Marco and I have entered our first Rally Obedience Trial this weekend. It takes place at Hyper Hounds Dog Training (Okotoks, AB) and runs on both Saturday and Sunday.
Many of my students have asked what is Rally Obedience? And then why I should consider doing it with me dog?
Rally Obedience (often referred to as Rally O) is a relatively new sport for dogs. It has been around for about 10 years now. The sport was developed by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and has spread to other organizations including AKC, CKC and CARO (Canadian Association of Rally Obedience). The sport is a mix of formal obedience moves (heeling, turns, sits, downs, stays, etc.) but uses the fun of agility by creating courses. There are about 20 signs on a course that an owner and dog need to complete. Dogs of all breeds and ages may take part.
Now why should you consider taking a Rally O class with your dog?
Simply put it's a fun way to learn obedience skills that you need. The most critical skill is heeling and rally participants spend a lot of time working on that. You'll also develop quicker response to commands, enhance your bond with your dog and learn to tackle distractions. It's also a great start before taking on an agility class.
Also in CARO and APDT trials owners are allowed to use food rewards on course. This makes it a great place to get dog some ring experience and learn to build up focus.
So come out and watch the trial this weekend. If you have questions please let me know.