AKC Rally is a sport in which the dog and handler complete a course that has been designed by the Rally judge. The dog and handler proceed at their own pace through a course of designated stations (10 - 20, depending on the level). Each of these stations has a sign providing instructions regarding the next skill that is to be performed. The Rally Novice and Advanced levels provide an excellent way to prepare to earn a Companion Dog (CD) title. Communication between handler and dog is encouraged and perfect heel position is not required; however, there should be a sense of teamwork between the dog and handler.
AKC Rally allows mixed breed dogs,
Levels of Competition
There are currently three levels of competition in Rally: Novice - this is the first level for those just getting started in competition.
All exercises are performed with the dog on leash.
There is a requirement of 10-15 stations to complete with no more than five stationary exercises.
The exercises performed vary from turning 360 degrees to changing paces during the course.
Exhibitors at this level may clap their hands and pat their legs through the course.
Advanced - this is the second level, which includes more difficult exercises throughout the course.
All exercises are performed off-leash.
There is a requirement of 12-17 stations with no more than seven stationary exercises.
Exercises include a jump as well as calling your dog to the front of you instead of to the heel position.
Excellent - this third and highest level of Rally is the most challenging.
Exercises are performed off-leash except for the honor exercise.
There is a requirement of 15-20 stations, with no more than 7 stationary exercises.
Handlers are only allowed to encourage their dogs verbally. Physical encouragement is not allowed.
The Excellent-level exercises include backing up three steps while the dog stays in the heel position and a moving stand.
Exciting New Levels and New Signs Coming in Late 2017
The AKC has announced new levels to be achieved in Rally:
A Rally Intermediate level for those who have achieved the Novice level but are not ready to work off leash in the Advanced level. This level is optional and does not include jumps, but all other Novice and Advanced signs.
A New Rally Master class has also been added along with a Rally Champion Title.
New, interesting signs will also be implemented at trials starting in November, 2017
Interested in Rally?
Any club member can particpate in the weekly Rally classes. Still not sure if Rally is for you? Feel free to stop in and just check it out.
Please see The Barker for the latest class schedule and instructors.