Rally (or Rally Obedience), is a form of obedience but with much more flexibility and fun than the traditional forms.
It differs from Obedience primarily in that competitors and dogs attempt a pre-set course along which a number of signs are placed along a course, requiring handlers to perform one of around 50 different exercises. Each individual round is performed at a ‘brisk pace’ and takes around two minutes. There is no direction from the judge or steward as in Obedience; the signs are all the guidance competitors receive.
At Levels 1 & 2, competitors complete 10-12 signs on lead, and a loose lead is emphasised. The handler may give verbal commands and lots of encouragement throughout as necessary. Physical or harsh verbal correction is strictly penalised. Level 3 – 6 courses are completed off lead and comprise 15-17 signs.
As you progress there are 6 levels to work towards and you have to compete to progress to the next level with each getting more challenging than the last, however in classes we practice exercises from all the levels for variety.
Rally is obedience training, but it’s more important that the dogs and handlers are having fun!
Reasons to take up Rally …
- Rally is a more relaxed and informal version of ‘traditional’ obedience skills – so you and your dog will be learning the same skills without any of the pressure.
- Your dog will be learning useful and valuable life skills
- It’s great stimulation for your dog – they have big brains which need to be kept active.
- Your dog does not need to have a pedigree – all dogs can do Rally.
Before starting Rally classes, your dog will need to be able to ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘recall’ and walk on a loose lead.