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Rally Obedience ( Rally-O)

The following is a compilations of several documents I've read and placed here:-

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Rally obedience (also known as Rally or Rally-O) is a dog sport based on obedience trialling. It was originally devised by Charles L. "Bud" Kramer from the obedience practice of "doodling" - doing a variety of interesting warm up and freestyle exercises.

Unlike regular obedience, instead of waiting for the judge's orders, the competitors proceed around a course of designated stations with the dog in heel position. The course consists of 10 to 20 signs that instruct the team what to do. Unlike traditional obedience, handlers are allowed to encourage their dogs during the course.

As in agility, courses are designed by the judge and are different in every trial. Exhibitors receive a course map from the judge and can walk the course without their dogs prior to the start of the class. Judges design their courses by choosing from more than four dozen stations that direct handlers and dogs to perform specific exercises.

A sign at each station gives instructions to the dog-handler team, and each team must execute the station's particular task within 0.5 to 1 metre of the sign. Once the judge gives the command "forward," the dog and handler complete the course on their own without further commands from the judge. Handlers may not use treats or toys in the ring, but may do anything else to encourage their dogs at the novice and advanced levels except physically touch them or make corrections with the leash. Encouragement is allowed at the excellent level but handlers cannot pat their legs or clap their hands as they can in novice and advanced classes.

Signs instruct teams to go fast or slow, to halt (dog must sit at heel), to make turns and circles, to reverse direction, to do a sit-stay-recall, or to follow other basic obedience exercises.

There are as many as 47 difference stations which might be seen in a Rally course, primarily variations on basic heel exercises and other Novice Obedience skills. Many of the stations involve activities you are probably familiar with; such as Slow/Normal/Fast Pace Heel, Halt, Left/Right/About Turn, and Finish Right/Left. Others are simple extensions, such as 270 and 360 Right/Left Turns, Straight Figure Eight, and Send over Jumps. A few of the other interesting stations include:
  • Call Front - Forward Left : the handler stops his forward motion and calls the dog to the front position, then moves forward while commanding the dog to move left into heel position falling into step with the handler.
  • Halt - 1, 2, 3 Steps Forward : After a halt, the handler takes one step forward, halts, 2 steps, halts, 3 steps and halts. The dog heels with the handler and sits each time the handler halts.
  • Spiral Right : The handler, with dog in heel, makes a sequence of right turns around a line of 3-4 pylons, with the first two turns around the end pylons and each successive turn on one end getting tighter and tighter.

In Rally-O,  the team starts with 100 points, and the judge deducts points for mistakes, after qualifying three times at each level under three different judges, the dog earns a title, which appears after the dog's registered name. Each qualifying trial earned is known as a "leg."

If two teams achieve the same score, the judge determines the placements according to the time recorded for each team's course completion

There are three levels in  Rally:

  • Novice, the beginner's class. The dog is on leash and there are 10 to 15 stations, the title is RN.
  • Advanced, for dogs who have completed their novice title. Dogs are judged off leash, and the title is RA.
  • Excellent, the highest class, for dogs who have earned their advanced title. 15 to 20 stations, including 2 jumps, are used in this class and the title is RE.

Additionally, there is the Rally Advanced Excellent (RAE) title, in which the team has to qualify in both Advanced and Excellent in 10 trials.

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