Introduction

woman helping her dog through weave poles
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
»
You have your tricked-out media room. The kids have their backyard playground. But what about your dog? We think this oh-so-important family member deserves a special home recreation area too.

Which is why we recommend getting everyone together this weekend and building her an agility course. Not only will it give you and your family some quality bonding time with your favorite canine, the workout the course can provide will be great for your dog's health, behavior, and longevity. "Active dogs tend to keep fluid in their joints longer, which lessens the effects of aging," says Carrie DeYoung of the American Kennel Club. And watching your pup fly over hurdles, whip around poles, and balance herself on a teeter-totter provides way more family entertainment than watching TV or playing video games. Here's how to build your dog's rec area.

Plan to make one of these? Show us the finished project and you could be featured in This Old House magazine
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    Tools List

    • pvc saw
      Pull Saw
    • drill
      Drill/Driver
      with 1/16-inch bit, 3/8-inch bit, 5/8-inch paddle bit
    • combination square
      Combination Square
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • block wood
      Wood Block

    Shopping List

    1 ½-inch schedule 40 PVC pipe. Get 100 feet.

    1 ½-inch PVC tees. Get 22.

    1 ½-inch PVC elbows. Get 10.

    1 ½-inch PVC end caps. Get 16.

    2-inch PVC. Get 12 inches.

    1x12 laminated shelving board. Get one 8-foot board

    2-inch U-strap. Get two.

    1½-inch 3/8-inch flathead bolts. Get four.

    3/8-inch washers. Get 16.

    3/8-inch locknuts. Get four.3/4-inch metal strapping

    3/4-inch sheet metal screws

    1-inch drywall screws

    Clear PVC cleaner

    Electrical tape in red, blue, and yellow

    Painter's tape

    Exterior primer

    Exterior flat paint in yellow

    Antiskid additive

    3 pounds of gravel