This massive piece of equipment consists of a hole "jump through" on one corner (see above left), three 3' square ascending platforms around front corner, a ramp off a tunnel on right side and a wavey slide off the back corner.

Maze (left and above is a structure that has panels on opposite sides so the dog has to weave through (see apricot Poodle above). Left is one end where there is a board with a 4" rounded timber underneath to make it flip/flop when the dogs cross it.

The "Tree House" sits underneath an oak tree and is the dogs favorite observation point.

The stimulating environment of a dog playground consisting of many challenging obstacles provides dogs with exercise that makes them more nimble and self-confident. It helps develop their motor skills and instills in them the confidence and judgment to use those skills in other environments. While learning to navigate the different obstacles, the dogs learn to solve problems which gives them a feeling of control over their own lives and fills them with the joy of personal achievement.

We tried to design obstacles that would imitate ways in which dogs might use their bodies in a "natural" environment.

"Stepping Stones" - Five sets of 4" x 16" solid blocks stacked three high and 16" apart. Forming the angle at the top are three cement wellcaps.

After coming across the 8-foot sway bridge and going through two metal barrels (tunnel), there is a small platform off of which there is  a three-barrel ramp tunnel (above). There is a rubber mat inside the ramp barrels for traction.

This is another huge obstacle consisting of many pieces. Above left is a 16' long catwalk (that the parti-color Std. Poodle is on). The cross walk has stones on top that the dogs have to step over and between and, where the Beagle is, there are four descending platforms that are two feet apart.   (Right - Jyah jumping down platforms)

The swinging bridge part of this structure is sixteen feet long and is made up of 36" long pieces of 2"x 2" rounded boards. A coated steel cable runs through holes at either end of the boards and attaches to the platforms. There are 1/4" pvc spacers over the cable between each board.

Five cement culvert barrels 32" in diameter form this six foot high "Mountain."

Underneath the A-Frame, inside the box frame, are two 50 gal. drums straped together hanging from chains at either end -- so it is free swinging. The inside of the drums are painted with traction paint.

This teeter totter is larger than competition size -- it's 3 feet high at the turning point.

The maze (above) (in need of painting) consists of many 36" high panels in eight, six and four foot lengths. These can be reconfigured to form many different paths.

This obstacle is 16-feet long -- half consists of 1"x 4" boards spaced four inches apart lying crosswise on a frame of two 2"x 4" boards, eight-foot-long. The other half is two parallel, eight-foot-long 2"x 4" boards spaced about the shoulder width of a Standard Poodle.  There is a ramp at either end of the structure.

Canine Horizons

The above two photos are of the first playground we made in the late 1970's.  (At the time, we had two Dobermans, two Bullmastiffs, and a German Shepherd.)  After digging a hole 18-inches deep and 30-foot square, I had a 6" high cement border poured around the perimeter and had the whole thing filled with sand.  We built a structure in the middle for the dogs to climb on.  Our dogs enjoyed it so much that we built a playground every time we moved to a new area -- up to our current playground/confidence course.    

Click on paw to see
inside-obstacle course video.

This 8-foot sway bridge connects two towers in the above structure.  Above is  a junction area - left leads up to the tallest tower (slide comes off opposite side and ladder goes up to far side, maze is on near side.  In closest (left) corner of the (right) picture, a short ramp leads up to the top of the maze where there is a catwalk over the top.      

Ladder goes up to tallest platform and there is a slide off the right side.

Another favorite place for observing life