Rally is a difficult sport to explain – it’s probably best described as a combination of agility and traditional obedience. A handler and dog heel through a course that is marked a with a sign at each station. Each sign asks for some kind of obedience exercise – from as simple as a turn to as complex as jumps, ignoring food distractions, or heeling backwards.
This biggest draw of rally is that the handler can talk to the dog throughout the course and can use multiple commands and hand signals. In the lower levels of Rally, the handler can also pat their leg or clap their hands to motivate the dog to perform. This makes it a fun experience for both the dog and handler.
If you’ve never competed with your dog, Rally is a great place to start! It’s less pressure than other sports and a lot of fun. The great thing about Rally is that any dog with basic obedience training (sit, down, basic heeling) can easily prepare to try Rally at the novice level. There are more challenges at the higher levels, but Rally is something that is easy to get involved in and fun for everyone!