Created: 25 February 2013
I want to continue obedience training with my dog but I want to find a sport that is fun and challenging. I'd love to do agility, but I don't think I can be that athletic. Any suggestions?
Rally might be the perfect fit for you and your dog. It is a competitive event offered by AKC and the APDT that is based on some challenging obedience work. The team follows a numbered course along which there are a number of signs, each describing an activity that the team must accomplish. It might be that the handler halts and the dog sits at heel, then the hander asks the dog to lie down at heel, then (s)he walks around the dog and back to heel position. Or the team might have to weave through or around a series of cones, with the dog staying in heel position. There are various turns, position changes and pace changes to work through. The handler is allowed to talk to and encourage the dog as they negotiate the course, but you cannot touch the dog or offer rewards (in AKC events) and the leash must stay loose.
There are three levels of competition in Rally: the Novice level is done on-leash and the Advanced and Excellent levels are off leash, both involving more complicated moves and a jump or two added. Three successful, qualifying runs at each level earn the team a rally title.
More information can be found on the AKC and APDT websites: www.akc.org or www.apdt.com.
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