Dog Walk

Topics: Contruction  |  Training  |  Trouble-Shooting


One type of dog walk has the up & down planks attached to the cross piece with door hinges at the ends of the planks. There are 2 door hinges on each one. A longer pin is used that will go through both hinges, the entire length of the boards. It's made in the shape of a candy cane, sort of. You can show the folks at your local hardware store the hinges you are using and describe how you want to connect it. They'll point you to what you need. Then all you need is a vice and a hammer to put a curve in one end, sort of like a handle. Mostly used when pulling the pin back out so you can break the obstacle down. Some places will cut, and bend the end of the "pins" the way you want them. (Katie Greer)

Probably the best way to build wooden contact obstacles would be to use a doubled up 3/4 plywood framework (to make the frame 1-1/2 inches thick and 3-1/2 inches wide) and sheath it with 1/2 inch plywood. This makes an extremely strong and stable dogwalk with very little flex when even large dogs walk over it. It is much more solid and has less bounce than any of the steel-framed commercial versions. Because of the inherent stability of plywood there will be no warping or twisting. The trade-off, of course, is weight. However, this version is not all that much heavier than the traditional plank method of construction. A teeter can be constructed in a similar way, but it wouldn't be necessary to double up the plywood framework. (Greg Ruhe)

You can make an easy dog walk to use for practice at home. Rather than bracing the planks all the way around (box fashion), you will save on lumber, time, and weight by just running a 2x4 stringer (on its 2" side) down the middle of each plank. On 10' planks, use 8' 2x4's so there is room for the planks to rest directly on the 38" saw horses used for supports (for early training, put them on concrete blocks). The stringer is screwed on with 2" screws, so its very solid and should prevent most warping over time. There's very little bounce. Use loose-pin hinges to attach the planks together, so they can be taken apart into 3 pieces to store. The cleats are glued and nailed. This dog walk will cost you about $50.00. Excluding paint, the wood and hardware are only about $25. This dog walk is great for practice with small to medium dogs; for larger dogs you may need more support. (Elizabeth TeSelle)

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