Downeast Dog News
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Big News About Rally Obedience

Agility, Obedience, Tracking
By Carolyn Fuhrer | May 01, 2017

Since its introduction in 2005, Rally has grown in popularity. Rally is a course set up consisting of signs indicating skills in a numerical order which the dog and handler must perform.

You are allowed to talk to your dog and praise your dog throughout the entire course. There are currently three levels – Novice, which is performed on leash; Advanced and Excellent (which are off leash). Each class contains progressively more difficult obedience skills, and the advanced and excellent classes require the dog to jump. You can earn a title in each class: Rally Novice, RN; Rally Advanced, RA; Rally Excellent, RE. There is an RAE title that can be earned by passing an advanced and excellent course on the same day on 10 different days.

Beginning in November, 2017, there will be two new classes introduced as well as a rally championship title, or RACH (sounds like rock).

The Rally Intermediate class (RI) has been created to provide another on-leash class that requires advanced skills, which will help teams prepare for the off leash performance required in the advanced class. This class will mirror the advanced class but will not contain a jump. After you have completed a Rally Novice title, you may choose to enter Rally Intermediate or Rally Advanced. A Rally Intermediate (RI) title is not required to go into Rally Advanced.

There will also be a new master class and associated title RM with 22 NEW exercises, some of which are very challenging.

Several new exercises have been added to the existing Rally classes, and handlers should be aware of these as they may be included in classes after November 1. Novice has 6 new signs, and Advanced and Excellent class each have 5 new signs. The wording on some of the signs has also changed.

To earn a RACH – Rally Championship title – teams are required to earn 20 triple qualifying scores: qualifying in the Advanced B, Excellent B and Master classes at the same trial at 20 separate events, plus earn 300 RACH points from the Excellent B and Master classes. Points are determined by a dog’s score. For example: a 91-96 would earn 1 point; a 97 would earn 2 points; 98 would earn 3 points; 99 would earn 4 points and a score of 100 would earn 5 points.

There will be much to learn to be successful in Rally after November 1. If you are looking for help, check out Mid Coast Kennel Club of Maine and North Star Dog Training School. They will be working together to present a series of Spring and Summer workshops to prepare handlers and dogs for all the new skills that will be required to enjoy showing in Rally Obedience with your dog.

Carolyn Fuhrer has earned over 90 AKC titles with her Golden Retrievers, including 2 Champion Tracker titles. Carolyn is the owner of North Star Dog Training School in Somerville, Maine. She has been teaching people to understand their dogs for over 25 years. You can contact her with questions, suggestions and ideas for her column by e-mailing carolyn@dogsatnorthstar.com