Thanks for your registering to build our own puzzle station. You're going to have one happy dog on your hands!

The steps below will take you through the building and training process.  The presentation has been carefully thought out, but we're human. If something doesn't make sense to you, or you need more information along the way,  we've added a "Got Questions?" prompt at the end of each section. Simply click on the prompt and send us your question.  We'll try very hard to reply within 24 hours.

Let's get going!


Organize Your Materials

You'll want to purchase the following items from your local hardware store (or order the online) and gather the plastic bottles and containers you'll be using for your food puzzles. Click on each item for specifics.


Collect Your Tools

This is the list of tools you'll be using to build your puzzle station. Note that a few are optional. Those aren't necessary for you to have, but we've found them beneficial. If you're not sure if you want to use the optional tools, you can decide by reviewing the steps on the remainder of this page.

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You will need:

  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • drill (or drill press)
  • PVC cutting tool (or table saw)
  • Utility knife
  • Permanent marker
  • Pencil
  • Rubber mallet
  • wood burning tool (optional)
  • lighter
  • rotary cutter (optional)
  • cutting mat (optional)

Got questions?


Cutting your Top & Bottom Frames

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You will need:

  • 1" PVC - 40' (12.2m)
  • PVC cutting tool (or table saw)
  • Tape measure
  • permanent marker

Step 1:  Cutting your Base Poles

1. Measure eight 31.75" (80 cm) lengths of PVC pipe, marking your measurements with a permanent marker.

2. Cut the lengths using a PVC cutter (or table saw) as shown in this video.

3. Set the pieces you've cut aside until you're ready to build with them.

Step 2: Cutting the Finials

1. Measure four 2" (5 cm) lengths of PVC pipe, marking your measurements with a permanent marker.

2. Cut the lengths using a PVC cutter (or table saw.)

3. Set the pieces you've cut to the side until you're ready to build with them.

Step 3: Cutting the Food Tubes

1.  If your dog is 16" (41 cm) at the withers or more, measure six 10" (25.5 cm) lengths of PVC pipe, marking your measurements with a permanent marker.  If your dog is less than 16" (41 cm), measure and mark at 8" (20 cm) instead.

2. Cut the lengths using a PVC cutter (or table saw.)

3. Set the pieces aside until you're ready to build with them.

Got questions?


Determine the Height of Your Puzzle Station

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You will need:

  • Your dog
  • Tape measure

This video shows how to determine the height of your uprights.

1. Ask your dog to sit.

2. Measure the distance from the top of your dog's head to the floor while he is sitting.

3. Add 2 inches (5 cm) to the height you've measured. *This will be the height of your uprights.

Got questions?


Preparing Your Uprights

STEP 1:  Cutting the PVC

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You will need:

  • 1" PVC
  • PVC cutting tool (or table saw)
  • Permanent marker

1.  Using the puzzle station height you determined above* (2" or 5cm taller than your dog's head), measure four lengths of PVC pipe using a permanent marker.

2. Cut the lengths using a PVC cutter (or table saw.)

 

Step 2: Drilling the Holes

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You will need:

  • 4 custom PVC poles (the poles you just cut)
  • Drill (or drill press)
  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker

     

 

 

 

1. Measure the length of each upright.

2. Divide that number by two and mark the measurement on each of your four poles by placing a dot with a permanent marker.

3. Drill 1/2" (1 3/4 cm) holes at each of your marks, making sure that you drill through both sides of the pole.

4. Put your four finished uprights aside until it's time to build with them.

Got questions?


Cutting Your Canopy

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You will need:

  • Shade cloth
  • Measuring tape (or cutting mat)
  • Scissors (or rotary cutter

This video shows how to prepare the canopy for your puzzle station.  Your finished canopy will measure 30" (76 cm) square.  If you don't have a cutting mat or rotary cutter use a tape measure and scissors.  In the video you'll see how you can use the grain in the cloth as a cutting guide.

Got questions?


Now you're ready to begin building!  Click here to proceed.