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Whatever type of wings you design, make sure the part of the wing where you locate the jump pole cups is at least 36" tall (probably even a bit taller). USDAA rules stipulate that the upright must be at least 6" taller than the jump pole for any jump height. The intent is for the path over the jump (no matter how odd the wings may look) should be as clear to the dog as possible. If it clear to the dog what part of the jump they need to take, how the wings look should not be that big a deal to them. (Monica Percival)

The Spokane Dog Training Club has a jump which is two border collies playing tug-of-war with a tug rope. Haute Dawgs has the eeriest looking black cat jump. These cats look evil. Creative jumps are wonderful and add to the spectator appeal. (Shannon Chenault)

Here's a nifty idea for practice jumps. Make a bunch of stick-in-the-ground type weave poles (these can be purchased from places like Action K-9 or Pipe Dreams or they can be homemade using tent spikes). Then drill holes for the 4 different jump heights into each pole.

Stick carriage bolts in the holes, set a striped pole on the bolts and voila, you have a practice jump. You can drive up to a park & set up a full jumpers course with weave poles on the side and still be able to carry it all under one arm (OK, two arms...). When you choose to use them as weave poles, the dogs never seem to notice the holes. If you have any left over, they can do triple duty as tunnel stabilizers.

These jumps are not legal for trial, and can only be use outdoors of course, but for practice they work out very well. (Janet Gauntt)

Acetone works well to remove the lettering on PVC pipe. It needs to be mixed with turpentine so it doesn't evaporate too fast. All the usual precautions apply of course - do it in a well ventilated area, wear safety glasses, and wear solvent proof protective gloves. (Greg Ruhe)

One way to deal with the problem of the two "official" jump height differences is this way: Construct identical wing jump frames from 1 1/4" PVC, and make the standards out of 1 x 2 '' pine that can be bolted onto the wing using 3 in stove bolts. Cut 2x2x 1 1/4 inch wooden blocks and routed out one side to 1/8 inch to hold the cross bars. Then glue and screw the small blocks onto a 36 inch 1x2 at either four inch spacings (AKC and NADAC) or six inch spacings (USDAA). Drill two holes 18 inches apart in the inside upright of the wings, and corresponding holes in the 1x2 so that the tops of the cross bars are at the proper heights.

The most time consuming part is getting the first set right; after that it is just a matter of using one wing as a master and with the aid of a tape measure and small spirit level drilling the holes in the other wings and supports. Use a wing nut to secure the stove bolts that hold the supports onto the wing. It takes less than two minutes per jump to change the "flavor" and requires far fewer holes in the PVC that could potentially weaken it or allow water to get into the jump in bad weather.
(Claire Schwartz)

Here's a design for cups that are infinitely adjustable, hold up well, and are easy to make (but tough to describe).

Take an unthreaded PVC cap one size larger than your bars, measure and mark the depth of cup you want on the cap. Drill holes in the cap end. Put the cap on the end of a piece of scrap PVC and run the cap through a scroll or table saw to cut out your cups. Each jump cup will need a broom clip, available at many hardware stores. The biggest broom clip made by the manufacturer may be 1", but with the creative application of pliers to the ends of the clip, you can adjust them to fit 1" Sch 40 PVC uprights. Pop-rivet the cup (through the hole you drilled before cutting) through the hole in the broom clip. The jump uprights can be marked for each height with magic marker. Because the cups can fall off during transport, you might keep them in a small nylon drawstring bag. Fabric stores sell nylon rip-stop fairly cheaply, along with the webbing for handles, drawstrings, and grommets needed to stitch up bags to hold jumps and jump parts.
(Gail Suzan Clark)

There are a couple of ways to build a bone jump. For the bone itself, you can either put extensions on the end of the bone so that it will be suspended from the pole supports or you can actually fasten it to a pole. The latter is preferable, as that way it would be level across the top.

For the side pieces, you can fasten the dogs to an upright with the different jump height pole supports, or another possibility is to simply make the dogs out of lightweight wood such as door skin and simply attach them to an existing wing jump. (Jo Ann Mather)

Cavaletti jumps are borrowed from the horse world, built low and their intended usage is to teach stride and collection for jumping. Not height. An X makes up the end pieces and a bar is placed on the X. The X is made of 11.5" long 2 X 3's and the "bar" of 5' 4 X 4's. (For dogs anyway!) The X provides for 2 jump heights, a low and a high. The X is nailed together at right angles. This is what gives you the two heights depending upon which end you set the X.

It helps to make them think of where their feet are going and what they need to be doing next by placing them in various strides. 1 1/2 or 2 1/2 strides between each jump is considered difficult for most horses although dogs appear to handle it quite well. (Katie Greer)

Many clubs and individuals use PVC equipment and jump poles. One continuing problem has been trying to get paint to stick to the poles. The other continuing problem is that painted poles scratch easily.

After much experimentation with various types of paints and approaches for PVC equipment under heavy use, the following has been discovered:

  1. Lightly sanding your PVC equipment or poles with extra, extra fine sand paper before painting increases the bond.
  2. Using a HIGH quality primer made for plastic is mandatory. These are usually oil based. Allowing each primer coat to dry completely before adding color increases durability.
  3. Using safety or some similar paint with a polymer base is the best for PVC surfaces. These paints usually come only in primary colors, but can be mixed and stored easily in glass jars.
  4. Brushing on paint in thin coats works best and seems to last longer than sprayed on coats. Allow each coat to dry before adding the next coat.
  5. Painting the colored stripes and leaving the PVC white everywhere else saves time and has fewer areas to show wear.
  6. Letting the paint cure is critical. Even when paint appears and feels dry it still isn't completely hard. Allowing the PVC to cure in a cool place away from direct sun will greatly increase the durability of the color coat. Two weeks seems to be the best minimum time. If you skip this part...expect to repaint the PVC yearly or more often.
  7. Adding a clear coat over the color greatly protects the colors. It scratches instead of the paint. (Just like a car's clear coat.)
  8. If this sounds like too much work, you might also want to consider using contact paper stripes. These are easy to change when they scratch or tear. Leave the rest of the PVC poles their original color.

(Ann & Peter McQuillen)


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