Rally (previously known as Rally Obedience or Rally O) was created to promote a positive relationship between a dog and its owner. The emphasis is on fun and excitement for both dog and handler alike. Rally is currently the fastest growing dog sport in the USA and Canada.
Rally is often described as a combination of agility and obedience. A rally course is set out with numbered stations including a start and finish. Like agility, handlers have the opportunity to walk the course to become familiar with it before competing. Participants then navigate the course by following the numbers and carrying out the exercise shown on the sign positioned at each of the numbered stations. Dogs work in the “heel” position between exercises. At the novice level, dogs negotiate a course of between 10 and 15 signs (not including the start and finish) and work on lead during the test. There are a total of 50 possible signs, which gradually increasing in complexity. The highest levels of rally use up to 24 signs (including many which feature complex activities) and complete the courses off-lead.
Rally was designed with the average dog owner in mind, as a way to introduce them into the world of dog sports. It was also designed for people to just have fun with their dog. Rally is also suitable for accomplished obedience or agility triallers as it provides them with another way to interact with their dog. Rally is particularly popular amongst ageing dogs who are less able to manage some of the more strenuous dog sports.
In rally, competitors complete the course on their own and are allowed to use multiple hand and verbal cues. Handlers can talk to, praise and encourage their dog throughout the performance, leading to a far more relaxed atmosphere than other dog sports. Each run is a different series of exercises – you never know what the course will be until you do the preliminary walk through.
You can find more information in the Rules for Rally, available on the Australian National Kennel Council website.
The following image provides some examples of common rally signs.
If you would like to try out rally at CDODC, your dog will first need to pass Basic 2 Obedience. Once this has been achieved, you can fill in an expression of interest form on the table near the office. You will be placed on a waiting list and contacted by one of our volunteers when a position becomes available. For more information, please contact the club’s rally co-ordinator at email@example.com.