking down the discrepancy of the 8' label and the actual size.
gjm3 years ago
This is a really cool idea that looks like a ton of fun for the dog and the dogs family. The best part about the pictures of Ruby are her ears; she looks like fun. And I'm with randofo; a video would be a blast.
cryptobrian3 years ago
I built something similar a couple of years ago ... you'll see in these photos what I did underneath for framing. This is with lighter 1x4 (though I think 1x3 would work as well) and added cross bracing. I also hinged the top directly to the plywood, eliminating the top gap. This has worked extremely well for us ... and we aren't using this for dogs! We use this for "packgoat" competetions and so have animals weighing in some cases over 200 lbs. I suspect your design is just about as strong through so I wouldn't have too many worries about it holding up to even heavy dogs.
aframeopen.JPGaframeside.jpg
chuybregts (author)  cryptobrian3 years ago
Nice, that design definitely removes the need for the pool noodle :) If I were to do it again I would definitely try to modify the design to be more like yours. The only concern is the end would have to be reinforced for the size of my a-frame. It's quite heavy and my concern would be the plywood edge wouldn't have enough strength. Thanks for posting this though, that's a great size for a portable A-Frame!
cryptobrian3 years ago
I should add, one other thing I did a bit differently ... I used a total of 6 hinges across the top (you can see this in the second photo). These are brass door hinges with the pins all removed. I then use a single long 1/4" (I think) rod that slides easily through all of the hinges. This way, I can simply pull out the rod and the two sides are then very easily transported.
task41line3 years ago
Awesome. I think my dog is going to like this :)
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