Rally® focuses on the partnership between handler and dog. It is all about teamwork, communication and fun. In Rally, the dog and handler proceed at their own pace through a course of designated stations. Rally is the bridge between Canine Good Citizen® and Competitive Obedience. Read more here: All About Rally® from the American Kennel Club®:
Rally is a sport in which the dog and handler complete a course that has been designed by the rally judge. The judge tells the handler to begin, and the dog and handler proceed at their own pace through a course of designated stations (10 – 20, depending on the level). Each of these stations has a sign providing instructions regarding the next skill that is to be performed. Scoring is not as rigorous as traditional obedience.
Unlimited communication from the handler to the dog is to be encouraged and not penalized. Unless otherwise specified in these Regulations, handlers are permitted to talk, praise, encourage, clap their hands, pat their legs, or use any verbal means of encouragement. Multiple commands and/or signals using one or both arms and hands are allowed; the handler’s arms need not be maintained in any particular position at any time. The handler may not touch the dog or make physical corrections. At any time during the performance, loud or harsh commands or intimidating signals will be penalized.
What is Rally?
AKC Rally is the new dog sport that is taking the nation by storm, a successful stepping stone from the AKC Canine Good Citizen® program to the world of obedience or agility. Rally offers both the dogs and handlers an experience that is fun and energizing. The canine team moves at their own pace, very similar to rally-style auto racing. Rally was designed with the traditional pet owner in mind, but it can still be very challenging for those who enjoy higher levels of competition.
A rally course includes 10 to 20 stations, depending on the level. Scoring is not as rigorous as traditional obedience. Communication between handler and dog is encouraged and perfect heel position is not required, but there should be a sense of teamwork between the dog and handler. The main objective of rally is to produce dogs that have been trained to behave in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs, in a manner that will reflect positively on the sport of rally at all times and under all conditions.
To be eligible to compete in AKC Rally trials, a dog must be registered with the AKC or listed with the AKC Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP) program, or a Foundation Stock Service (FSS) recorded breed that meets the eligibility requirements for competition and 6 months of age or older. The Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP): Dogs of any breed recognized by the AKC that do not have registration papers or known parents may qualify for a Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP). PAL/ILP dogs may participate in certain AKC events, such as obedience, agility, tracking, rally and many performance events. Photos are required to prove the dog is a registerable breed. The dog must be spayed or neutered. For more information about the PAL/ILP program, visit the PAL/ILP section on the AKC web site, or e-mail questions to PAL@akc.org.”
UPDATE: As of April 1, 2010, the AKC, through its Canine Partners program, now allows mixed breed dogs to compete in Agility, Rally, and Obedience events.
Want to learn more and get your dog involved in Rally? Carol Hein-Creger of the Canine Training Center is offering a beginning Rally class, starting September 20, 2011! Five week class is only $79. Sign up now – space is limited!
Carol Hein-Creger has been training dogs and their owners for over 30 years. She has trained thousands of people, including many local dog trainers, and is a seasoned competitor and handler. Carol is teaching at AnnaBelle’s Pet Station in Downtown Lansing. Check out her her upcoming class schedule.