Not all dogs naturally love to run through tunnels. And if your dog has any “issues” they may hate the tunnel. But just because your dog isn’t keen on running through every tunnel that he sees, doesn’t mean you can’t train him to be.
Angie Valdez, from Anaheim, had to take it slow with her two Terrier mixes, Bruiser and Bella. “Bella was a rescue who came from an abusive home,” Angie says. “She doesn’t like enclosed areas and she can be very skittish. I only enrolled Bruiser in an agility class because I didn’t know how Bella would react. I thought I would have no problems with Bruiser until we went up to the tunnel, which he was very reluctant to go through. So I decided we needed some work at home and I would try to teach these skills to Bella too and hopefully it would give her a little more confidence.”
Preparation: Angie recalls, “I got my tunnel from Ikea for a very reasonable price (compared to agility equipment or large kids tunnels at toy stores).” When using a tunnel for practice, it does not by any means have to be a “certified” agility tunnel. You can find tunnels in the pet stores, or children’s toy section, or online. You can even make a tunnel out of cardboard boxes or by draping sheets over furniture (like you did as a kid). There are no rules for your in-home tunnel; a tunnel is a tunnel, so get creative. Once you have your tunnel be sure to have high value treats or your dog’s favorite toy on hand.
*Has your dog mastered the jump and the tunnel? Try combining the two and creating your own little agility course in your home, backyard, or by going to the Carlson Dog Park.