The collapsed tunnel, or chute is a fabric tube, the entrance is held open, in this case, by a 3 foot long play tunnel. The mouth of the tube has a drawstring closure. I bring the chute mouth through the inside of a 20" hoop and fold the fabric back over the hoop then tighten the draw string. That gives me something solid to hold the chute in place. The chute is easy to make if you have access to a sewing machine, but I purchased mine. The chute is not a straight tube. It starts out roughly 67 inches in circumference and ends up twice that. The chute doesn't have the same problem as the open tunnel in terms of being too flexible for the best performance, as long as it is properly secured. Different organizations may have different length requirements.
If you teach correct performance then practicing with a shorter length at home won't be a problem for later competition. "Correct performance" isn't something that it judged but it can affect the risk that the dog will get tangled in the chute. And for small dogs it will make a speed difference especially if the fabric is wet. The dog should keep its head down lifting the chute fabric with the top of its head. Teach this by starting with short fabric and rolling ball or pulling a toy on the ground immediately in front of the dog as it exits. You want the dog to be able to anticipate where the toy is, and not want to lift it's head to look for it. So you want to make sure the dog's eyes are clear of the fabric as you present the toy so that the dog can see the movement and the toy, then easily reach it without lunging.
This Agility Chute folds down into a carrying case for portabilty. It may even be suitable for competition. It does require staking so isn't the right choice for indoor training. The agility equipment page has links to a variety of suppliers whether you want just the basic components for ready made, more plans, or competition grade dog agility equipment.
Copyright © 1996-2003, Diane Blackman Created: September 30, 1996 Updated November 23, 2010