Rally is an AKC dog sport, it is basically an obedience sport, but the ‘commands’ are located at little stations throughout the Rally ring. It is also the sport I stewarded at last November.
There are three Rally divisions, Novice, Advanced and Excellent. It is possible for a dog to title in all three divisions and your dog does NOT have to be a pure-bred in order to compete.
Ribbons are awarded to the top three dogs. The highest score is 100, but the dogs are also timed. In case of two dogs achieving the same score, the time is factored in to determine the winner. Any dog who achieves a score of 70 or better achieves a ‘leg’ once the dog has three ‘legs’ the dog has titled in that particular Rally division.
At an AKC Rally match, there is only one dog in the ring at a time, unless there is an ‘honor’ dog.
In the advanced Rally ring, a ‘Honor Dog’ is expected to lie at the edge of the ring and not move until the dog working the course has finished and the Steward in charge advises it is safe to release the dog. Normally the honor dog, is the dog who was in the ring before the current dog. If a dog is honoring, their score is not complete until the steward advises the scorekeeper that the dog passed or failed. The dog working the course is ‘scored’ based upon their performance in the ring.
Stewarding an advanced AKC Rally match is one of the more difficult rings to run, especially if there is an honor dog. Not only are the Stewards required to insure all jumps are the correct height for each dog, the Stewards are also responsible for making sure each competitor is up and ready to go when their number is called.
When I Stewarded there were three of us. Besides the official scorekeeper, there was my friend Ann who made sure competitors were up and ready to go, and held their leash while they were in the ring. I ran the stop watch and monitored the Honor Dog. In between dogs we had to check that the jumps were the correct height and in some instances we had to make adjustments.
I can tell you it was a lot of work, and you see some crazy people with their dogs.
I like the idea of the Rally and have actually considered working Delilah toward a title.
If you would like to learn more about Rally, you can check out the AKC link here.
Hubby and I have been on vacation all week. Even though I’ve been walking the dogs every morning I couldn’t help but perk my ears up when Sara mentioned she was going to have a drop-in Rally class on Thursday evening.
Normally on a night that Delilah and I have training class I
force gently encourage Hubby to take Sampson for a walk. Thursday night I asked if he and Sampson would like to check out the Rally Class.
Sampson doesn’t really care for obedience or agility classes but I think it’s good to keep him on his ‘game.’ Of course Hubby didn’t want a little baggy full of treats, so someone kept going right back to mommy when he was done.
There was eight dogs in the class, Sara had one person start at station one, then once they were at station three, the next person started. In this manner we got all dogs thru fairly quickly. After two runs thru, Sara changed the course.
Sampson kept looking over to me as if to say, please help me mom, you know I don’t like these classes.
I want to say we did about four different courses, it was a nice way to work on our obedience without being in a traditional classroom setting.
After class was over, Sara cut Sampson and Delilah’s nails.
Both Sampson and Delilah are so laid back when they get their nails clipped that Hubby joked, take it easy Sampson don’t get so stressed out.
Have you ever tried a competitive sport with your dog? Would you?