Looking for some information about competing in Rally or Obedience

Running, catching, leaping; this is the forum to discuss dog sports and agility training with other active pups!


Cuddle Bug
Barked: Wed Apr 4, '12 1:26pm PST 
Emma has been doing very well in her obedience classes and our trainer off handedly said that i should seriously think about doing rally with her.

The more i think about it the more i'm excited about the idea, after all i love training her and she loves learning too, so it is a win win. The only thing holding me back is i know almost nothing about either competition and i'm not sure how I should go about getting started in a dog sport.

I will of course talk to her trainer some more at our next class but i was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on good books or websites to learn about what we would have to do to compete?

Awesome Dog
Barked: Wed Apr 4, '12 7:09pm PST 
There are 4 different venues for rally in the United States. (There are two additional ones in Canada.) So, first off, you need to find out which venues are available for you! There is AKC Rally, APDT Rally, UKC Rally, and ASCA Rally. It's all pretty similar in regards to the basic concepts and behaviors you're expected to perform. However, there are minor differences and the way the signs look vary between them all.

A good starter book for rally is Clicking Your Way to Rally Obedience by Pamela Dennison. She covers the signs and how to train the exercises for both AKC and APDT style rally.

Good luck and have fun!

Barked: Thu Apr 5, '12 8:01pm PST 
Rally and Obedience are generally speaking very different beasts. Most non-reactive dogs with reasonable off-leash obedience and halfway decent focus can finish an RAE title eventually. You won't find that is the case in Open or Utility classes in obedience since the standard is just more precise. Obedience takes a lot more time for passing scores over rally.

You can download the rulebooks and for obedience and rally off the organizations websites (ASCA and AKC for sure at least.). There are some decent youtube videos that explain the signs etc. Many people can make a fair showing in a rally trial without attending a class so don't feel pressured to take one. You can probably even prep her for a CD without too much assistance but more advanced titles would probably require a potentially spendy sent of classes.

Very few can succeed in Obedience particularly CDXs and UD(X)s without a knowledgeable instructor to start them off.


Cuddle Bug
Barked: Fri Apr 6, '12 5:22pm PST 
Thank you for your responses, they were both very helpful.
(Quin)- Herdabout- The Mighty- Qu

Herdabout The- Mighty Quinlan!
Barked: Tue May 22, '12 8:14pm PST 
Hey pup!

I prefer Rally over obedience. I love being able to talk to my dog and get him focused on me....they like rally and agility LOL More fun for them I find.

I would find a trainer who competes in trials and get started with them smile
Tuscaroras- Bella Bleu- RN CGC

Rock'n the- Rally-O World!
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 6:44pm PST 
Another great Rally book is: The Ultimate Guide to Rally-O. Author is Debra M. Eldredge DVM. Have fun! We love Rally!

we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Wed Nov 28, '12 8:28am PST 
oops, Risa, you forgot C-WAGS wave

I am a APDT and C-WAGS Rally judge and we teach AKC/UKC.

Of the four, I love C-WAGS the best because it is the most varied. There is a Zoom course (no stationary exercises) and an ARF course (Agility/Rally/Freestyle) that requires both left and right side heeling.

Personally, I am not huge on AKC obedience. I find the long stays dangerous and once you get past the CD, it's all about jumping and retrieving. I prefer (for myself) more complex series of exercises and a bit more interaction with my dogs.

Whatever you do, READ THE RULES. Even for the same sport, they vary from venue to venue and what is acceptable in AKC may get you NQ's in APDT or C-WAGS.

BTW, C-WAGS also offer Obedience and Scent Detective Games.

Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 2:47pm PST 
"Personally, I am not huge on AKC obedience. I find the long stays dangerous and once you get past the CD, it's all about jumping and retrieving. I prefer (for myself) more complex series of exercises and a bit more interaction with my dogs."

A lot of people aren't a fan of the long sits/downs. Generally past Novice they're not a big deal safety wise, but Novice can certainly have some dicey moments. Usually the issue is people entering without the prep-work behind the classes but that's a risk anywhere.

As for the rest, it's more than jumping and retrieving but from an outside perspective it certainly could appear that way. It's actually a huge leap between Novice and Open and a lot of newbies struggle, myself included.

Anything beyond Open is a lot of precision and picky stuff that can ruin a great run in a hot minute. I really really love the Versatility classes and they can present some fascinating training challenges. Utility is fairly basic and the signal exercise, while easy is fairly common to watch dogs come apart if they haven't been prepared.

Then you get to UKC Utility which is an entirely different beast.

That being said you can prep a dog well beyond where they trial and as in all things, trialling is optional. Zeph is learning her Utility routines but she has yet to trial in Open yet. We'll get there but I can't justify the money until after the holidays. confused
Maggie NAC- WV-N TN-N- CTL-3 RE

Tunnel Suckin'
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 7:20pm PST 
I've been training Maggie in Utility exercise, even though we don't even have a Q in Novice...there is no limit on what you can train big grin

I have quit playing in the AKC game, it is really expensive and the letters after the name are not worth the cost to me (although I might someday finish Maggie's RAE...we are almost there). I do play in ASCA Obedience and Rally though as it is a bit cheaper and I like the flavor a bit more...plus it is cheaper smile (and open to all breeds).

I personally have a blast training my dogs to do precision behaviors. Yes, I could squeak by with Tika and get her CD right now - but I want decent scores and consistent behaviors, so I am holding off till February for her first trial (maybe late January if I feel she is ready).

I would just advise looking into the signs for any of the venues. Learning the signs and watching YouTube videos (I would suggest Ruthann's videos as she not only explains the exercise - but also ways to train it - HERE.