What is Rally-Obedience ?
Rally Obedience (also known as Rally-O) is a
reatively new fun dog-sport based
on traditional dog Obedience but carried out in a more informal and relaxed style,
with the handler having familiarised
themselves with a course of sequential signs
set up by
the judge in advance of performing with their dog.
Unlike in traditional obedience, handlers are allowed to encourage their dogs
during the course, so you may use as much verbal praise and petting as you
It can be a great way to increase your bond with your dog, and to help you and
your dog develop skills that can be applied in everyday life, or
in other dog-sports.
'Rally' trials are held less frequently than more
traditional Obedience competitions,
so it's not
aways easy to see it in action locally, but this clip illustrates some of its
principles and commands: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N42YkVewIhs
and there are many others.
Rally-O training is conducted at Dover on Sunday mornings 9.00 a.m. -
Who can do Rally-O?
'Rally' is a wonderful introduction to the sport of Obedience for dogs of all breeds and ages,
and owners of all levels of ability. It provides an opportunity for veteran dogs to remain active,
and a chance for shy or anti-social dogs to get experience in the ring without worrying about
being examined by a judge.
Timid or anxious dogs find the soft verbal praise very reassuring,
which can build confidence. Handlers with disabilities may compete, provided they can move
about the ring without physical assistance (wheelchairs/walking sticks are allowed).
A team consists of a dog and a handler, moving around a course with the dog in 'heel'
position. The course is laid out using numbered signs which instruct the team 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, to go over a jump, and to follow other basic obedience exercises
Click here to see Rally-O on You Tube CKC Rally Obedience – Novice
There are four levels in competition:
● Novice ● Advanced ● Excellent ●
Novice is conducted on-lead. Advanced and Excellent are conducted off-lead.
Advanced and Excellent courses include jumps, and more challenging exercises,
while Masters (new in 2016) is more demanding still.
There should be evidence of teamwork between the dog and handler, but perfect 'heel position' is not required. The team starts with 100 points, and the judge deducts points for mistakes such as a tight leash, crooked sits, or performing an exercise incorrectly. There is no time limit and the team moves at their own pace, however at competition level the performance is timed and in the event of a tied score, the fastest team wins. The judge expects to see the dog demonstrate
willingness and enjoyment. Unlimited communication between handler and dog
is encouraged. Handlers may give multiple commands and signals but may not
physically guide or correct the dog. Food or toys are not permitted in competition.
Courses are designed by the judge and are different in every trial. Handlers receive a course map from the judge and can walk the course without their dogs prior to
the start of the competition.
All you need is a flat (buckle) collar and a comfortable 1.2 metre lead.
You may also use a harness or head collar during training, or you can use a slip
collar. Please consult your instructor when choosing equipment, as slip collars
or other tools must be fitted and used correctly if they are to be effective.
The Rally-specific course signs and markers are provided by the club, but can
be made from items available in a standard hardware or Sports store if you want
to have your own practice set.