Rally! Who does it??

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#1
I'm thinking about taking a rally class with Keegan, but I don't know a whole lot about it. I know there are a lot of people on this forum who do, though!

What are the prerequisites for beginner rally? I know there are sit, down, heel.... what else?

Is there an age limit to trial? Keegan's only 5 months... I know we won't be trialing next week or anything, but I'd like to get an idea if they have to be a year old or something.

One of my biggest goals with Keegan is to do AKC Obedience with him, and I've heard that Rally is kind of an intro to obedience work. Is that true? I don't know much at all about Obedience either, so if someone's done both, can you tell me if the two contradict each other or anything? I mean, of course I could train certain behaviors for Rally and other behaviors for Obedience, but if there's any glaring differences it might be good to know about those ahead of time.

I've noticed most rally trainers do "Rally for Fun!"... I mean, of COURSE it should be fun, but I know in agility, you're not going to get your MACH without having a good foundation course, which a lot of "Agility for Fun!" courses are not good at. Is it the same in Rally?

I'm super competetive with everything, so if I start I'll HAVE to try to get the highest title. I just kind of want to know what I'm getting into.

TIA!
 

Zoom

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#2
Knowing a solid sit is the biggest thing! I just started a rally class, mostly so Sawyer can learn to focus on me when there's a lot of stuff going on around him, not because he doesn't know the commands. So far the most used commands have been sit, down and LLW.

Rally is a lot more fun from what I understand; you can talk to your dog through the whole thing and such.
 

Dekka

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#3
I do it. Dekka and Kaiden both have their RNMCL. (I haven't entered Kaiden in more that one trial, and Dekka needs one more leg for her RA)

Its pretty easy and fun. Much easier than agility and easier than obed. Its not with out its challenges, but much more fun than traditional obedience. Its only a good intro to formal obedience if you do it 'right'. In rally you can talk to your dog the whole time, and things like a slightly crooked sit are not penalized. If you plan to go on to do formal obedience and train a really great heel then yes its awesome. (I went the other way, Kaiden and Dekka both started in formal obedience)
 

corgipower

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#4
I'm thinking about taking a rally class with Keegan, but I don't know a whole lot about it. I know there are a lot of people on this forum who do, though!


I've only trialed in rally once, but I'll give you my input.


What are the prerequisites for beginner rally? I know there are sit, down, heel.... what else?

Finishes left and right, call fronts (from heel position). Circles - left and right, full circles and 270 circles. Left, right and U about turns. Sidestep to the right in motion and from a stop. Pivots left and right. Backing up. Figure 8s and serpentines. It varies somewhat depending on what organization you're trialing under ~ AKC, ASCA, APDT, etc.

Is there an age limit to trial? Keegan's only 5 months... I know we won't be trialing next week or anything, but I'd like to get an idea if they have to be a year old or something.

Unless it's changed, 6 months for AKC. Other venues, I don't know.

One of my biggest goals with Keegan is to do AKC Obedience with him, and I've heard that Rally is kind of an intro to obedience work. Is that true? I don't know much at all about Obedience either, so if someone's done both, can you tell me if the two contradict each other or anything? I mean, of course I could train certain behaviors for Rally and other behaviors for Obedience, but if there's any glaring differences it might be good to know about those ahead of time.

I don't know that rally is really an intro to obedience. The rally exercises are all common doodling work done by obedience competitors. Rally can be an intro to competing in so far as it's a bit more relaxed. You can talk to the dog and help him and encourage him a lot more than you can in obedience.

But that can be a bad thing too. If you get in the habit of being allowed to talk to the dog during performance, then go in the obedience ring and can't say a word, it tends to confuse the dog.

Some significant differences are in the layout. Rally, you walk from station to station and perform what is on the sign. You'll be doing a lot of circling, turning, halting, etc in quick succession. In obedience, you generally get to walk down the entire length of the ring before a turn, then the next turn will be at the next corner. Which can be a lot easier for some people (*cough*) who tend to be in the habit of continuing in a straight line for more than 3 steps. In obedience the judge calls you through the exercises.



I'm super competetive with everything, so if I start I'll HAVE to try to get the highest title. I just kind of want to know what I'm getting into.
If that's the case, I'd very much suggest taking a class at least and also going to watch some trials.
 
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#5
Rally is a lot more fun from what I understand; you can talk to your dog through the whole thing and such.
That's what I had heard. Is it true that you can give treats, too?

Dekka and CP - thanks for all the info! Sounds like we have a lot of work to do, LOL! Keegan's naturally pretty precise as far as straight sits and stuff (between bouts of puppy clumsiness, LOL!), that's why I think he'll be good at obedience (in several more months :D). But I'll definately keep that in mind when we're doing rally training. We'll definately take a class first!
 

Kayla

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#6
Duke and I play Rally too:)

I find the environment is much more relaxed then competitive obedience trials, and until the one club that held events went under I used to love going to events there as was such a fun group.

I found my biggest thing was learning to practice reading the signs LOL. I practiced setting up courses and just walking them myself and practicing reading the numbers to make sure im going in the correct order.

Luckily at a trial you get a walk through, so I do it a few times and act as if I had a dog, that helps me alot too.

With all of that being said though I've still missed a sign and been totally convinced I was doing everything correctly so it happens.

Duke earned his three Q's in Rally Novice, and at one trial when he earned his third we got to move on to Rally Advanced in the next round.

I realized that I didn't know the signs for the next level, but had them printed off in my binder that I keep all of my Rally stuff in, so I quickly studied it, practiced one sign that Duke didn't know at all (it was a an about U turn I believe where the dog is heeling next to you, you turn into the dog and change direction and the dog passes behind your back and ends up on your left side facing the opposite direction).

I'm so glad we studied it as it was in the next round and we managed to Q.

We havent gone to any more trials since but I'd like to start up again come summer.

Best of luck!
 

JacksonsMom

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#7
I'm interested in rally and want to try and find a place near me that does it. I wish my trainer I used for agility did it, but she doesn't yet. It definitely is of interest to me. Thanks for the info :)
 

noodlerubyallie

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#8
I'm thinking about taking a rally class with Keegan, but I don't know a whole lot about it. I know there are a lot of people on this forum who do, though!

What are the prerequisites for beginner rally? I know there are sit, down, heel.... what else?

Is there an age limit to trial? Keegan's only 5 months... I know we won't be trialing next week or anything, but I'd like to get an idea if they have to be a year old or something.

One of my biggest goals with Keegan is to do AKC Obedience with him, and I've heard that Rally is kind of an intro to obedience work. Is that true? I don't know much at all about Obedience either, so if someone's done both, can you tell me if the two contradict each other or anything? I mean, of course I could train certain behaviors for Rally and other behaviors for Obedience, but if there's any glaring differences it might be good to know about those ahead of time.

I've noticed most rally trainers do "Rally for Fun!"... I mean, of COURSE it should be fun, but I know in agility, you're not going to get your MACH without having a good foundation course, which a lot of "Agility for Fun!" courses are not good at. Is it the same in Rally?

I'm super competetive with everything, so if I start I'll HAVE to try to get the highest title. I just kind of want to know what I'm getting into.

TIA!
I think for AKC dogs have to be 6 months. Everything I'm going to share is AKC - that's the only venue I've done so far!

I've always trained for Obedience first. If you build solid heeling and attention, along with a starter foundation in fronts and finishes, then Rally is a breeze. Also, if you teach yourself to not get in the habit of speaking/praising your dog in the ring, the dog doesn't get used to hearing it. It really depends on your goals...mine are for higher Obedience titles, we just "play" in Rally for fun and relatively easy titles - it's a lot less stress.

I had a really easy Novice course yesterday that consisted of left and right turns, 270 degree turn, fast, slow, stop then down, halt and sit, call front and finish left, serpentine. My course today was harder - a lot more circles, 270's, slow, fast, left about turn, call front and finish right with no halts.

As long as you do the sign correctly the first time with only small faults, you get all the points for that sign. For example, yesterday Ruby and I got a 100/100, even though I was laughing at her through half the course because she decided that her serpentine should be done ogling the judge and crowd while bumping me and her finish left put her slightly out of heel.

Novice is done on lead. Advanced and Excellent are off lead, and you lose your ability to talk to your dog and/or guide them into positions. You can still use signals, you just lose your ability to guide the dog where you want them to go. No more clapping, talking, patting your leg, pointing, etc.

Hopefully that helps!
 
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#9
I've always trained for Obedience first. If you build solid heeling and attention, along with a starter foundation in fronts and finishes, then Rally is a breeze. Also, if you teach yourself to not get in the habit of speaking/praising your dog in the ring, the dog doesn't get used to hearing it. It really depends on your goals...mine are for higher Obedience titles, we just "play" in Rally for fun and relatively easy titles - it's a lot less stress.
That's what I was thinking, too.... Train for obedience but do Rally for fun.

IAs long as you do the sign correctly the first time with only small faults, you get all the points for that sign. For example, yesterday Ruby and I got a 100/100, even though I was laughing at her through half the course because she decided that her serpentine should be done ogling the judge and crowd while bumping me and her finish left put her slightly out of heel.

Novice is done on lead. Advanced and Excellent are off lead, and you lose your ability to talk to your dog and/or guide them into positions. You can still use signals, you just lose your ability to guide the dog where you want them to go. No more clapping, talking, patting your leg, pointing, etc.
Very helpful, thank you so much!!
 

Saeleofu

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#10
I do rally! Logan actually had a trial today and got his first Advanced leg (hopefully we'll get 2 more at the collie specialty later this week and get a title).

Rally is a lot of fun. Not as strict as obedience, and is a good into to dog sports. If your dog can walk on a loose lead (not even heel, necessarily) sit, down, front and finish, you can probably qualify in a novice class. For Novice dogs are all on lead all the time. Leash comes off for Advanced and Excellent. Advanced has 1 jump, excellent has 2 jumps and an honor (sit or down stay in the ring while another dog runs the course). You can't give treats, but you can praise, talk, hand signals, etc all the time. I think it gets a bit more strict in the excellent level, but you can still do a LOT more talking than in obedience. The highest level is Rally Advanced Excellent (RAE) which is 10 qualifying scores in both Advanced and Excellent in the same trial. You can definitely do this even if you keep it all fun.

The one thing I find is problematic is that it really foster bad form in the handlers, at least as far as the obedience ring is concerned. In obedience you don't talk, no extra commands, nothing like that, specific footwork, hold the leash a certain way, etc. I have a hard time remembering all the obedience rules because after a year of trialing, rally is pretty ingrained in me. So that is what i have to work on before i start obedience trials with Logan (right now he's ready for beginner novice level obedience, but *I* as a handler am not ready yet).

I have never been NQd for my dog's performance. I have NQd twice out of 12 classes, and both times were because I missed a station. Once with Gavroche where he would have had a qualifying score, but barely (probably a 71 or 72) and once with Logan on his first trial where he would have got a 97 and first or second place. But I ****ed up and cost them their legs. The stations are numbered - counting them and making sure you walk the course as many times as you can in 10 minutes helps, but it happens, and it feel terrible when it does happen, especially when the dog would have got a great score otherwise.

The nice thing is that in Rally you get to re-do a station if you or the dog screws up the first time. In October Gavroche refused a jump (which is VERY unlike him and should have tipped me off that something was wrong) and I just re-did it and he qualified. Today Logan refused a jump, but when I re-did it he jumped. I also had to re-do another station because he decided it would be WAYYYY more fun to run around in circles than to listen to me :rolleyes: but we re-did it and still qualified. He was out of heel position for a could stations, two re-dos, and some other little mistakes, and we still got 80/100. Scoring depends on the judge, too. In October my dogs had pretty similar performances all 3 days, but their scores varied from day to day from low-70s to high-90s. I'd say their scores *should* have been mid-low 80s all 3 days.
 

elegy

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#12
I don't know how I missed this thread....

I love rally. Luce and I started in AKC but honestly, it got boring quickly. She has her RN and her RA there. Then I found APDT and omg SO much more fun! Harder, longer, more complex courses. And after you get out of Level 1, harder, more challenging signs. Level 3 has drop on recall, a baby signals exercise (you can use verbals as well as signals but it's a moving stand, down, sit, recall), directed jumping, retrieve. It's so much fun. Plus there are a bunch of "championship" titles that result in big ribbons. We are all about big ribbons here :)
 

Saeleofu

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#14
Around here there's AKC, and once in a while UKC. Anything else is pretty much unheard of :( Once I'm done with RE and possibly RAE with my boys in AKC, I plan on going UKC, and then others from there as I find them.
 

elegy

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Me too. :)

I'd heard that APDT rally was a little different from AKC, but I didn't know what those differences were. Thanks for the info! Are APDT trials harder to find? I know AKC trials are really common around here.
they're very regionalized at the moment, unfortunately, but it is getting better as the program grows. here's their current trial calendar.

APDT is also different in that you can take food into the ring with you (and feed at the end of stationary exercises). But you will get nailed 3 points for every double command. They're also kind of meaner about NQs- there are a lot more ways to do it than in AKC.
 

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