Rally-Obedience (also known as Rally or Rally-O) is a dog sport based on obedience. Unlike traditional obedience, handlers follow a series of written instructions on the field rather than take direction from a judge. Once the clock starts, the judge simply grades the performance as the handler proceeds around a course of designated stations with the dog in heel position, attempting to achieve the best time possible. The Rally Advanced course consists of 12 to 20 stations where something akin to road signs instruct the handler what to do at each station. Unlike traditional obedience, handlers may encourage and praise their dogs on the field. There is much more lattitude in terms of performance precision; speed is more important.
Rally-Obedience is a challenging, yet, fun and informal sport that combines many practical obedience exercises in random combinations. It requires a brisk pace, positive attitude and happy demeanor. Dogs who find traditional obedience boring often thrive in the fast paced sport of Rally-Obedience. In fact, handlers often face scoring deductions more often than dogs. Reading signposts, and executing commands under the stopwatch can lead to some comical human errors.
By and large, most handlers, even newbies, find Rally-O fun and easy. Trying Rally-O before taking on the formality and precsision of traditional obedience can be a good strategy.
The CKC’s Rally-O Advanced and Rally-O Excellent trials are performed off lead, using 12-20 of a few dozen possible exercises.