Rally obedience is for pet owners who want to have fun. Where to train and compete. All 3 organizations allow unregistered and cross/breed dogs.
- Canadian Kennel Club Rally Obedience
- CARO – Canadian Association of Rally Obedience
- United Kennel Club
Little Known Facts about Rally Obedience or Rally O
- You can treat in some Rally competitions on stationary posts.
- Toys are allowed
- You can talk to your dog
- Hand signals and guidance are allowed
- You are allowed to talk with and encourage your dog
- You can reset your dog after a station and continue
- Dogs do not need to be purebred to compete
- You don’t need to memorize all the signs.
Rally Obedience is like Simon Says. You approach a sign. Follow the picture and then move to the next sign. The strict rules of competition obedience do not apply.
You can compete in Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) Rally or CARO (UKC) rally. The complete set of signs for Novice, Advanced, and Excellent Exercises includes 66 signs for 55 exercises.
Novice is ‘on leash’ and fairly easy.
Minor 1-2 Point Deductions include:
- Tight leash
- Dog interfering with handler
- Poor sit or down
- Crooked front
- Slowness to respond
- Being out of the heel position
- 3rd or more ‘extra’ cues
3-5 Point Deductions include:
- Repeating a station you did wrong (Novice 3 points, Adv 5 poitns
- Knocking a sign over
- Loud or intimidating commands
- Dog and handler do not come at least 2’ from the sign in the exercise
6-10 Point Deduction
- Continuous leash correction
- Dog goes under the jump
- Interfere with spectators
- Losing more than 1 points on a signle sign (Not Qualify – NQ)
- Putting the dog in a sit
- Incomplete performance
- Dog is unmanageable
- Consistent tight leash
- Using food as a lure rather than a reward
- Exceeds time limit
- Harsh correction
- Dog eliminates in the ring
As you can see the average pet owner with basic obedience has enough to win.
But is Rally Obedience Easy?
Doing the tasks is only part of Rally. Your dog is being taken into a new environment around strange dogs. This can be difficult for herding or working dogs. The stress may prevent them from performing. Fear of other dogs or strangers may make them bark or lunge.
It can be very embarrassing when your ‘wonderful’ dog starts to react negatively. RELAX. Learn to manage your dog. Everyone at the competition knows that dogs and handlers both have a learning curve.
Handlers need to learn to ‘leave their baggage’ at the ring side. If you are nervous then your dog will become stressed. Learn how to relax. Learn how to relax your dog.
Dogs need to learn coping skills. They need to narrow their focus to just you. They need to learn to ‘relax’ while there are lots of interesting things to look at and smell.
You won’t win all your competitions, but you’ll learn, and your dog will learn. Eventually you and your dog will be one of those ‘experienced teams who ‘chill’ at ring side – the envy of the new batch of newbies.