Friday, July 6, 2012


Rally was introduced as a companion sport to AKC Obedience, but it has also become a link between Canine Good Citizen and Obedience and competition Agility.

The main objective of rally is to produce dogs that have been trained to behave in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs.

The Rally judge designs the course that has 10 – 20 stations. Each station has a sign providing instructions for the next station (exercise).

Unlimited communication from the handler to the dog is encouraged. Handlers are permitted to talk, praise, clap their hands, pat their legs, or use any verbal means of encouragement. Rally offers the handler and the dog an experience that is fun and energizing.

What is Rally?

AKC Rally® is a companion sport to AKC Obedience. Both require teamwork between dog and handler along with similar performance skills.

Rally provides an excellent introduction to AKC Companion Events for new dogs and handlers and can provide a challenging opportunity for competitors in other events to strengthen their skills. The canine team moves at their own pace, very similar to rally-style auto racing.

Rally was designed with the traditional pet owner in mind, but it can still be very challenging for those who enjoy higher levels of competition. A rally course includes 10 to 20 stations, depending on the level. Scoring is not as rigorous as traditional obedience. Communication between handler and dog is encouraged and perfect heel position is not required, but there should be a sense of teamwork between the dog and handler.

Levels of Rally Competition

There are three levels of competition in AKC 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, pat their legs, and talk to their dogs 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 a heel position.

Excellent – this third and highest level of AKC Rally is the most challenging.

• Exercises are performed off-leash except for the honor exercise.
• There is a requirement of 15 to 20 stations, with no more than 7 stationary exercises.
• Handlers are only allowed to encourage their dogs verbally. Physical encouragement is not allowed at this level.
• The Excellent-level exercises include backing up three steps, while the dog stays in the heel position and a moving stand, while the handler walks around the dog.

Qualifying Performance

A qualifying performance indicates that the dog has performed the required exercises according to the AKC Rally Regulations. Each performance is timed, but times are only counted if two dogs earn the same score. All dogs and handlers begin with a perfect 100. A dog and handler team is awarded a qualifying score if it retains at least 70 points after the course has been completed.

Interested In Rally?

Contact the Hoosier Rottweiler Club for more information: