The tyre jump should conform to the following regulations:-
Aperture diameter 533mm (1ft
Aperture centre from the ground: Large Dogs – 800mm (2ft 7.5ins). Medium Dogs – 550mm (1ft 9.6ins). Small Dogs – 490mm (1ft 7.3ins).
The hoop to be of a consistent shape, constructed of an impact-absorbing material. The height of the hoop should not be lowered. The tyre/hoop must be directly mounted in a substantial frame structure which must be secured in such a way that dogs cannot knock the obstacle over from either direction; the frame shall not have a beam across the top.
The Kennel Club has now also approved the use of the breakaway tyre at shows. This tyre has a bottom section attached to the top half with magnets so it breaks away if the dog hits it.
If your dog is new to agility he or she will need to learn the tyre jump under the supervision of an experienced trainer. The best way to prevent accidents and injuries is to train under controlled conditions. I don't place the tyre at the end of a line of jumps where a dog would be going at full speed.
Having said that I have trained the dogs to be able to take the tyre at an angle. If they can do this safely under supervision you won't have any worries if your dog goes on a wrong course and takes the tyre at an angle in the ring or in training.
Bearing in mind that at some stage you will meet the new breakaway tyre training your dog to jump accurately through the middle is especially important. If you have a small dog they will sometimes try and bank the tyre so you will need to train your little dog to jump rather than clamber through.
Making a tyre jump
First of all you'll need to buy something to make the hoop part of the new tyre. I thought of buying a swimming noodle like the ones pictured below on the left. These could be bent into a ring shape with the ends taped together, or you can buy a connector that will do the job for you. Unfortunately the Kennel Club changed the regs after the end of the swimming season, so I bought 2 metres of pipe insulation as shown below right.
If you are constructing a frame for a tyre jump it needs to be fairly substantial so that it doesn't blow over in the wind or get knocked to pieces by a big dog like Jamie. The design can vary according to the materials you have at hand but it mustn't have a crosspiece above the tyre. To make the frame I used the same principle as in the simple jump construction shown right, but in the tyre jump the uprights are longer. Mine measure 118cm.
For our jump I've used slightly different feet but this is only because the uprights are lighter than in the original tyre and I needed some extra struts to give it strength.
The pipe insulation was easily bent so that the ends could be taped together to form a hoop. I was a bit stumped as to how I should suspend the tyre as pipe insulation isn't as tough as a motorbike tyre. At first I tried to suspend it on chains but the chain pulled through the insulation when I tried to tighten it up. As Sasha is the only one likely to use it I decided that I could simply tape it in place with duct tape.
Finally I wound some of the tape round the bottom of the hoop so that a stray paw would be less likely to damage it. After a lick of paint the tyre jump was finished and it was time to try it out on Sasha. The trouble is she's so quick that we couldn't catch her actually going through it. The finished jump is shown left and our attempts to catch Sasha going through it are shown below.
Weeeeeeee!!! This is fun.
Have I really got to let Jamie have a go?
My go!!! I can jump it at that height, yes I can, but if you insist I suppose I'd better look silly and do the tyre jump on its side. Our humans never seem to know what they want these days.
Here's Sasha at ten years old confidently jumping a tyre in the ring and with a sharp turn afterwards to the next obstacle.