Rally Trails for Dogs

Rally obedience is an exciting event in which the dog enters a ring with the handler and performs obedience exercises from any obedience class by running a course designed by the judge that day.  It is a lot like a cross between agility and obedience in that aspect.  The American Kennel Club holds rally obedience trials.

Rally Novice courses are run on lead.  The course must have between ten and fifteen stations, not counting the start and finish.  At least three of the stations and no more than five of them must be stationary exercises. Novice A is for handlers who have never gotten a Rally or Obedience trial, Novice B is for all other handlers.  A dog earns a Rally Novice (RN) title by passing three times in Rally Novice class.

Rally Advanced is the next class.  It is run off lead.  The course must have between 12 to 17 stations (Start and Finish not included) with a minimum of three and a maximum of seven stationary exercises. Courses shall have a minimum of three Advanced level stations plus one required jump per class.  Dogs in Rally Advanced A do not have advanced titles, dogs in Rally Advanced B do.  A dog must pass three times to get his Rally Advanced (RA) title.

The Rally Excellent is the next class.  It is run off lead .  The course must have between 15 to 20 stations (Start, Finish and Call marker not included) with a minimum of three and a maximum of seven stationary exercises. Two jumps must be used for this class. Jumps may be any jump or any combination of the jumps used as standard equipment in AKC Obedience classes (broad jump, high jump or bar jump), except that 4 foot wide jumps may be used in place of 5 foot wide jumps. Various colors and decorations are allowed; however, there must be nothing hanging from the jump. Jumps may not be used consecutively on the course. Courses shall have a minimum of two Advanced level stations and a minimum of three Excellent level stations, plus the two required jumps and the Sit Stay exercise per class.  Rally Excellent A is for dogs without Rally Excellent titles, while Rally Excellent B is for dogs with titles.  A dog must pass three times to get his Rally Excellent (RE) title.

To get the Rally Advanced Excellent (RAE) title, a dog with a RE title must qualify in both Rally Advanced B and Rally Excellent B on the same day ten times.

There is no Rally equivalent of the Obedience Trial Champion title.  There is a yearly Rally Championship and the winner has the right to designate himself Rally Champion of __ year.

Rally is a fun sport for dogs that already know their obedience and are bored with regular obedience trials.  It is also fun for people who enjoy agility but need to learn their obedience exercises first.  Some people go to rally after earning all their obedience titles, but increasingly, people are starting with rally.

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