I know this thing doesn’t look like much, but I am perversely proud of it. I had some extra pipe hanging about and was having trouble getting out to my usual practice spot, which meant my only option was to go back to hauling my gear to a nearby park. And since I am all about efficiency, and I am certainly all about minimizing the crap that I feel the need to carry with me when I go to the park, this jump design does a fantastic job of satisfying both urges. It also satisfies the bit where I don’t pay more than I have to as everything that isn’t pvc came from the Dollar Store. This is really the least fancy jump design you’ll possibly ever see, but it gets the job done. And if you don’t have your own yard and you have limited storage space, this might be a lifesaver.
You Will Need:
These measurements are listed PER WING. Which means you will need to double them for one jump. As always I suggest building a few jumps at a time to save material and money. I built three at once for this project.
- One length of 1″ or 1.5″ pvc pipe that is 32 inches long
- One length of 1″ or 1.5″ pvc pipe that is 24 inches long (can be a bit shorter, but that is the usual regulation length)
- Three lengths of 1″ or 1.5″ pvc pipe that is at minimum 5 inches long, max I would say 7 (more on that later)
- 4 pvc end caps (I skipped this step for now, but I’ll be putting them on later as they add stability. If you’re not going to add them make sure you file down the cut edges of the pvc pipe for safety)
- One 4-way fitting
- Rope or paracord, can be any colour but should contrast with the surface on which you will be practicing.
- Screws or duck tape (see below)
- Cable ties
- Two pipe straps
- Saw or something to cut the pvc
Step one: once your pipe is cut and a single end cap attached to each piece, take a pipe strap and attach it to the very end of 24″ piece, and another one to the end of the 32″ piece. I’m sure if you have a power drill they can be drilled on, but trying to screw into pvc pipe by hand was not happening so I just used my trusty duck tape.
Step two: attach your pvc to the 4-way fitting. 32″ piece on top, 24″ piece on the middle connector, one each of the 5″ pieces on the sides. The 5″ pieces can be longer, though I wouldn’t go any shorter. Longer is more stable, but too long and the dog could step on one if they are turning tightly. Shorter is less stable, but stays out of the dog’s way and is less to carry. It’ll really depend on how unstable a surface you’re working on, how much pipe you have, and how much you feel like carrying with you.
Step three: starting from the pipe strap on the 24″ piece, measure out a length of paracord that will start from there, up to the pipe strap on the 32″ piece, and back down to roughly the middle of the 24″ piece, then add an extra three to four inches and cut the paracord. If you’re using synthetic rope, you can use a lighter to seal the ends from fraying. I could tell you how long I cut my rope, but different ropes will stretch at different amounts, so you’re better off to figure it out this way.
Step four: secure one end of the paracord to the 24″ piece of pvc with a cable tie. Attach it roughly a third of the way from the end closes to the pipe strap. Make the cable tie as tight as you can but so that you can still slide it up and down the pipe. This is how you’ll get the paracord tight with each use with a minimum of frigging around.
Step five: run the paracord up through the pipe strap on the 32″ piece and then tie it to the pipe strap at the end of the 24″ piece, making sure there’s as little slack in the line as possible. Once it’s tied you can now slide the cable tie back towards the pvc fitting to make it really snug. Stop just before the 32″ piece starts to tilt. Any slack in the line can flop around and make the jump unstable, and can distract your dog if it’s windy. (click any of the images below to view an expanded gallery)
Step six: measure from the ground up to mark the jump heights. Make sure to take into account the width of the jump bar you are using. I just used some clip on jump cups from Clip and Go for this project, but you can easily use the homemade jump cups that I used for my last wing project.
Step seven: add a jump bar. Should be between 4 to 5 feet long. I found using a heavier duck tape actually added a bit of weight to the bar, which is a good thing when you’re running larger dogs and you want them to actually notice when they knock the bar!
Step eight: (optional) if you want to make this into a wingless jump just untie the rope and replace the 24″ piece of pvc with a 5″ piece. In theory you could use a 5-way fitting and add two more 5″ pieces to make it just like my other wingless design, but once the jump bar is placed this jump actually stays quite stable, and the shorter bases have made it idea for working through the one jump exercises from Linda Mecklenburg’s new Mastering Jumping Skills book. And because it stores so small it’s no problem having three of them hanging around my training room (aka the room other adults use as their living room).
So there you go. Very simple, easy to do, and the great thing is because none of the pieces are glued, once I have a permanent practice spot to practice I can easily convert these to match the existing wing jump design that I have. Please let me know if you have any questions, and check out my Equipment page for other designs and a list of resources where I commonly buy supplies.