If you have just gotten started in dog agility or are just started shopping for equipment, you have no doubt seen a variety of tunnels that are available and have asked, “What size tunnel should I get?”
This is due in part to all the different needs, both financially and aesthetically, of the many dog agility teams out there. From lightweight and portable to competition size and durability, there is a wide variety to suit all your tunneling needs. We would like to be of some help by sharing some of the pluses and minuses of individual tunnels, as well as, suggestions on which might your best option.
Our practice line is a super choice for backyard use with a few dogs. The tunnels are a lighter weight than other competition lines that you would see at competition. However, they are still made from heavy-duty canvas type material. As with all fabric obstacles, storing it somewhere dry and out of the sun when not in use prolongs the life and beauty of the tunnels!
Our competition line is heavy duty, super strong, and complies to competition standards. Due to the heavier construction and materials, these tunnels cost more than the practice line. It is a worthy investment for clubs, trainers, and some individuals who put their equipment to high use.
Now for the dimensions:
Length: In order to shape your tunnel into a nice S curves, a 15-20’ tunnel is best. For those just looking for a simple C curve option, the 9’ works nicely! We do offer a 6’ tunnel for small dogs if wanted, just keep in mind that though they can be coaxed into a C shape, it makes for a sharp curve. It is great for young and new agility dogs to get a feel for a shorter tunnel before hitting competition length or for smaller areas where a shorter tunnel is needed.
Diameter: We offer 19”, 22”, 24” and 28” diameter tunnels. But which is the right height for your dog? If you plan on competing and only want to make one purchase, we suggest going with the competition diameter for most organizations which is 24 inches. If you have no intentions of competing and have a smaller dog, will be competing in TDAA, or want a smaller tunnel for puppies, you can go with the 19″ diameter tunnel. Just keep your dog’s wither height in mind. You want them to be under 18″ to run in the 19″ tunnel. On the flip side, if you have a large to giant breed and have no intentions of competing in classes that use the tunnel, you can use the 28″ tunnel at home.
We want to reiterate that if you plan on competing with your dog and you want a practice tunnel at home, buy the diameter tunnel your organization uses. Your dog needs to have continuity so they don’t misjudge the tunnel height at competition and get hurt by slamming into the top of the tunnel.