Rally at Keystone Canine Training Club
WHAT IS RALLY OBEDIENCE?
Rally is a timed competition, includes 12-20 obedience performance stations depending on the level of skill and experience, and is scored by a judge who watches the performance as well as the skill in following the directions at each station.
HOW DO WE TEACH RALLY AT KCTC?
First and most importantly we believe that Rally is a truly fun sport that produces a bond between you and your dog. At KCTC we believe in and only teach positive reinforcement. The outcome is a wonderful dog that is not fearful of you or his or her environment. Rally is one of our more popular classes and everyone seems to enjoy doing the exercises working with their dog. Rally is a very nice way to start to use the training that you learned in our basic obedience classes. Rally is also a very nice cross between obedience and agility. It allows for the team to have fun and does not hold to the strict obedience guidelines.
WHAT IF MY DOG HAS NO PREVIOUS RALLY EXPERIENCE?
No problem! Each dog works at its own level, depending upon its skill and experience. Our instructors explain each exercise. As it does with obedience and agility, AKC offers Rally titles at three levels:
Novice, with on-leash exercises that demonstrate the dog's understanding of basic commands such as sit, stay, down, and come and heel position;
Advanced, a set of exercises performed off-leash that includes at least one jump; and
Excellent, a more difficult off-leash course that includes at least one jump and demonstrates more precise skill and coordination between the dog and handler.
HOW DOES A RALLY TRIAL WORK?
In competition, courses are designed by the judge and are different in every trial. Exhibitors receive a course map from the judge and can walk the course without their dogs prior to the start of the class. A sign at each station gives instructions to the dog-handler team, and each team must execute the station's particular task. Once the judge gives the command "forward," the team completes the course on their own without further commands from the judge. Handlers may not use treats or toys in the ring, but may offer verbal encouragement to their dog. The signs instruct teams to go fast or slow, to halt (dog must sit at heel), to make turns and circles, to reverse direction, to do a sit-stay-recall, or to follow other basic obedience exercises.
Each team has a starting score of 100 points, from which points are deducted for such faults as missed or incompletely performed stations. The team with the highest score (i.e., fewest number of faults) wins first place, followed by the next highest score for second place, and so forth.
If two teams achieve the same score, the judge determines the placements according to the time recorded for each team's course completion.
Rally is a wonderful introduction to the sport of obedience for dogs and owners, Many dogs enjoy this change from the usual silent heeling of traditional obedience. Handlers are allowed to clap hands, talk, whistle (even sing!) to them throughout the entire course without penalty. Those who participate in agility trials will recognize the pre-class "walk-throughs" and the challenge of working with their dog smoothly from one station to another. A complete description of Rally Obedience is on the AKC website at http://www.akc.org/ s/rulebooks/RO2999.