Rally-O, short for Rally – Obedience, is a relative newcomer to the dog sport world. Unlike traditional competitive obedience and agility, which have been around for many decades, Rally-O has only been officially recognised as a sport here in NZ for a few years.
The best of both worlds
Rally-O is sometimes described as a hybrid between competitive obedience and agility. Handler/dog teams navigate a set course against the clock, as in agility. However, instead of jumping hurdles, racing over equipment or dashing through tunnels, the dog and handler team follow a series of ‘stations’. Each station requires them to demonstrate their mastery of obedience manoeuvres such as ‘fronts’, going to heel, walking at heel through cones, ignoring distractions and sending their dog around objects. It’s a sport that really needs to be seen to be appreciated so please check out the video below:
Why Train Rally-O?
Like all sports, Rally-O builds great handler focus and strengthens the relationship between a handler and their dog. By teaching fun obedience moves, using positive training methods, your dog becomes far more responsive to your requests. They also develop better emotional control and learn a whole set of skills that you never knew could be so useful in every day life.
What’s the difference between ‘Rally-O’ and ‘Obedience’?
Although the moves and exercises in Rally-O are based on those in competitive obedience, the requirements are not as exacting. You will not lose marks if your dog is 5 degrees off dead straight! ‘Heelwork’ means ‘walk/trot next to me, paying attention and relatively close to my left side’ rather than the more stylised requirements of the traditional obedience ring. This means that Rally can be enjoyed by all dogs that are fit enough to do the exercises. If you want to compete you don’t need a certain ‘type’ of dog to do well.
Give it a go!
So, if you are looking for a great way to introduce sports training to your dog, Rally-O is an excellent choice. It’s fun, it’s relaxed and you can ‘dabble’ and still be successful. Why not get in touch and give it a go? Contact me using the form here. I’d love to hear from you!