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Tunnel Information Page

Here you will find FAQ's for the canvas practice tunnels we sell.  Drop us a line or call (1-800-254-9441) if you have any questions or comments ~ we'd love to hear from you!


"How do these tunnels compare to competition tunnels?"

Minimum standards for competition tunnels are 10 to 20 feet long, with an  entrance 22-26 inches in diameter (usually 24").  Our portable 9 foot tunnel has a 22"  diameter, and is made of a different, lightweight material.  The competition tunnels are very heavy in construction, and are a challenge for one person alone to move and carry. (approx.50 lbs) They are great if many dogs are going to be running through it, but not so good for one-person set-up, storage space, or for the budget.  But one advantage of competition tunnels for serious home practice may be the extra 2" of diameter size.  Big dogs have to do a little crouching to get through any size tunnel, but the smaller the diameter, the more they learn to "crouch" when running through, and it could slow their performance if all you train with is the smaller diameter tunnel.  Many people with big dogs are content to use the practice tunnels at home anyways, because competitions COULD have a tunnel with a 22" diameter.

For information on our competition tunnels, click here.


"Which Size should I get?"

Diameter Choices: (keep in mind that competition tunnels are almost always 24", but can be 22"-26")

6' Tunnel with 19" diameter: We suggest this tunnel only for dogs as small as, or smaller than a Cocker Spaniel or Sheltie.  This tunnel cannot be curved, unless it is very tight.

9' Tunnel with 22" diameter: Our most popular size.  It is good for all dogs except the very large breeds. It may work for dogs as large as a German Shepherd or Golden Retriever.  However if you want to induce more speed in your larger dog, we would encourage you to consider the next two larger sizes.    

9' x 28" (Super Giant Tunnel): The largest diameter tunnel you will ever find! Not recommended to use if you are going to compete. 

15' Tunnel with 24" diameter: The closest to a competition tunnel you will find in a "practice" style. For actual competition tunnels, click here.

Length Choices:  

The minimum length for competition tunnels is 10 feet long, but most trials and clubs buy a minimum of 15', because you can do more shapes with it, such as an "S"-shaped trap stretched under an A-frame.  Our 9' Practice Tunnels can be curved for extra challenge.


"How do I keep my tunnel from rolling in the wind?"

These tunnels need to be secured so the wind doesn't blow it away, and also so they don't move when your dog barrels through it at lightning speed. One way is to use our PVC 'Cradle-style' braces. CLICK HERE for more info.


"How do I care for my practice tunnel?"

These tunnels are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. Their weathering qualities are like canvas tents: you can leave them out and they will dry if wet.  Prolonged exposure to the hot sun with not enough moisture can dry it out, however, so we suggest bringing them in if you don't think you will be using it for a week or more, especially in the summer.  It also helps to periodically treat your tunnel with a waterproofing spray such as Scotchguard or a similar product that treats canvas tents and makes them more water repellant.

We also suggest using the practice tunnels on a "kind" surface, as repeated use on a more abrasive surface (such as cement) might wear down the material.


"Can I connect two tunnels together?"

Yes!  By doing this, you can double the fun, and make challenging C and S shapes for your dog to run through.  Some practice tunnels come with a "flap".  You can use this flap to wrap around the entrance of another tunnel.  If you don't need it, we suggest you fold the flap back over the tunnel.  If your tunnel doen't have a flap, we suggest using "binder clips".  You can buy the large sizes at office supply stores.  These are large clips used to hold thick bundles of paper together.  You can simply use about 4 or 5 of these clips along the wire rims of the tunnels to hold them together.


"My dog loves the tunnel already. Why should I have one for my own practice?"

Actually, this is the reason why you should get one.  When practicing, the tunnel works great for a reward... to break up the monotony of other obstacles he might not like as well.  For example, after your dog does a stay on the pause table, use the tunnel as your next obstacle. Your dog will be much more eager to learn the more difficult obstacles if he has his favorite obstacle in the lineup.
Also, the tunnel IS one of the obstacles that is most often used for tricky "traps" in a trial. By having your own tunnel, you can do many different control exercises that will make him less apt to fall for these tunnel traps.  In advanced agility training, you will want to teach your dog to "go ahead' into the tunnel ahead of you, and you will want to do "cross behinds", and "call-offs" using the tunnel too.


Picture Loading of Compacted Tunnel
The compact size 
makes it great for setting
up & training in different surroundings!

Training Tip: Teach your dog to search out the tunnel while you sit on your chair watching television:

Set up the tunnel in your living room.  As you relax and watch T.V., occasionally call your dog to you, and point to the tunnel. Say "tunnel", and see if your dog will figure out what you want. If he doesn't, take him over and direct him into the tunnel.  Reward him with cheerful praise and a delectable treat.  Soon you'll be able to place the tunnel behind the chair, or even hiding in another room, and when you whisper "tunnel", your dog will eagerly search it out.  By doing this, you're training your dog to learn what the tunnel is by the word, not just because you are running towards it.

 

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