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to Rally Obedience
Rally Obedience (or Rally O for short) is a new
titling sport in Australia from January 2012. Rally O was first
conceived in the USA in 1999 and became official there in 2005.
It has since gone from strength to strength and there are now
many countries around the world involved in this sport.
While Rally O is its
own sport, it has its roots in Obedience and will remain hand in hand with
Obedience in Queensland. The same basic skills are required so the
two sports will work well together. Hopefully
the less formal atmosphere of Rally Obedience will appeal to more people
and encourage them to get into competition and then go onto competing in
other dog sport events.
But not only the
Obedience people should find Rally O interesting.
Agility handlers will be familiar with the concept of following a
course with no guidance from the judge, and DWD teams have trained for
manoeuvrability and positioning which will also help in Rally O.
The judging in
Rally Obedience isn't “easier” than in traditional obedience!
But other aspects of Rally O make it more competitor friendly.
encouraged to talk to their dogs through the run, they are allowed to tell
dogs to sit and stay etc where they wouldn't be allowed in Obedience, they
are allowed to Retry stations if they goof (2 retries per course), and the
Novice level is all on lead. A Rally O run out is also only
about 3 minutes whereas an Obedience heeling program can be longer than
While there are
concessions allowed in Rally O eg perfect heel position isn’t required,
multiple commands are allowed etc, the dog that performs its run out
without these extras will score better than a dog that needs a little more
help. But even if a team does a station incorrectly they should still be
able to earn a qualifying score.
As of the first Rules
Review effective 1st January 2016, there are now 4 levels of competition
in Rally Obedience. Novice Class is all on lead and
consists of between 10 and 15 stations. Advanced has between
12 and 17 stations with one jump and is judged off lead.
Excellent is also off lead with between 15 and 20 stations and 2 jumps.
Once you’ve earned your Rally Excellent title you can then shoot
for your RAE where you have to qualify five times in both Advanced and
Excellent in the same trial. The
new level is Masters which is 18 to 24 stations, all off lead and no
Rally O moves a lot
faster than traditional Obedience so dogs (and handlers) who get bored
easily will always be moving and thinking in Rally O. Plus with up to 59
stations to choose from, no two courses will ever be the same. There are
lots of new exercises to learn and the big bonus is that Rally Obedience
is lower impact than Obedience and Agility so dogs can stay competing for
longer or can come out of retirement and back into competition again.
As expected Rally O is
hugely popular so don’t miss out. Talk
to your local Obedience club to find out more about Rally training.
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