Confused about Some APDT Rally Rules

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Member Since
Barked: Fri Jan 18, '13 8:53pm PST 
i enjoy putting my yearlings through rally courses. and we do spend time and money like anyone else. shrug

I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Fri Jan 18, '13 11:18pm PST 
Titus, no, you didn't miss anything.

There is no way to know how many run-throughs the dog and handler have had on that specific course before getting it right.

I did read through the rules at one point and don't remember reading anything about limiting the number of run-throughs, BUT, the courses are also posted online and you simply choose which course you want to do. To me, just that makes cyber rally not comparable to rally in a trial environment, as in a trial, you have some time to walk through the course on your own, but you certainly don't have the option of taking your dog through for a practice run (that's what fun matches and FEO runs are for).

All that aside, I do see cyber rally (and cyber agility for that matter) as a creative and fun way to still be able to compete with your dog. There are plenty of reasons that could make attending a trial very difficult or impossible. My trainer has mentioned cyber rally to me as an option on a few different occasions and it's something I may consider once we have improved our contact work and can run through longer sequences without me getting lost...

Edited by author Fri Jan 18, '13 11:20pm PST


we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 4:17am PST 
Cyber Rally is not for me, but I have multiple venues with multiple sports locally available. I could compete in Rally, Agility, Nosework, comp OB or freestyle without driving more than 2 hours tops. In fact, the furthest I have driven to exhibit or judge in Rally is 1.5 hours, although before the sale I was asked to judge a few places in Virginia.

Sarah - nothing snotty, just factual. because rally was always from the beginning to be a lead up to the formal sport of competitive obedience, sort of like how the sport SchH was supposed to be a lead up to actual street work.

No, it was not. Maybe you should check out the history of Rally. THAT may be how the AKC views it, but Rally was first adopted by the APDT and it was their sole dog sport.

I also find people kind of set up AKC ob as the end all, be all, yet their numbers are slowly declining as PDO's find sports where they can compete that are more in line with what the average PDO enjpys doing with their dogs. One of the reasons AKC opened up their sports regs to mixed breeds is because their numbers were dropping off.

Personally, I love rally. I love the fact that ANYONE can give it a go. I love the fact that MOST venues are about relationship. And I love the fact that MOST venues are fun for the exhibitor and welcoming.

So in the end, my dogs and I don't care what others think, if they think what we are doing is is a sort of sport or can't take it seriously. In the end, my dogs and I are having fun together. It is not about the destination or being better than someone else, it is about the journey, what we learn from it and the memories we build. Losing Ash really drove that point home for me. I have a wall full of titles and ribbons, each one of them holding a memory that is special to me.

His Level 2 title? I remember our first Level 2 run, where I didn't think Ash would take the jump, but nailed it. I was so happy tthat I blew by the next two signs and we NQ'd.

His ARCHEX? I remember how so many friends were at that trial and they all knew we were up for our EX and it was our last trial for the winter, When we finished that Level 2 course (the 3 for that trial had been held earlier), it was obvious that we had the score we needed and the whole place was applauding and I was crying.

His Level 3? Two things stand out. Ash epiphany about the directed jumps. After a year of working on them, one day he looked at it, looked at me, and it was as if he said "THAT is what you want me to do? OPk, I get it" and he only ever blew one directed jump again.

Also MY epiphany when Asher could not do a moving stand stay in class in spite of the fact that he could do it everywhere else. I was getting frustrated, then I looked at him and saw how hard he was trying, he wanted to do what I asked, but, in that environment, really did not know what I wanted.

The titles and ribbons hold the memories, but the journey is the true gem.

And I am sure that people who compete in Cyber Rally feel the same way. The titles and the ribbons are nice, but wht we truly get from competing is a way to to build a relationship. I agree with the author who wrote:

Not just a Brag; Not just a Stepping Stone to a
Higher Title,
Not just an Adjunct to competitive Scores.....

A Title is a Tribute to the dog that bears it, A Way to Honor that dog.....
An Ultimate Memorial

A Title will remain in the Record
And in the Memory for about as long as anything in this world can remain.....

Few Human Honors do Better
In that regard

And though the dog himself doesn't know or care that his Achievements have been noticed.....
A Title says many things in this
World of Humans....
Where such things count

A Title says your dog was...
Intelligent, Adaptable, and Good-Natured
It says that your dog loved you enough to do the things that pleased you, however crazy they may have sometimes seemed

A Title says that you Loved your dog,
That you loved him Enough.....
To spend Time with him
because he was a good dog,
That you Believed in him Enough.....
To give him yet another chance when he failed, and.....
That in the end your Faith was justified.

A Title proves that your dog Inspired you to have the Special Relationship enjoyed by so few;
That in a world of disposable creatures, this...
Dog with a Title was greatly Loved,
Loved Greatly in Return

And when that dear short life is over...
The Title remains as a Memorial of the finest kind,
The best you can give to a deserving Friend,
A Title says.....
Volumes of praise in one small set of Initials Before or After the Name

A Title is nothing less than.....
Love and Respect
Given and Received Permanently.

Author Unknown

Edited by author Sat Jan 19, '13 4:42am PST



Awesome Dog
Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 6:33am PST 
You are absolutely right that you can have do-overs with video competition. Though they are limited. I know, in freestyle, you cannot edit your video AT ALL. What you submit has to have been filmed straight through. That's not to say you can't submit try #3 rather than try #1. It's not exactly the same as a live competition where you only get one go at it.

I think how one feels about a sport has a lot to do with their goals. If you're looking to judge a dog on his working ability and are considering him for a breeding program, then I can understand why you would feel rally is more of a fun thing to do with a dog rather than a true test of ability. Much in the way SchH has become more of an activity to do with your dog rather than a true test of his meddle. There is still merit in what you can find out about who a dog is in the rally ring but it's not a breed test.

In AKC, rally is definitely viewed as a stepping stone to obedience. In fact, I had a discussion with a fellow competitor at our last rally trial regarding this issue. She mentioned that many judges will pass rally teams through with very lax scoring so that they can move on to obedience. This, of course, doesn't help the competitors at all since obedience requires more precision and less talking. If you can barely get your dog through a rally course yet you still qualify, you're going to be in dire straits when you try to pursue obedience titles. Besides, not everyone who competes in rally has the ultimate goal of going on to obedience. We certainly don't!

For most of us, dog sports are about having fun with our dogs. I love competing because it gives me an active goal to pursue with Risa. She loves to train, no doubt, and we would continue to do so even if we did not trial. But trialing gives me a specific set of goals to achieve and a time frame in which to do them. I also learn a lot about our strengths and weaknesses both as individuals and as a team by trialing with her. I wouldn't realize half the mistakes I'm making training if we didn't trial and test our abilities. Ultimately, however, we trial because it's fun. Because we really enjoy going out there and working together and proving how far we've come. It's not about the titles, placements, qualifying legs, or awards. They're simply icing on the cake. It's fun! So we'll continue to do it.

we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 7:02am PST 
You know, Risa, I think that is why we get so many AKC exhibitors in APDT who think APDT will be a cakewalk. I see them a lot around here.

When I was at Nosework camp, I remember hearing a conversation one trainer was having with another about APDT Rally, She said exactly what was said earlier on this thread about buying titles. About a year and a half later I saw her at her first APDT Rally trial. And she NQ'd. Twice. In Level 1.

And we encouraged her and she continued to trial in APDT and got a few titles in that venue with a renewed respect for it.

I think having a way for people who are not near trial sites or have reactive/fearful dogs to compete is a wonderful thing. And, if in the course of "buying" those titles, they are having a great time with their dogs and building a bond, well, it is money well spent.

Awesome Dog
Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 8:08am PST 
I do understand your concerns, Titus. I do. I also totally agree with you and do think there should be some distinction between titles earned at a live trial vs. with video. But, in the case of new venues/sports where they need to build up the interest, you almost have to place the same value. It's only in trying and competing that you can really build the interest in the venue and attract more people which leads to more live competitions being held in more areas. So, for fledgling organizations, I don't think there needs to be a split. Having video competitions for an organization as widespread as AKC would be unnecessary in that respect.

Dogsports and competitions initially existed to ascertain the working ability of breeding stock. These days, it's more about fun than that (though I still feel it is important to test breeding stock in some form of work). So if handlers who cannot compete in live trials with their dogs still would like to compete, I think video competitions are great for them. But I think everyone has to realize it is not the same thing as trialing live. Just like training in the basement isn't the same as training in a classroom setting. There are minimal distractions in the house and the dog is familiar with the area. At a trial, it's crazy and usually a completely new location. That is a true test of a dog.

If it's just about the fun, though, it doesn't really matter. To me, nothing beats competing live. You really find out what you're made of. Not to mention I love just hanging out with fellow competitors all day!

Member Since
Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 9:29am PST 
"checking the history of rally:"
from the founder Charles L. Kramer's bibliography:

'Concerned with an apparent waning interest in traditional Obedience, resulting in large part, from the meteoric rise in the popularity of Agility, Bud conceived the basic concept of Rally Obedience and published the first article outlining the basis of the Rally concept in the February 2000 issue of Front and Finish. It was hoped that Rally would be attractive to those new to the sport of dogs and encourage an interest in obedience training by providing an alternative venue in the field of competitive obedience.' In August 2000, Bob Self presented the format of Rally Style Obedience to the American Kennel Club Obedience Advisory Committee.'

So, yes, that's what it was founded on, as a beginner's sport/step up.

Nobody can help that other organizations have since adopted it as THE actual sporting goal.

I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 10:37am PST 
Guest, what I get from that excerpt is that rally was created as an alternative to competitive OB, not simply as a stepping stone.

My understanding anyways, is that titles from different rally organizations are viewed differently.
Among the group that I train with, a CARO rally title holds more value than a CKC rally title as the two organizations have differing criteria.

we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 11:30am PST 
APDT founded Rally and started it in 2001. AKC adopted it in 2005. So you may judge what Rally is based on the AKC version (which is what the last several versions of that book have addressed), but the fact remains that the APDT was holding sanctioned trials 4 years before it was adopted by the AKC and, since they have never had any other sports (and no longer hold Rally), it could NOT have been conceived as a stepping stone. What the AKC views it as is not material to the reasons it was originally started by the APDT.

Member Since
Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 11:31am PST 
yes and no - to expand on the short excerpt above using words from the author:

"I have been training and showing dogs in this sport [competitive obedience] for almost 40 years. It is where my roots are in this fascinating hobby of dogs. Many in the fancy believe strongly in traditional Obedience; I am one of them. However, I also believe that there is an increasingly large number of people with interests in obedience who are looking for an alternative program. I believe Rally should provide the handler the option of training for precision to develop a basis for entering traditional Obedience..."

"It was my hope that Rally would stimulate a general interest in obedience training and that those with more competitive interests would eventually become involved in traditional Obedience. However, I never thought of Rally simply as a stepping stone to traditional Obedience. Looking back to those first four articles published in Front and Finish during the spring of 1999, I presented some ideas of how the exercises of the Open and Utility classes in traditional Obedience could be performed following the general concepts of Rally. I believe there is a place and a need for Rally as a stand-alone program. After obtaining titles in Rally, some of the more competitive people, without a doubt, will continue on into traditional Obedience."

ETA: AKC formally adopted it as a titled event in 2005. Prior to that it was a non-regular event. The book specific mentions APDT rally as having adopted it from this author..

Edited by author Sat Jan 19, '13 11:32am PST

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