I have picked up a new doggie sport and I have to brag. It is called Rally. I am pretty good at it when I pay attention. What do you say? … that a westie can’t pay attention? … ok, it doesn’t come naturally, but I try … most of the time. But seriously, Rally is a great sport for you to hang out with your family and learn at the same time.
Rally is similar to AKC Obedience but more laid back and a good way to get your paws wet in the competitive obedience world. First, you have to have a team. A team is made up of a dog and their handler. In my case my handler is my Mom. The rally course has ten to twenty stations that are numbered and you and your handler move from station to station and do what the sign say to do. For example, one may tell Mom to tell me to lay down and walk around me while I stay. Another sign may tell Mom to weave me between three cones all while staying by her side (heel).
I am currently in the novice level. That means I do all the commands while on leash, and there are ten to fifteen stations. There are other levels such as advanced or excellent, but Mom says I have to be better behaved if she is going to let me off leash to try those!
I think my classes are really fun and I get a lot of treats for listening to Mom. I have done my training at the Evansville Obedience Club and the River City Owensboro Kennel Club. I have to admit though, I think most of the classes are to “train” the humans on what the signs mean and what they need to tell us to do. Mom even has flip cards to study all the signs. Don’t tell Mom I told you this, but she still messes up and tells me to do the wrong command from time to time. Sometimes I play along until she figures out on her own that she messed up while other times I just bark at her and tell her to read the sign again!
To get a title you have to compete three times and get a 70 out of 100 passing score on the course. The title I will be going after is Rally Novice (RN). Then, my official AKC title could be Sir Preston Peabody, CGC, RN. Ok, I don’t officially have the CGC title yet (Canine Good citizen). I passed the test a couple of years ago and have all my paperwork in. It is now a recognized title that will be official on January 1st. Meanwhile, I’m practicing signing my new name … hehehe.
I’ll let you know when I do my first competition and keep you updated on my progress to the Rally Novice title!
To learn more about this fun sport, go to : http://classic.akc.org/events/rally/index.cfm