The 5 Best Dog Agility Equipment Options: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Do you have a high-spirited dog at home?
We didn’t know what we were getting into when we adopted our second dog. He seemed like a Duracell battery - constant reserves of boundless energy. Always wanting to walk, jump and destroy when he was bored.
For the other golden oldies in the house, it was all too much.
Some Google searching suggested that agility training could be the way to go to expend some of the excess energy our pup had bottled up. But where to start? To uncover the best dog agility equipment in Australia, we teamed up with veterinarians and professional dog trainers to form an independent panel of experts. We then researched and tested dozens of different types of agility equipment over the course of months. So consider us your guide to the world of agility training.
Whether you are training for dog competitions or just trying to find a fun way to bond with your energetic pup, today we’re sharing the best dog agility equipment Australia has to offer.
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
Pet Scene Dog Agility Equipment With Carry Bag
- Easy to assemble
- Comes with a carry bag
- Adjustable jump heights
- Sturdy open tunnel
Runner Up -
Outward Hound ZipZoom Indoor Dog Agility Training for Dogs
- Excellent for beginners
- Good reviews
- Well priced
- Adaptable set
Third Choice -
Rosewood Dog Agility Hoop with Carry Bag
- Customisable height
- Comes with a carry bag
- Good value for money
Australia's Best Agility Equipment Reviewed
Now that you are an expert on the equipment needed to agility train your dog at home, let’s dive into the best options for you in Australia. Together with our panel of independent experts, we chose a range of different products depending on what you are focusing on most. This is the agility equipment that we and our dogs loved testing out.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
If you want a basic kit to get you started in agility training your dog, we recommend starting with the easiest pieces possible. This would be the tunnel and the jumps. Weave poles and seesaws are somewhat more advanced.
This is what makes the Pet Scene dog agility set so great. It has a tunnel, a hoop jump and a carry bag for the ultimate beginner-intermediate training.
Our team of independent experts love how the jump has an adjustable height which is essential for getting started. It is also easily foldable for quick storage and easy transport. You can also remove the hoop and use the apparatus as a free jump. So technically you have a 2-in-1 deal here.
The tunnel is 5.5 m long with sturdy spring-steel construction. By keeping the tunnel straight, my dog was able to see through which gave him more confidence in the beginning. If you're more interested in a shorter tunnel, then check out our number two option.
Best of all, the kit comes with a carry bag to store easily. You can also take the set with you anywhere.
Good value for money, beginner friendly and adjustable to your dog’s needs, this is the perfect agility starter kit for any new hobbyist.
Indoor agility training did you say? Yes! For those of you who don’t have a huge garden or access to a friendly park that you can agility train your dog, indoor agility training sets might be for you.
Another reason why indoor sets are so effective is that they tend to be much smaller scale and therefore easier for dogs of all levels of athleticism. If you have a somewhat slovenly dog at home that you want to do more exercise with, a simple indoor dog agility set can really help introduce them to the hobby gently. Even more gently than the aforementioned starter kit in our number one spot.
The Outward Hound ZipZoom Indoor Dog Agility Training for Dogs being tested by our independent expert team.
Outward Hound has created this adaptable, small agility kit that is perfect for homes of all shapes and sizes.
It contains a square tunnel, weave poles, and an adjustable jump.
I love how this is a flexible kit that you can customise to your requirements. If you want six weave poles as opposed to four, the stands for the jump can be used as the extra two poles.
This agility set is simple which is the beauty of it. The tunnel is shorter than that of our first option and suitable for small to medium dogs. You can adjust the height of the jump easily. The weave poles are easy to snap together too.
Not for the expert agility competitors out there, but if you want an elementary agility set for indoors this is the one for you.
Onto dog agility jumps. Every member of our team of indepedent experts liked the Rosewood hoop jump because it is simple, cost effective and adaptable.
This robust hoop jump apparatus is flexible, lightweight but sturdy. It is super easy to assemble with clear instructions in the pack.
You can adjust for your dog’s size and height making it very customisable. However, it is still not recommended for extra-large dogs. A Labrador or Border Collie however should be perfectly fine to use it.
As a bonus, the jump comes with a handy carry bag that enables easy storage and transportation if you want to practice your skills outside of your home.
Overall, this jump is well priced, well liked in the agility community and surprisingly durable!
Thumbs up from us.
For a simple agility tunnel, this is the one for you!
Just like the tunnel in our number one spot, this is a 5.5 m bright blue agility tunnel that is durable and fit for purpose. For small-medium dogs, this is an ideal tunnel for novice-experienced dogs.
The diameter of the open tunnel is 60 cm so it is not suitable for extra-large dogs.
The tunnel is completely waterproof. It packs down easily by collapsing the rings. Once collapsed, the carry bag is a perfect slim fit, allowing you to store the tunnel after use.
The spring-steel framing along the tunnel makes sure that the tunnel stays open and is supported whilst you use it. Reducing the sagging of the tunnel in the middle.
Overall, it is a wonderful basic tunnel to start your dog agility practice.
Weaving poles are possibly my favourite out of the agility set for dogs because I love a challenge!
It is not necessarily the most beginner-friendly activity, but it is so fun once you and your dog master it.
It takes some considerable effort, but I promise you, there is no greater flush of pride as when your dog completes a weaving circuit - even if it is just four poles!
Our recommendation for weaving poles is the five pole set by Rosewood. Rosewood products, like our number three choice, are known for being well-constructed, well-liked and reasonably priced. This weave pole agility set is no different.
The poles themselves are flexible so if your dog accidentally headbutts one, it’ll bend. This is much safer for them and you. The spikes are ideal for creating a stable foundation in any garden or park soil.
Rosewood provides an excellent carry bag that makes transportation and packing down much easier after your training session. This is a wonderful weave pole set to get you started at home!
What Are The Benefits Of Agility Training Your Dog?
So is agility training is a great pastime to introduce into your dog’s life? Yes, and our panel of independent experts say it's for so many reasons. Here are just a few:
It is an excellent exercise
Agility is all about cardio (for both of you!). Jumping, running, weaving and tunnelling are fantastic ways to get your dog’s body moving. Even dogs that are slow movers can enjoy agility. If you are not intending to do competitions then there is no need to race the clock when you start. Taking things step by step at a pace that works for both of you will still burn off a few calories.
It helps you to bond
Bonding with your dog is so important at every stage of their lives. It’s not just for puppyhood or post-adoption. It’s important to keep your relationship strong and deepen your connection with new avenues. Agility training as a hobby is a wonderful way of strengthening your bond while learning something new! (1)
It stimulates them mentally
In the intro, I mentioned our dog that has a lot of stamina. Paired with that is a marvellous aptitude to learn. Our pup is very smart which makes him a prime candidate for agility training.
By engaging these primal instincts that your pet dog rarely gets to flex in their everyday life, it stimulates their brain and lessens destructive behaviour caused by boredom. (3)
Of course, many take agility training very seriously and enter their dogs in competitions for the sport. That is fantastic.
For the rest of us though, I encourage you to give agility training a try simply because it is fun! If your dog is energetic and clever, they will really enjoy this new challenge - as will you.
Can You Agility Train Your Dog At Home?
This question may seem redundant because we are writing about at-home agility kits for dogs here, but we discovered that the answer is more nuanced than you think.
PRO TIP: If you have never done agility training before and are not a professional, it is worth taking one or two dog agility classes with your dog in a professional setting to learn the ropes.
You may think that you can train your dog quite well already. After all, you did potty train them and curbed their puppyhood habits.
Agility training is more complex than “sit” and “stay”. It builds upon these skills to create more complex actions for your dog to follow.
From personal experience, I can tell you that your dog’s first time on a seesaw will be pretty nerve-wracking for both of you. It helps to have a professional on-side to teach you how to do this properly.
There are plenty of dog agility classes you can attend or you can hire a professional dog trainer to come to your home and show you how to use the kit that you have purchased.
Whichever you choose, set yourself up for success by involving a professional for the first couple of agility sessions.
What Are The Different Types Of Agility Equipment On The Market?
If you are new to agility equipment, then you’re probably wondering which items you should start with or what the different types of tools are. Here is a brief explanation of what you need to know in the dog agility space.
Open tunnels for dogs
Open tunnels are exactly what they say on the tin. They are flexible plastic tunnels that are held open at each end by firm circular openings. Most open tunnels maintain their structure throughout but some dip slightly in the main body of the tunnel.
This is important because your dog may be a little frightened to dive into a tunnel where they can’t clearly see through to the other side. It takes quite a lot of trust to build this habit.
The way to combat this fear, in the beginning, is to choose shorter tunnels. Then gradually extend the length of the tunnel as they get comfortable with the exercise.
Jumps for dogs
Jumps are very similar to the ones you would see at horse shows. There are hoop jumps where your dog jumps through a suspended, fixed hoop. There are also free jumps that look more like hurdles.
Hurdles are easier for beginners than hoop jumps are, although they are both pretty easy to get started with.
The trick is to make sure you have jumps with adjustable heights so you can optimise for your dog’s abilities.
Weave poles for dogs
Weave poles are spaced out poles for your dog to run in between in a concertina pattern.
The weave pole dance is not easy. Every time I see a dog at a competition speed through the tightly packed weave poles, I am honestly in awe.
To get your dog started with weave poling, you’ll probably have to space out the poles further than they should be. You can also shorten the course so that they are only weaving through 4 poles, to begin with. You can increase the difficulty gradually as you both improve your skills.
Note: you may also see weave poles named “slalom poles”.
Seesaws for dogs
I would say that the seesaw is the most advanced out of the dog agility set. It is also the priciest to find online because of the construction.
The other items on this list can be made of relatively inexpensive plastics and be just fine. A seesaw needs to balance your dog’s weight which requires more weightiness to the materials in itself.
Your dog has to completely trust you and the apparatus as the elevated end begins to fall when your dog steps onto it. I wouldn’t recommend this for beginners!
What I Look For In A Good Dog Agility Set?
Though you can get away with a relatively cheap and cheerful plastic set of agility wear when you are a beginner, there are some fundamental features you’ll want to watch out for.
Waterproof items are incredibly important for outdoor dog agility gear. You don’t want things to suffer in the rain.
Most of the equipment you need is fine to be lightweight, like weave poles and tunnels. Seesaws, however, need to be sturdy and secure for your dog to use them with confidence.
Ease of storage
Unless you want your garden to look like an obstacle course 24/7, you’ll probably want it to tuck away neatly in some forgotten corner when you are not using it.
I don’t know about you, but my garage cannot take another set of bulky items. Therefore you’ll need agility equipment that can pack down quickly and compactly. Luckily, you’ll find that most agility gear will come with its own carry bag that is perfectly suited for the equipment it houses.
Dog agility gear is pretty much one-size-fits-all for the most part. The way you adjust for your dog’s size and height is with the product itself. There are adjustable hoop jumps that allow you to widen the hoop, as well as raise or lower the bar.
This does exclude many extra-large breeds from agility training. In fairness, it is not always the best idea for extra-large breeds to engage in jumps often due to their heavy joints. However, they’ll be perfectly fine playing with weave poles.
Ease of set up
When we look at an agility set, there are so many poles and spikes and connecting clips. Our team of experts recommend that the set you buy, particularly at the beginning, be incredibly easy to set up. If it isn’t easy, you won’t bother using it!
Most weave poles can be stuck into the garden soil directly and stand up tall, provided the lawn isn’t too wet or loose.
Tunnels are supported by their own internal structure and folded up concertina-style when packed away. Therefore, you shouldn’t have any issues setting up an open tunnel in a flash.
The jumps are the tricky ones. Usually, the instructions are clear, and the clips are quick to connect the apparatus. When you have double jumps or hoop jumps, it may be a touch more complex but not as complex as you might think at first.
Don’t back out of attempting agility training because the gear looks complicated. We promise you, it’s not! Most come with very clear instructions as to construction and use.
My Final Say
Ordinarily, we have a clear winner when it comes to our reviews. We like to provide a definitive go-to "too long, didn't read" choice that will tick the boxes for most people.
In today’s review, it’s a bit more complicated! It entirely depends on the piece of kit you are after for your dog’s entry into agility training at home. If you have a large garden and want a starter kit to get going, our panel of independent experts agree that the Pet Scene set is great. It ticks the two major boxes that you’ll need or want in an agility set.
If you want an indoor kit that is ideal for beginners, we think the Outward Hound set is really fun to play with. It’s the ultimate entry into the dog agility world.
Yes and no. Does that surprise you?
Agility training certainly has many benefits that we have discussed. It increases your dog’s exercise level and helps you bond. All great things.
The issue is that not all dogs are suited to agility training.
We all know that some dogs are just naturally lazier than others. (4) All dogs require exercise to live a healthy, happy life, but not every dog will be thrilled at the prospect of racing through a big blue tunnel. Be kind and attentive to your dog’s capabilities.
You don’t want to start too young.
Amy Bender for the Spruce Pets writes, “Puppies and young dogs may injure themselves by jumping hurdles. Talk to your veterinarian to figure out when your dog will be ready to attempt the jumps.” (5)
The sweet spot seems to be around 2 years old for competing dogs.
Sticking with this point, dogs that are too old or have mobility issues will find jumps to be stressful on their tender joints.
The best way to get started in agility training your dog is by going to an agility class. If your dog is well tempered and able to work with other dogs, agility classes are great for socialising with other dog owners.
If your dog doesn’t play well with others, then you can have a professional dog trainer come to you or book a private lesson. If you don’t intend to compete, one or two lessons to show you the ropes is the safest way to get started in agility training your dog.
It generally depends on how often you practice and your dog’s natural aptitude for agility training. Accounts vary from a couple of months to a couple of years. It also depends on your ultimate goal. If you intend your dog to be at a competitor level, it will require many more hours of training than if you are just taking up agility training as a hobby. (6)
- Brackin, C. March 13, 2023. “How and Why You Should Create a Solid Bond With Your Dog”. Pet Helpful. Retrieved June 4, 2023. https://pethelpful.com/dogs/How-and-why-you-should-create-a-solid-bond-with-your-dog
- Buzhardt, L. “Agility for Dogs”. VCA Hospitals. Retrieved June 4, 2023. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/agility-for-dogs
- Bender, A. November 24, 2021. “6 Ways to Bust Your Dog's Boredom”. The Spruce Pets. Retrieved June 4, 2023. https://www.thesprucepets.com/bust-your-dogs-boredom-1118230
- Vanderberg, M. July 24, 2018. “12 lazy dog breeds that make the perfect low-maintenance pets”. Insider. Retrieved June 4, 2023. https://www.insider.com/laziest-dog-breeds-2018-7
- Bender, A. December 29, 2021. “How to Train Your Dog in Agility Sports”. The Spruce Pets. Retrieved June 4, 2023. https://www.thesprucepets.com/agility-training-for-dogs-1118557
- Parks, S. “How Long Does it Take to Train a Dog?” Rover. Retrieved June 4, 2023. https://www.rover.com/blog/how-long-take-to-train-a-dog/