Obedience trials are one of the oldest dog competitive sports around. Traditional obedience had 3 levels: novice, open, and utility with varying degrees of difficulty, progressing to off-lead work, scent discrimination, and hand signals. Another form of obedience that is growing in popularity is Rally-O that incorporates some agility obstacles with basic obedience commands. The course is set up with signage that directs the dog/handler team to various points and indicates what activity they are to perform. It is open to all dogs and is a great way to combine two sports into one: agility and obedience.
In Rally, a dog and their handler move together through a course made up of 10-20 signs. Each sign displays a skill to perform such as turns or behaviors like sit, down, or stay. The dog and handler work together and should show a sense of teamwork and enthusiasm throughout the course.
The performance is timed, but it’s not about being fast, it’s about accuracy, control, and teamwork. And as the class levels progress, so does the difficulty and therefore the training required. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to foster good manners in your dog. And best of all, you can easily train at home with little equipment required.
Rally is based on beginner obedience skills, your dog should know obedience basics before entering the sport.