Rally or Rally-O is actually called Rally obedience. It is a dog sport based on obedience. It was originally devised by Charles L. “Bud” Kramer from the obedience practice of “doodling” – doing a variety of interesting warm-up and freestyle exercises..
Unlike regular obedience, instead of waiting for the judge’s orders, the competitors proceed around a course of designated stations with the dog in heel position. The course consists of 10 to 20 signs that instruct the team what to do. Unlike traditional obedience, handlers are allowed to encourage their dogs during the course.
There are currently five sanctioning bodies for Rally-O in the United States: the American Kennel Club (AKC); World Cynosport (formerly the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT)); Canine Work and Games (C-Wags;)and Canines and Humans United (CHU). The United Kennel Club (UKC) added rally obedience to their program as of January 2009, and the Swedish Working Dog Club (SBK) added it in July 2011.
In AKC Rally, which is open to AKC breeds and mixed breed dogs registered in the AKC Canine Partners program, the team starts with 100 points, and the judge deducts points for mistakes. After qualifying three times under two different judges, the dog earns a title, which appears after the dog’s registered name. Each qualifying trial earned is known as a “leg.”
There are three levels in AKC Rally:
• Novice, the beginner’s class. The dog is on leash and there are 10 to 15 stations, the title is RN.
• Advanced, for dogs who have completed their novice title. Dogs are judged off leash, and the title is RA.
• Excellent, the highest class, for dogs who have earned their advanced title. 15 to 20 stations, including 2 jumps, are used in this class and the title is RE.
In World Cynosport Rally, which is open to any dog and handler, the team starts with 200 points, and the judge deducts points for mistakes and adds bonus points that can be earned for optional exercises. There are three levels and there are additional titles for multiple qualifications at various levels, and several championship levels. World Cynosport Rally varies in some respects in the performance of some of the exercises and has some exercises, such as a retrieve, not seen in AKC rally. The most obvious difference between the two is the ability to reward the dog with food in the ring under specific conditions in World Cynosport rally.
In this Intro to Rally class you will have a chance to expand your obedience skills that will pay off in practical, everyday life. Many of the signs you will learn to execute are things you will experience in life when you take your dog in public. You will learn how to interpret the signs and how to execute them & move to the next sign in the course. I will be teaching the AKC rules and regulations in this class. If you intend to move to competition I can show you how to register your dog, of any breed or cross breed, with AKC for sport competition privileges.