Training Tips

Here are some descriptions of Rally exercises.

Halt, sit, and forward: While heeling, the handler halts and the dog comes to sit in heel position. The team then moves forward to the next sign with the dog remaining in heel position.

270 degree right turn: While heeling, the team makes a 270-degree turn (three-quarters of a circle) that starts to the handler's right and finishes with the team headed to the left of the original direction. Another version of this exercise has the team starting the circle to the left and finishing by heading right of the original direction.



Call dog front, forward right: While heeling, the handler stops forward motion and calls the dog to sit in front. The handler can take several steps backwards to aid the dog in sitting straight in front. The handler then continues forward so the dog has to pivot to get back into heel position.
Slow, fast, and normal paces: three separate exercises as performed in novice obedience classes.
Stand for exam: a two-part exercise that requires the dog to stand-stay by one sign while the handler proceeds to a second sign. The handler then returns to the dog and the team heels forward.  
Send over jumps: With the dog at the side, the handler runs along a line six feet to the right of the jump and sends the dog over the jump. When the dog completes the jump, the handler calls it back to heel position and the team.

 



 

Rally Training

Rally obedience, or "Rally-O" as it has been termed by enthusiasts, is a fun obedience activity that combines elements of obedience and agility. It is more relaxed than precision competitive obedience, focusing instead on attitude and enthusiasm, while the variety of exercises and courses allows you to show off your versatility and teamwork.

As in agility, 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. Judges design their courses by choosing from more than four dozen stations that direct handlers and dogs to perform specific exercises.

A sign at each station gives instructions to the dog-handler team, and each team must execute the station's particular task within two-to-four feet of the sign. Once the judge gives the command "forward," the dog and handler complete the course on their own without further commands from the judge. Handlers may not use treats or toys in the ring, but may do anything else to encourage their dogs at the novice and advanced levels except physically touch them or make corrections with the leash. Encouragement is allowed at the excellent level but handlers cannot pat their legs or clap their hands as they can in novice and advanced classes.

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.

Rally emphasizes fun and excitement for the dog/handler team while providing an interactive approach to obedience. The focus is on teamwork, communication and fun, rather than precision. The exercises involved in the course will help build your skills as a handler and increase your dog's repertoire of behaviors. Praise, encouragement, and continuous communication are permitted in this sport.

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.
By the end of the Lucky Dog training class, you and your dog will know how to perform all the exercises for novice Rally, and know how to read and complete a variety of Rally courses. In this class you will gain the skills to be able to pass a Rally Novice trial. The teaching method is at Lucky Dog is positive reinforcement. Whether you are interested in competing for Rally titles, or just want to try something new and fun with your dog, this is the sport for you!

You are allowed to talk to and praise your dog in the rally ring! Rally is the place to build a relationship with your dog and refine your communication with your four-legged teammate.



RESOURCES

A complete description of Rally Obedience, including regulations can be found at the AKC website

Getting started in AKC Rally.

Rally sign descriptions and pictures.

Here's a brief video demonstrating rally training.

Check out this video demonstrating how to perform many Rally signs.

Nice, peppy video demonstrating an example of a novice course.

Video: Explanation of some Rally signs.

Video: Practicing a short novice course.

AKC is one organization that sanctions rally trials. Find out about APDT Rally.

Rally Classes

 Rally Mixed-Skill Levels

At this time we are offering mixed-skill Rally classes. We combine novice and advanced by offering a choice of signs of different skills at many stations.


 Rally Novice

Rally-O is a fun obedience activity that combines elements of obedience and agility. Rally emphasizes fun and excitement for the dog/handler team while providing an interactive approach to obedience. The focus is on teamwork, communication and fun, rather than precision. The exercises involved in the course will help build your skills as a handler and increase your dog's repertoire of behaviors. Praise, encouragement, and continuous communication are permitted in this sport.

By the end of this class, you and your dog will know how to perform the 31 exercises for novice Rally, and know how to read and complete a variety of Rally courses. In this class you will gain the skills to be able to pass a Rally Novice trial. The teaching method is positive reinforcement. Whether you are interested in competing for Rally titles, or just want to try something new and fun with your dog, this is the sport for you!

At the conclusion of this class, the dog and handler team will be able to move continuously through a Rally course of 10-20 signs with the dog at the handler's left side. At each numbered sign they will perform the indicated exercise then move to the next sign. Unlimited communication is encouraged - the handler can talk to the dog and give multiple commands and signals.

For this class you will need: a flat buckle collar or a slip collar and a 4-ft or 6-ft lead (no flexi leads, please), a treat bag full of treats (bring lots and lots, more than you think you need; be sure not to feed your dog dinner!), and comfortable shoes (you're going to do some walking!). (Prerequisite- Obedience I or equivalent)

 Rally Advanced

We will continue to work on and perfect the skills taught in Rally I. This is a class for those who have completed Rally I and are ready to move into the Rally Advanced ring. Performance is encouraged off leash and includes jumps. Satisfactory completion should enable the team to earn an AKC Rally Advanced (RA) title.

 Focus Foundation

Learn the basic skills needed to build a better relationship with your family dog or to start competitive dog sports such as agility and rally. This class is the foundation for all future training. It will increase communication and awareness between your dog and you. Some of the skills we will cover include attention, some off leash control, ability to work around other dogs as well as people and distractions, drive and motivation, confidence and basic obedience such as sit, down, stay and come. Other topics covered include: heel and side position, toy drive, and motivation. The focus of the class is on gaining skills and confidence to create the right relationship to become an effective team. This class is a prerequisite to Intro to Agility as well as a great prelude to any obedience class. This, or graduation from another obedience class, is the prerequisite for Rally.

This class is a prerequisite to Intro to Agility as well as a great prelude to any obedience class.

Practice, practice, practice!
Join the Club and make your dog a Lucky Dog! Get a membership and use the facility on your schedule to practice whenever there is no other class or event.


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Photo Thanks:
"Jake" (ASCA/UKC Ch. Mandolyn Shake and Jake) (red Aussie) with Ami Romanelli
"Toonie" (Sheltie) - Dawn Westfall
"Bandit" (2nd from bottom)- Lisa Gardner;
"Ayla" (Ch. Phenixs FlyN Ayla Girl Wonder)(Tervuren at bottom) - Stacy Santarone