If you’re looking for a great way to bond with your dog and deepen their training at the same time, you should consider using weave poles. You stick these in the ground and then coax your dog through them, thereby improving both their agility and their obedience.
While weave poles are simple devices, that doesn’t mean you should just buy the first set you see. Some are more durable than others, and you may find features in one set that another lacks.
In these reviews, we show you which weave pole sets are worth spending your hard-earned money on, so you don’t have to subject your dog to inferior training equipment.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (Updated in 2023)
|Best Overall||Cool Runners Agility Dog Training Weave Poles||
|Best Value||MiMu Dog Agility Equipment Weaving Poles||
|Premium Choice||Lord Anson Agility Weave Poles||
|PAWISE Pet Outdoor Games Agility Weave Poles||
|PawHut Adjustable Agility Obstacle Set||
The 10 Best Weave Poles for Dog Training
1. Cool Runners Agility Dog Training Weave Poles – Best Overall
The Cool Runners Weave Poles are a nice mix of lightweight and durable. You can use them anywhere, and if they get filthy, all you have to do is hose them off.
They’re easy to transport too, as they can fold up and fit inside the included carrying case. However, the case isn’t that durable, so you might want to upgrade to something better as soon as possible.
You can install them just about anywhere, thanks to the grass stakes and lay-flat base. The base allows you to set up the poles in both straight and offset configurations, so you can put your dog through all kinds of different paces.
The Cool Runners Weave Poles offer reliable performance and admirable durability, ensuring that you — and your dog — will get plenty of use out of them for years to come.
2. MiMu Dog Agility Equipment Weaving Poles – Best Value
The MiMu Agility Poles are a no-nonsense way to train your dog. They won’t win any prizes for design, but if you want a functional solution that won’t break the bank, look no further.
The poles are all separated, so you can set them up in any configuration that you like, including really tightly together for advanced training. However, that also makes it easy to lose them, so you need to be careful when traveling with them. They do come with a bag, but it’s basically made of paper.
The poles themselves are made of hard plastic, so it’s unlikely even the clumsiest dog could break them. Their hard construction also makes it easy to drive them into the ground.
The MiMu Agility Poles are a great starter set, and they’re good enough for most amateur trainers. When you combine their utility with their budget-friendliness, you get a useful set of sticks.
3. Lord Anson Agility Weave Poles – Premium Choice
If you want to show off your gear as much as your dog, the Lord Anson Weave Poles are the way to go. Made of powder-coated metal, they’ll last forever — and they’ll look great the entire time.
Of course, you’ll have to pay for that beauty, as these are some of the priciest poles on the market. They’re sold as a set of either six or 12, but the 12-pole set doesn’t connect that well, so you’re better off sticking with the half-dozen option.
You can sink the poles into the ground or insert them into the metal base, making them equally suitable for indoor or outdoor use. You can insert the base into the ground with stakes as well, ensuring that it doesn’t move mid-session.
If you’re serious about your agility training and you expect to be doing it for years to come, the Lord Anson Weave Poles will be your faithful companions the entire time.
4. PAWISE Pet Outdoor Games Agility Weave Poles
The steel spikes on the bottom of the PAWISE Outdoor Games Weave Poles make them easy to stab in the ground, while ensuring that they won’t move if your dog bumps into them.
Once driven into the ground, the poles will be about 40” tall, so even massive dogs like Mastiffs can use them. They may bend, however, so try to make sure your big pup doesn’t bump them. To avoid this, there’s a rope guide that shows you proper placement for the poles.
Despite the heavy-duty steel spike on the bottom, these poles are lightweight and easy to lug around. The included carrying case is decent, so it should last about as long as the poles do.
The spikes don’t have caps on them, though, so be careful when carrying them.
The PAWISE Outdoor Games Weave Poles are easy to use on just about any surface, so they’re a good choice for owners who like to train in a variety of locations.
5. PawHut Adjustable Agility Obstacle Set
If you don’t want to deal with the pressure of figuring out where to place the poles, the PawHut Obstacle Set is a great alternative.
The entire set is made to be unfolded and just set out on its base, so the poles will automatically be in the proper position. Everything is adjustable, though, so if you’re not happy with the layout, you can change it in a few seconds.
The design can be either straight-line or offset, giving you options during training.
However, the base doesn’t come with stakes, so you’ll have to create your own if you don’t want the whole thing to move every time your dog bumps it. The poles are lightweight, but they’re also somewhat flimsy, so don’t think that this set will last you forever.
The PawHut Obstacle Set isn’t perfect, but it’s a great solution for people who are looking for something that’s a no-brainer to use.
6. Midlee Agility Beginner Set
If you want to get your dog involved in all sorts of agility work, the Midlee Beginner Set is a great all-in-one solution. In addition to weave poles, it comes with a jumping hoop and a bar jump.
It comes in at a good price for such a set, but if all you wanted were weave poles, it’s likely more than you’d like to pay. Everything is adjustable, though, so you can use it for multiple dogs or start a puppy off simple before making things more difficult later.
The set has feet that hold it upright, but they likely won’t be enough to keep it still if your dog bumps it. The whole thing is easy to put together, though, so you can take it with you and set it up anywhere with little effort.
That said, the pieces often fall out for no reason, causing you to stop and put everything back together.
If you want to get started with a variety of agility training tasks, the Midlee Beginner Set is the way to go. If all you want are weave poles, though, you can get better for cheaper.
7. MelkTemn 3 in 1 Dog Agility Set
The MelkTemn 3 in 1 Agility Set is pretty cheap — in both senses of the word. The poles are made of lightweight plastic, so they’re easy to carry. They also have a formidable metal spike that holds them in place well. The plastic is flimsy, though, so any sort of accident can leave them dented and useless. The jump ring and hurdle set are made from the same plastic, and they don’t come with assembly instructions.
You also have to pick and choose between weave poles and the other two setups, as you’ll use several of the poles to make the ring and hoop sets. If you have all of them put together, you’ll only have three poles to deal with.
The ring and hurdle are also on the smaller side, so they might not be ideal for larger dogs.
If you just want as much versatility as possible — without paying through the nose for it — the MelkTemn 3 in 1 Agility Set is a good choice. It’s far from the best on the market, though.
8. Outward Hound Interactive Training Kit
If you want to train your dog indoors, the Outward Hound Interactive Training Kit is the way to go. It uses suction cups to stick to the ground, rather than spikes, making it perfect for tile floors.
This makes it better suited for smaller breeds, as bigger dogs will likely need more room than you have in your kitchen.
There’s quite a bit here besides weave poles, including a tunnel and an adjustable jump. You can set them up in seconds, as all you do is lay the rods over hooks on the poles. However, they fall off at the slightest bump, so plan on having to fix them often.
The poles aren’t weighted either, and they don’t always stick to the ground that well. The set also comes with lures designed to help you train your dog on the poles, but they are filled with balls that can serve as a choking hazard.
If you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day or you don’t have access to a yard or park, the Outward Hound Interactive Training Kit is a real lifesaver. Otherwise, though, you’re better off going with a more formidable option.
9. Affordable Agility Stick in the Ground Set
The Stick in the Ground Set from Affordable Agility is as simple as it gets, but that may be all you need to get started.
The kit comes with six PVC poles, each 36” tall with 5” spikes at the end. All you do is drive them into the ground and get to work. The fact that each pole comes separately allows you to space them however you desire, which is convenient.
They don’t do well in extremely hard or dry ground, though, so you’ll need lush soil for them to be effective. The poles are so long that they tend to lean to the side once planted.
There’s no storage bag or anything like that included, so you’ll have to figure out a convenient way to transport them. They’re also fairly pricey for what you get, especially since you have to apply tape to them yourself.
The Affordable Agility Stick in the Ground Set is one of the best no-frills options out there, but at the price, you could buy a set with at least a few frills.
10. Better Sporting Dogs Complete Agility Starter Set
The Better Sporting Dogs Complete Agility Starter Set is just what it promises to be. It has everything that you need to get your dog started in agility training.
You’ll find a bar jump, collapsible tunnel, tire jump, pause box, and eight weave poles inside the box. It’s the perfect kit for beginners.
However, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The poles are made of PVC and seem a bit flimsy, given the price. There are also carrying cases for each item, which makes it bulky and difficult to transport; a single case that could hold everything would be preferable.
Everything does come in one big box, but the instructions are useless. Many of the pieces don’t fit neatly in their assigned holes either.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one set that will help you get started with agility training, the Better Sporting Dogs Complete Agility Starter Set is a good choice. If all you want are high-quality weave poles, though, you’d be better off with another option.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing a Weave Pole
Weave poles are simple, but you should still do your research before buying a set. Buying the wrong option could leave you with a flimsy pair that won’t stand up to the abuse that agility training will put them under, and you’ll need to replace them sooner rather than later.
We rounded up the most common questions that dog owners have before getting started with weave poles.
What Should I Look For in Weave Poles?
This will depend in part on where and how you intend to use them.
Most people do their agility training outside, so if that’s what you’re planning, you’ll want a set that can handle the outdoors. This includes having spikes that are capable of being driven into the ground (and staying there) and durable frames that won’t break if they get knocked over.
Speaking of which, you want your poles to stand up. Some are too tall to stand up straight, and the slightest wind will knock them over. Others come with bases that can be placed inside, but unless you have spikes to fasten the base to the ground, these can be knocked over as well.
You should also think about whether you’ll need to travel with these poles. If you don’t have a large yard, you’ll likely need to take them to a park in order to practice. That means you’ll need some sort of carrying case. Many sets come with a case but they’re often low-quality.
Finally, some pole sets also have other agility training devices. These could include tunnels, ring jumps, and more. These sets will usually cost more, but that doesn’t mean they’re of higher quality. You’ll need to do your research to determine whether you’re better off buying a complete set or getting each item piecemeal.
How Many Poles Do I Need?
Most sets include either six or 12 poles. Six is usually the recommended number for beginners (and it’s the number used in beginner-level competitions), while advanced dogs use the full dozen.
However, you can start with as few as two or three if you’re just teaching the basics. Most dogs will quickly outgrow such a small number, though, so expect to need to upgrade quickly.
Are There Standard Dimensions That I Should Know About?
Regulation weave poles should be between 36” and 48” inches tall (measuring from the ground up), and they should be 1” in diameter.
Be aware, though, that if you’re planning to compete in weave pole contests, each governing board has its own regulations, and they may differ from what is shown here. You should always read the rules of the competition before you enter.
How Far Apart Should the Poles Be Set?
Most competitions require a distance of 19” to 24”, with 24” being the most common. Most sets that have their poles in fixed positions will have them set within that range.
However, if you’re not looking to compete, then the distance is really up to you. Just know that setting them farther apart than 24” will defeat the purpose, whereas having them closer than 19” will make things extremely difficult on your dog. That range is the designated range for a reason.
What Are the Different Types of Weave Poles?
In terms of construction, you’ll usually find PVC, plastic, or aluminum. PVC and plastic are the cheapest options, but they’re not used in professional competitions. They may be all you need for training at home, though.
The biggest problem with PVC and plastic is that they aren’t as heavy or durable as aluminum. While this makes them easier to lug around, it also makes them easier for your dog to knock over or damage during training. Of course, replacing them is also fairly inexpensive.
Most high-end aluminum poles are also lightweight, although they’re unlikely to be collapsible like many PVC options are. They’re rigid enough to stand up straight, even if they’re quite tall, and they’re not likely to get knocked over by a clumsy pooch.
If you’re going to do this competitively, then you should likely invest in a nice set of aluminum poles. They can cost several hundred dollars (or well over a thousand), though, so there’s no sense dropping that much money if you’re just starting out.
Also, remember that even high-level competitors still train with simple options like PVC and plastic, so it’s not like you can’t teach your dog everything that they need to know with cheaper materials.
What Should I Use for Indoor Training?
Unless you have a small dog, it’s going to be difficult to train your dog to use weave poles indoors. They need a large amount of space to maneuver, and most poles are designed with metal spikes on one end to keep them upright. You presumably don’t want to drive one of those spikes through your living room floor.
There are a few options available for indoor use, though. These usually have suction cups or similar devices in place of the metal stake, so you can simply affix them to your floor without damaging it.
You will need a hardwood, tile, or similar material floor, however, as they won’t work on carpet.
Your other option is to improvise something. If you go this route, though, there’s little sense in buying weave poles at all, as you can just DIY those too.
Are Weave Poles Suitable for Dogs of Any Age?
Most trainers and agility experts recommend waiting until a dog is at least 15 months old to start using weave poles in a competitive fashion. The reason is that navigating the poles requires them to bend and flex their spines, putting a great deal of strain on their developing joints. It’s best to wait until they’re fully physically mature before you begin training.
That said, you can still introduce your dog to the poles while they’re puppies. In fact, it’s advisable to do so, as weave poles can be difficult for dogs to master, so you want to give them a head start by exposing them to the poles as early as possible.
When using weave poles with puppies (or dogs with joint or spinal problems), you shouldn’t put them in a straight line. Instead, stagger them in an offset fashion, so they can walk between them without straining their backs.
Once your puppy is fully developed, you can bring the poles into alignment.
Related Read: Agility Pause Table Dog Training – Tricks & Tips
If you’re looking for a good, solid set of weave poles, the Cool Runners Weave Poles are the way to go. Lightweight and durable, they’ll last for years and are easy to transport.
For a high-quality budget option, consider the MiMu Agility Poles. They’re affordable and can be configured in a variety of ways, ensuring that you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck.
The weave poles featured in these reviews will all help you train your dog quickly and thoroughly, and they’ll keep you — and your pup — occupied for hours and hours.
Featured Image Credit: ElfinFox, Pixabay