Australian Shepherds in Rally Obedience:
Rally is a popular sport in the USA where it is known as Rally-O and is growing rapidly here in the UK. It involves dog and handler having to navigate an "obedience obstacle course" of numbered signs, performing the exercises displayed on the sign. The sport combines elements from the well established fields of agility and obedience.
There is are 2 types of rally in the UK; Talking Dogs Rally and KC Rules Rally.
Until recently the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) had overseen the sports growth and development, but recognising that it was attracting larger and larger numbers of participants, the APDT handed over responsibility for Rally's governance and future development to the Kennel Club. As NASA is a KC registered club this is the one we will be focusing on in this brief description. However Talking Dogs Rally also run Rally Trials across the country (see the link below for TD Rally rules).
Some of the simple exercises in Rally are
The course is walked by the handlers before judging begins. Unlike Obedience there is no Steward. The handler reads the signs and performs the task with the dog then moves onto the next numbered sign. The course should be undertaken at a brisk walk without pause. The handler is permitted to talk and praise the dog whilst working but must not issue extra commands. Levels 1 & 2 are both on a loose lead, higher levels are off lead.
Each team of dog and handler start with a score of 200 and the judge will deduct points for any mistakes. To move up to the next level you need to have a qualifying score of 170 or over and need 3 qualifiers under 3 different judges.
For a more detailed look at Rally check out the links below: