Downeast Dog News

Training Your Performance Dog

AKC Junior Rally Showcase
By Carolyn Fuhrer | Oct 27, 2017

The American Kennel Club (AKC), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, has announced the launch of Junior Showcase events meant to promote and increase youth participation in the sports of agility, obedience, and rally.

The Mid Coast Kennel Club of Maine is planning to hold a Junior Rally Showcase at their Obedience/Rally Show on Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, 2018. This show is held at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham, Maine. To be eligible for a Junior Showcase event, the handler must be under 18 years of age the day of the trial. The Junior Showcase is open to all breeds including dogs listed with the AKC Canine Partners. All dogs must be eligible for the classes in which they are entered.

The purpose of a Junior Showcase is to provide a low stress mentoring environment with comradery in a relaxed atmosphere to assist the junior handlers to achieve their goals.

Junior handlers entered in Junior Showcase events will be permitted to have a mentor walk with them during the exhibitor walk through times.

Mid Coast Kennel Club will be offering a Junior Showcase in Rally Novice A and B.

Rally trials are a sport, and all participants should be guided by the principles of good sportsmanship both in and out of the ring.

Rally trials demonstrate the dog has been trained to behave in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs in a manner that will reflect credit on the sport of rally at all times and under all conditions.

All contestants in a class are required to perform the same signs in substantially the same way so that the relative quality of the various performances may be compared and scored. The judge tells the handler to begin, and the dog and handler proceed at a brisk pace through a course, designed by the rally judge, of designated signs. Each of these signs provides instructions regarding the next skill that is to be performed. The dog and handler move continuously throughout the course with the dog under control at the handler’s left side. There is a clear sense of teamwork between the dog and handler both during and between the numbered signs.

Rally provides an excellent introduction to AKC Companion Events for new dogs and handlers and can provide a challenging opportunity for competitors in other events to strengthen their skills. AKC Rally is a companion sport to AKC Obedience. Both require teamwork between dog and handler along with similar performance skills.

In the Rally Novice classes, all signs are judged with the dog on leash. Rally Novice A & B have 10-15 signs (Start and Finish not included) with a minimum of three and a maximum of five stationary exercises.

Mid Coast Kennel Club of Maine holds Rally practice Monday nights at 5:30 at North Star Dog Training School in Somerville. Juniors pay $5.00 per class and adults pay $10 with all proceeds going to the Mid Coast Kennel Club.

Not sure? Come and watch one Monday night!

For more information, e-mail Kathy Duhnoski at, or you can call Kathy at 691-2332.

And to learn more about Rally, go the AKC website at


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