Rally obedience is a recognized Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)sport that has been met with great enthusiasm. It has often been referred to as a combination of traditional obedience and agility. Rally builds great teamwork between you and your dog. It is a great way to introduce yourself and your dog to competition, being in a ring environment, refining training skills, and having a great time together.
The primary objective of Rally is to provide a fast-moving and motivational activity that demonstrates the competency of you and your dog in performing basic obedience exercises not requiring exact precision for success.
In Rally obedience, you and your dog follow a course map that includes a number of different informational signs. You progress through a course with your dog starting with the first sign through to the finish. Throughout a course you and your dog are timed and judged on your ability to perform the exercise indicated by each sign correctly. At each sign you verbally instruct your dog to perform a task(s) such as "sit and stay"; "call to front and finish right"; and "360 about turn"; etc. Rally courses become more challenging for you and your dog as you progress through the different Rally levels of Novice; Intermediate; Advanced; and Excellent. Throughout a Rally course you can talk to, praise and encourage your dog to keep them focussed on the performing the task(s) of each sign.
Both Rally Novice and Rally Intermediate are done with your dog on leash. The Rally Advanced and Excellent levels are done with your dog off leash.
You can download the CKC Rally obedience signs free of charge from the Canadian Kennel Club along with the instructions on how to perform each sign. Many people take advantage of doing this and create a binder of signs by putting the signs and instructions in clear plastic folders. Sample Rally obedience course maps for each Rally level can be sourced on the internet and you can create your own Rally courses in your yard to practice. You can also take Rally obedience lessons with a trainer in your area.
If you plan to compete in Rally obedience you can purchase the Obedience Trial & Rally Obedience Trial Rules & Regulations from the CKC. If you want to observe or enter a Rally obedience competition you can check the events section in Canuck Dogs for a Rally obedience trial in your area. The GRCBC holds an indoor Rally obedience trial in conjunction with their annual Obedience trial every year, normally in March and an outdoor Rally obedience trial in conjunction with the Sporting Dog conformation show every year, normally in July. Volunteering at the annual GRCBC Rally trials is a great way to learn about Rally, Obedience, and/or Conformation and meet other golden owners and their dogs. As a GRCBC member you will receive notifications of all GRCBC events.