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New Obstacle Ideas

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Figured a spinoff of the tunnel thread could be fun. What interesting obstacles can you come up with that would be interesting? Not that I think this would actually go anywhere, but I think it is fun to make up new obstacle ideas!

For all those folk wanting to bank on tunnels...
Make an obstacle for that - A half-pipe! Or could even make it an S-shape, and so you bank one direction, and then the other. It would have to be formed and have grippy surface, so that would need some work to figure out, but I think that could be fun. Call it The Luge or something!

To replace the idea of chutes, what about taking the formed starting 2-ft or so of the chutes, and adding "car wash flaps" to them so they still push through something, but it is not something they can get tangled in! I'd call this the Dog Wash, because intsead of a car going through it's a dog.

And a summer course design idea: The Water Challenge. obstacles have water components. The tunnel has a circular spray of water on one side. There are water jumps (like how some horse jumps are over/into water!). this would be of course basically impossible, but it would be hilarious fun!

Amy McGovern:
Those are hilarious!  I love the luge one!!  Mine would totally do it too.  Tunnels are their FAVORITE!!

On occasion my pups have gone under a bar instead of over it.  That might be a neat challenge, with some type of visual cue that means go under the bar instead of over, like maybe 1 or 2 bars set above the target bar.  Maybe even have some type of extended crawl obstacle, forcing the dog to get slow and low.

Another thought is similar to a table, a box - but only be about 4 inches high.  I use this in training.  2 x 4 s on edge in a square/rectangular frame with a plywood top with a rubber surface.  I use a welcome mat made from recycled tires from the hw store cut to fit and glued down.  Similar to a mark bucket but with more surface area and grip.  Get on and get off.  I'm not a fan of stopping or requiring a position on it, just get a paw on it.  Several in a row could be neat, like hopscotch for dogs. 

Water obstacles sound a bit messy, most of the fields we run in are dirt horse arenas.  Add water to that and the dogs will get caked with mud.  Maybe in a grass field, but even then the field would eventually get soupy.

Another thought is a gauntlet obstacle.  Many clubs have pvc frames with some type of cloth mesh as fences.  Put two in parallel next to each other to create a channel between them wide enough for a dog to pass.  The dog travels through the channel.  Go in one end, come out the other.  Like a tunnel the dog's vision of its handler is blocked but the dog stays on the primary surface and their are no turns or tunnel bags.  Lengths could vary, one big long one, or maybe several shorter ones in a zig zag or arc.

I think there could be more creative discriminations.  Why is it only ever 2 obstacles?  Why not 3:  Tunnel, Dogwalk, Tunnel?  Why is it always a contact and a tunnel - why not 2 tunnels or 3 tunnels - left tunnel arcs left, right tunnel arcs right, center tunnel goes straight.  That would be a serious handling challenge.  Imagine the precision required to steer the dog to the center of three tunnels.

Another interesting idea is to have a lifesize plush dog somewhere on the course, the dog just has to ignore it.  No faults, just time loss if the running dog spends time checking it out.

I love the crawl idea.
It wouldbe easy to build adjustable.
There are crawls for working dogs when they do their agility stuff. Ive been on police k9 courses they all have them. Usually about 6-8ft long and sized forGSDs and such. But as a caver we make squeeze boxes that are the same thing with adjustable height. Its just a fun challenge to see how small a pace we can squeeze through. So you couldbase this height with the height class. Like if your dog runs in 8 they have to do 6, just knock off 2 from the height class so they have to crawl. Or sameheight ad height class i suppose the long soid board shouldbe plenty of cue althoughi suspect a lot of dogs jump on top of it!

Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso:
UKC actually has a crawl tunnel (or had), they also have a sway bridge and swing plank. 

I LOVE the idea of the water obstacles even if it would get messy.  Not sure that my beagle would do them, but on a hot summer day it sure would be fun for some of the dogs!  Although I could see it being a challenge for those water dogs who would then simply sit and wade in the water hole!  LOL! 

Going under a bar would be funny!  We could call it the "limbo"!  And the stuffed dog on course!  OMG!  That would be hilarious!  Or actually a squirrel or a cat would be more interesting.  Maybe a feeding station that was under a wire box so the dog can't get to it, but have all sorts of nummy treats there and the dog has to go by it!

I think some venues actually still use an S shaped tunnel.  I know I have seen them in pictures, but I don't know that they are really all that widely used anymore.  I believe they used to be quite common. 

And a few years ago, there was a chances course with 2 tunnels side by side.  One time you had to take the inside tunnel and another the outside tunnel.  Not a lot of people got that. 

We could do a maze obstacle as well where as Ric said, the gauntlet obstacle, but there would be dead ends and you have to work your dog through it to come out the other side! 

We could also go back to the old days with the cross over bridge.  I know someone out there has a picture of that.  It was before my time.


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