Adjustable “Channel” Weave Poles


Weave poles

Weave poles are great fun for your dog (as Tess demonstrates), but they do take a bit of training. These adjustable poles make that training easy–start with them open, allowing your dog to run down the center “channel,” and slowly narrow that over time until your dog is weaving through the poles. We are going to make a set of six poles; this will take about three to four hours and will cost about $28 for materials.

It pays to be accurate when cutting and gluing, ensuring each pipe is seated fully in its connector, and that perpendicular joints are as true as you can make them.

Tools

You will need a PVC pipe cutter, a sharpie, a measuring tape and a short length of 4 x 4 or another solid block with a square edge for aligning perpendicular joints.

Materials

Below are the pre-cut pieces and connectors (all for 1″ pipe), ready to be assembled. The straight pieces of pipe are about 29 feet in total length, which means you’ll need three 10-foot pieces of pipe to construct one set of six weave poles.

Materials

1 “T” slip connectors (10)
2 slip end caps (12)
3 90-degree slip connectors (14)
4 1-¾” pipe stubs (6)
5 4″ pipe sections (18)
6 30″ pipe poles (6)
7 18″ pipe dividers (5)

Note, this project is a good one to have a few spare connectors and lengths of 4″ pipe at the ready; I wasn’t satisfied with a couple of my sub-assemblies and opted for a do-over!

Assembly

Please see the tips page for general hints on cutting and assembling PVC pipe. Look for the red glue symbols in the photos to show the freshly glued joints in each step.

In the photos below, there are a few steps where I illustrate one of a particular sub-assembly, while you will actually need to build several. I will note these instances in the text.

Let’s start with the base.

assembly

Start by gluing six end caps 2 to six sections 5.

Assembly

Next, glue six “T” connectors 1 to the six sub-assemblies from the previous step.

Assembly

Glue six more sections 5 to the other side of the “T” from the previous step. It is important that these pieces are all firmly seated in the connector.

Assembly

Glue the six stubs 4 into the “T” connectors in the sub-assembly from the previous step.

Assembly

This is how we’re going to ensure that the next connector goes on perpendicular to the sub-assembly. After gluing the “T” on in roughly the right orientation, we are going to quickly place the assembly on our work surface and press firmly against the two “T” connectors, so that the new connector is flat on the board and the “T” in the center is firmly against the scrap of 4 x 4.

Assembly

Orient the scrap (or whatever you’re using) to make the job go smoothly. If your pipe is a very tight fit in the connector, be ready to press firmly to get both “T” connectors flat against the work surface and scrap. It is important that the pipe is fully seated in the new “T”, as well.

You will be making four of the above, using the remaining “T” connectors 1. In addition, you will make two more in the same fashion, using 90-degree connectors 3 in place of the “T” connectors (see photo below).

Assembly

Here are all of the sub-assemblies we made in the previous step. Note the orientation of the 90-degree connectors on the two sub-assemblies–they must be orientated as shown.

Assembly

Now the fun part! Using the five dividers 7, glue the subassemblies you’ve accumulated into one long base. Start with one of the 90-degree assemblies and work down as shown above. It is important that each new sub-assembly added is coplanar with the previous ones. This is easy with the first two or three, but becomes more awkward towards the end of the process–the base will be about nine feet long when you’re done, so be sure you have enough flat workspace to keep everything aligned.

I’ve shown two glue joints above, but you will want to glue them one at a time.

Assembly

This is what you’ll have when you’re done. Note, I did not glue this up on the ground–it was easier to photograph there.

Our base is done, let’s move on to the poles.

Assembly

For each pole, take two 90-degree connectors 3 and glue them to a section 5 as shown. It is important that the section is fully seated and that the two connectors are coplanar. Glue the joints one at a time.

Assembly

Make six of these assemblies, as shown above.

Assembly

Glue six end caps 2 to the poles 6.

Assembly

Finally, glue the poles into the pole base assemblies as shown. You’re done!

Place the base on the lawn where you will be using it, and slip the poles on. It’s best to wiggle the poles a bit while slipping them on, and hold them by their bases while doing so.

poles

Here the poles are set to their fully open position…

closed

…and here the poles are fully closed.

Note: For settings between fully open and fully closed, always rotate the poles in the same direction to maintain their spacing.

Kipp

Kipp concentrates as he makes his way through nearly-closed poles.

Alternative Designs

Instead of the 90-degree connectors at the two ends, you can use “T” connectors and leave their ends open. This would allow you to use a spare 18″ pipe section to temporarily join two sets of poles together to make one larger set.

Six poles is about the longest section that can be easily moved around. If you want, say, eight poles, I would recommend making two four-pole assemblies.

The spacing between poles here is 20″, which is a standard measurement. You can change any of the measurements, but I’d be careful with varying this spacing.

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Reader Comments

I loved how easy it appears to build with the great Materials breakdown and the step by step.

My concern is the same one I have with the traditional tilt Weaves in that how sturdy are they when placed in the closer position. More simply, do they move out when hit by the dog?

Thanks for the great plans

Hi! Welcome to our web site. :)

So far I have not had a problem with Tess or Kipp moving the poles as they go through. The fit of the poles into the little corner things that move is very snug. We do not have any temperature extremes here, though. Just lots of rain, and so far the rain has not affected the poles’ ability to stay in place.

The tilt “weave-o-matic” type PVC weaves that we were using before were very troublesome with this. They would just fall apart the instant the dog bumped them if they were at all damp. If they were completely dry, they were usually fine unless the dog really ran into them. I much prefer these channel poles, and my dogs seem to like them better, too.

-Allie + Tess & Kipp

Awesome site!

I’m off the the hardware store.

My girl is almost a year now, and very nearly ready to start jumps.

I’ve linked you on our site.

Keep up the good work.
h

Hi
I have just started my Saint Bernard in agility and was looking for an affordable way of teaching her to weave, this is perfect thank you very much.

Hey Allie,

This is great stuff!
Ive looked all over the web to buy dog agility items and it is about $50 plus p&h just for a bar/hurle jump.

Thanks for the awsome step by step info!

Eddie

Just wanted to say a big thank you for putting this site together and helping me build some equipment on the cheap!!! My golden, Felon, loves his jumps and is starting to learn to weave :)

Big Thanks,

Melissa and Felon

I really like my weave poles, my dad made me mine for christmas.
The only thing that isn’t the greatest is here in Canada is that the materials cost over $100, PVC is expensive here. I can tell that they will be strudy for my 3 IG’s. Thanks for the plans.
Ashley and the IG’s from Canada

This is my third project 2 sets of weave poles. Info and photos made it a snap. thank you

I have made your jumps, next is the weave poles thank you!
Do you have a design for a teeter base??

Glad to hear you are enjoying the projects! We do not yet have a teeter design, but it is on the list. It’s too cold lately for Roger to work on agility obstacles outside, and we just don’t have enough indoor space (plus there’s that glue smell!). We do intend to provide plans for a teeter, dogwalk, A-frame, and table. –Allie

Allie (Tess and Kipp), Thanks for the plans…my agility teacher just passed them onto our entire class. I can’t wait to see the other plans that you mentioned in you comment: 1/21/09. My Ruby is loving this so much…And again Thanks Bunches.

Hi Karin! We have lots of spare bits of PVC around here right now, just waiting for warmer weather. :) As soon as we can stand outside without shivering, Roger will be building more stuff. Enjoy the plans! -Allie

It took me only 1 hour to assembly these adjustable weave poles once I had all of parts in front of me. They worked like a charm, in 4 days I had my 9 month old mini-assie weaving through the poles in a straight line. I’m now adding an additional 6 to the line. Great set of plans. Easy, cheap, quick, and a great learning tool. Really appreciate the website and plans!

This set of weave poles is fantastic. I am training my 1 1/2 year old Goldendoodle to weave. What a great way to be able to adjust the center width! Thanks, it looked hard in the instructions but really was a breeze to put together!!!

LOVE your website. It took me an hr and $19 of supplies to make the weave poles.. Zeus is already catching on. Going to build a jump tom. I looked at priced out equipment for weeks, even looked on craigslist for used equipment. So happy I found your website.

Charlotte and Zeus

Type your comment here.I have been looking for the channel weave poles and a friend suggested the site. I am ready to get these made. We have always had trouble with the weaves. Will let you know how our trainng goes with the channel. I do believe we are headed for success.

J.C. Turner

This was great! I was in the market for channel weaves to teach my young dog. I’ve taught my other dogs in the past using stick in the ground. I went to Home Depot. The man there cut all the pipes for me. I came home and assemblied… I now have a set of channels… This saved me a bunch of money. cost $29.00 to make.

Thanks so much for the advice… man it has been so much help for me to train My dog Pauline thanks!

Luke and Pauline

Glad to hear Roger’s instructions are helping so many out there! :) We are enjoying our obstacles at home even in the rainy weather.

Can the adjustable “channel” weave poles be made in a smaller size pvc pipe? My agility group has four little dogs (Havanese, Lasa, yorkie) and we are making one to share. Is this style of weave poles appropriate for little 8 pound dogs?

As far as I know, all the agility organizations use the same spacing for the weave poles regardless of the size of the dog. I think the spacing varies a bit amongst the organizations but I don’t have all the regulations handy to compare at the moment.

As for the size of the pipe itself and the connectors, I don’t think that makes a difference for practicing at home. The only issue might be that a smaller dog would benefit from smaller pipe because of having to step over the parts that are on the ground. Is that what you are concerned about? If so, then smaller pipe/connectors might be the way to go.

Another issue: The larger the pipe the easier it is for the dog to see.

And one more: If the pipe at home is of similar size to what you will see in competition or class, your dog will not have to adjust to a different size/feel of pipe. If there is a big change from the dog’s perspective, your dog may need some time/practice to adjust to the differences and generalize the weaving to all pole types.

Type your comment here
I love this site I have been looking for some easy to make PVC weave poles and this fits the bill . The directions are clear and easy to follow I printed them off so I could have them beside me as I work/

It was so nice to take a shopping list to the hardware store with me to work off I just took the directions with me !!!

Glad you like the directions! I hope the project goes well. :)

thank you thank you thank you for sharing this great info! I’ve been looking all over and just found your site. I thank you and both my schnauzer girls will thank you too!You rock!

Hi, I am new to the site and new to agility. I just started training with my 11 month mini aussie. I found your plans and was lucky enough to get Home Depot to cut my pvc. I talked our school’s shop teacher and a couple of my students to assemble everything for me. They raved how simple you guys have made it for them!!! Thanks!

That’s great news! I hope you and your dog enjoy agility. :)

I know this is an old post but I hope you still have time to answer a question…

I have toy dogs and wonder the weave poles would work for them, will the elbows get in the way? The largest dog only stands 11″ at the withers.

I’m sorry I can’t answer this very well… I don’t have any friends with a short agility dog to borrow to try it out. :) You might try an agility discussion forum, or a forum for toy/small/short dogs of any breed — any forum for any breed nowadays is likely to have an agility or sport discussion area — and see what other people with short/small dogs are using with best results.

Very clever design. I am in the process of going to 2 x 2 training and am designing the 2×2’s so that I can attach them together once I no longer need them as 2×2’s. this means probably using a cross piece instead of a tee in the center of the base on each end..won’t be regulation but should work fine for training proper entries..Have fun with PVC building for dogs!

I’m trying to train my 3 y.o. shepherd cross using the 2×2 method for weaves, with this design, but he’s just knocking them all over the place. Any ideas on how to secure them so they don’t move?

Glue. ;)

Glenda, our fittings are a very tight fit. If yours aren’t try wrapping one or two turns of electrical tape around the outside of the part that plugs into the base. Be sure to wrap it over the bottom, folding it up inside the pole, so it doesn’t just get pushed up the pole when you put them in the base.

This will not be a permanent solution, in that I don’t think the tape will last forever, you may need to redo it occasionally.

I’d like to see a “portable” variety of this, maybe just in a straight line only or a 2×2? I’m not totally sure that those pieces sticking out under the poles won’t confuse the dog.

BTW– LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your site!

I was also worried about all the extra “stuff” that is on the ground with these weave poles. My dogs did not even notice it. When my dogs run through they are definitely looking forward, not down. :) And they do not trip over any of it, which I was also worried about.

If you want a straight line and you are worried about the extra stuff on the ground, it might be best to use something that just sticks right into in the ground.

OMG!!! im in LOVE with your site, soooo cheap. I have been looking for months for used equipment, but I swear theres not a whole lot of dog agility fans here in hawaii. and its just way to expensive to buy from a site… i had found another plan for jumps but they cost me 40$ to build, and then i found your site $12!!! wow! so now this weekend were gonna give the weave poles a try. i love the step by step pics
cant wait to see more plans!
THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!!

I have been looking for this design for a long time now ^^.
I did modify it a bit, instead of 1″ poles, I used a bushing on the 90 elbow and switched it down to 1/2″, and when the dog becomes more accustomed take the bushing out and go back to a 1″ pipe segment. That way if a beginner dog runs into it the pole is much more flexible.
AKC rules did change and the poles are expected to be 40″ in height.
THANKS AGAIN!!

I read that the spacing in between the poles when assembled is 20″ when using 18″ dividers – so in order to get the now standard 24″ spacing between the poles would you now need to have the 5 dividers cut into 22″ sections???

I love these plans & am planning to building one of these – any extra direction to get the correct distance would be greatly appreciated.

Just made a set of these following your plans. Took about 2 hours. I’m really impressed! The only part I had a tough time with is getting everything plumb and square. I used a new (to me) kind of PVC cement and it ended up curing almost instantly. I had practically no time to make adjustments. Even so- my GSD doesn’t seem to mind slightly leaning poles. Thanks for the plans! Looking forward to making a couple other of your designs!

Hi, awesome site – used the plans to make a great jump and now planning the weave poles. Question: I don’t need my poles to be adjustable so If I just fitted the poles to the basic frame (ie without using any of the 90 degree elbows) would the off-set of the poles be more or less to regulation?
Regards

Marcus

Weave poles will have no offset at all in competition. They will be a straight line. If you do not need them to be adjustable, you could make them as demonstrated and then glue them permanently in the straight line position.

What a great concept. I am interested in training my 15 month old collie to weave and this is a great (!!) entry tool to the sport.

Many thanks for putting this on the web.

Michael McCloskey

Hi!

I have trained my dogs using the 2×2 method. One of my dogs is going to be retrained using the channel method, so I need to build a channel set! Thanks so much for making this available on the web!!!

Thanks! :D

These were sooo easy to make!!! Thank you for the great directions, a novice (me) could make them.My dogs are happily running thru them, and they have lasted a couple years so far. Thanks again!

You are welcome! Glad they are useful. :)

You’re welcome! I’m sure your dog will do great. This is a very easy method! :)

We’re so glad everyone is making such good use of these! :) My dogs found it very easy to learn the weave poles with these. We tried a few other things but this was easiest for them.

I just started Mattie, my 7 year old ACD in agility yesterday. Today I decided that I would look online for a cheap way to make weaving poles at home. A fellow handler mentioned “channeling” to be the best way to teach dogs to weave with speed, so I was thrilled when I found this tutorial (and site).

I went out to the hardware store and bought all of the stuff pretty much immediately after reading this, and came home and built it right away. It only took about 2.5 hours from start to finish (excluding shopping time).

It came out great (even though one of the joints wasn’t perfectly straight, it still seems to be fine).

Just for giggles I set it up in the living room (as it’s dark out), and had Mattie run through it at the most open setting. After a few tries, she realized what the point was. I closed it up a tiny bit, and she’s learning quickly.

I look forward to using this to help her master the weaving poles before the other dogs in my beginning agility class!

Thanks so much. The pictures were excellent, and very clearly labeled. This was extremely user friendly to build, and use.

Thanks!

Weave poles are so much fun this way! I’m glad you were able to build them so quickly. I hope you can make use of some other obstacles here – or make another set of weaves! :) My dogs learned quickly with these, and that was after trying two other ways!

Quick Question: what would the measurements be on the pipe dividers, if we want to make it 22″ or 24″ spacing? would it be 20″ for 22″ spacing and 22″ for 24″ spacing? I’m getting redy to go get the stuff cause I like your design! :)

Allie, Tess and Kipp,
What a great website! This is a great set of instructions for adjustable weave poles –looks like it took a lot of thought and is much better than the plan I came up with. I’m going to try building it tomorrow.
I really appreciate the precise instructions and materials list, and also the detailed photos. Great job, and thank you!

Why do you need to but #4 the stubs into the T? They are all 1” so they will fit together. I’m out buying the supplies now and my builder/helper is confused by that and said that that step isn’t necessary. Please explain why that is necessary.

Hopefully Roger will chime on this one.

Christine, I think you find if you omit that step the poles will have nothing to attach to. This will become clear when the project is actually put together.

I really like the way this obstacle is designed and tried it for great dane and it worked great!!! But sadly when we moved some of the PVC somehow broke in the travel so when I made my weave poles they second time I just went to home depot and bought a couple 10′, 3/4″ pole for less than $2 each and used a rubber mallet to hammer them into the ground. They are not as adjustable as the poles shown here but they work for a more experienced dog or puppy.

Hi! I love you website and how easy it looks to build the designs with the steps by steps and the pic. But for the adjustable Channel weave poles what is the size of the poles (10ft pvc you buy in store)? Since the T and 90 degree connectors (and other) need to be bigger. I’d like to know before buy all the stuff I need since I don’t want to buy the wrong size. Thanks ( you website is awesome

Type your comment here.ok so I just built my first set of poles to specs and I love them. I see a lot of people worried about them being flexible enough. You could cap off the t’s, buy some rubber grommets and fiberglass poles (like the bright orange electric fence kind) then drill out the caps, place the grommet in the hole, and the pole in the grommet. Would think that would make some really flexible poles… Just a idea.

In order to comply with AKC the distance between poles has to be increased to 24 inches. The dividers have to be lengthed to to 22 inches.
Great plans. Thanks
Bernie

Wonderful plans built it by myself in a few hours no problems at all. Love them and they stand up to my very fast very hard weaving border collie amazingly well. Love these plans I did increase the distance between poles to 24 inches since that is what most organizations are using but that was an easy fix with just taking the #7 18 inch pieces and increasing them to 22 inches and it worked perfectly no other modifications had to be done. Thank you for offering these would love to see a teeter and dog walk also.

Jana Knodel

Just finished building these. Total PVC rookie, but your directions were so clear and easy to follow! Thank you! Discovered this site when someone who trains at the same facility and made them using these directions gifted his set to a friend when he was done with them.

Made mine with 24″ spacing and 3/4″ weave poles (used a reducing elbow from 1″ to 3/4″). I was more successful getting straight angles using your technique on a dry run without glue, making small sharpie marks, and then lining the marks up after gluing.

Feeling very happy and accomplished right now, and my dog Shadow’s already been through them a couple times!

Jus made a set of 6 with one T piece to allow for a second set if I didnt screw this set up!!! In the uk I got all my materials from B&Q and we dont have 1″ pipe, only 3/4″. I bought 5 x 2m pipes and used 2 for the six weave poles. It makes them a little shorter but they still stand at 30″ when they are in the base. Also our weaves are 600mm spacing. So the ground pipes had to be 575mm rather than 18″. I also changed 6 of the 4″ pipes into 6″ pipes for the ‘feet’, to give it more stability. I guess I got going about 11am, had time for lunch, and finished at 3pm. Really quick to glue together once I got the hang of it.