Rally obedience
Rally obedience is a dog sport based on obedience
Obedience trial
An obedience trial is a dog sport in which a dog must perfectly execute a predefined set of tasks when directed to do so by his handler. According the American Kennel Club obedience regulations...

. It was originally devised by Charles L. "Bud" Kramer from the obedience practice of "doodling" - doing a variety of interesting warmup 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.

There are currently five sanctioning bodies for Rally-O in the United States: the American Kennel Club
American Kennel Club
The American Kennel Club is a registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States. Beyond maintaining its pedigree registry, this kennel club also promotes and sanctions events for purebred dogs, including the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, an annual event which predates the official...

 (AKC); the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT); and the newly formed Canine Work and Games (C-Wags)and Canines and Humans United (CHU). The United Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
The United Kennel Club is the second oldest all-breed registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States and the second largest in the world. According to the website, the club records 250,000 registrations annually. The UKC is not part of the International Canine Organisation, Fédération...

(UKC) added rally obedience to their program as of January 2009, and the Swedish Working Dog Club (SBK) added it in July 2011.

In AKC Rally, which is open to AKC breeds and mixed breed dogs registered in the AKC Canine Partners program, the team starts with 100 points, and the judge deducts points for mistakes. After qualifying three times under two different judges, the dog earns a title, which appears after the dog's registered name. Each qualifying trial earned is known as a "leg."

There are three levels in AKC 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.

In APDT Rally-O, which is open to any dog and handler, the team starts with 200 points, and the judge deducts points for mistakes and adds bonus points that can be earned for optional exercises. There are three levels and there are additional titles for multiple qualifications at various levels. APDT Rally varies in some respects in the performance of some of the exercises and has some exercises, such as a retrieve, not seen in AKC rally. The most obvious difference between APDT and AKC rally is the ability to reward the dog with food in the ring under specific conditions in APDT rally.

UKC Rally follows a similar pattern as the AKC program. There are three levels of competition, three legs are required for a title, and there is an extended championship title. UKC rally is open to any dog and handler. The exercises in UKC rally vary slightly from the other organizations, mostly involving which exercises are in each level.

C-Wags and CHU are relatively new organizations that appear to be mainly in the Mid-west. It has added variations on rally courses, such as Zoom - which has no stationary signs, and requires 4 legs to title.

APDT also has some trials in Canada, and Canada also has Canadian Association of Rally Obedience (CARO) and Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) Rally. CARO is similar in many respects to both AKC and APDT Rally, with the addition of some agility elements. CKC Rally began in early 2007 and is similar to AKC Rally.

In the UK, Talking Dogs Rally (TD Rally) produced their own version which was launched in January 2010. For greater clarity, all signs have been redesigned and colour-coded: Level 1 = green, Level 2 = blue and Level 3 = yellow. Uniquely, to encourage teams (one dog and one handler) to compete against their own scores rather than against other teams, TD Rally does not designate competitors as first, second or third. Instead, teams gain Good, Outstanding and Ace rosettes for achieving scores over 170, 180 and 190 respectively (all teams start with 200 points.) Teams scoring over 181 points are included in the UK TD Rally National Rankings. As with other versions there are multiple opportunities for teams to win Titles including Puppy and Veteran. TD Rally put great emphasis on training their Judges in order to provide competitors with standardised, objective and fair judging throughout the UK.

External links

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