Rally Notes

Week1 – Novice Turns

7/4/09 – ORKC Intro to Rally class (all levels) 

Took Pax & Smoke (Brady X Hannah 08) and Wyatt & Leo, who is available! (Amak & Tori 08) to class this morning. Up at 5:30, move dogs around, load up the truck — and I do mean LOAD with 4 wire crates and 4 young turks, all of them very aware of their manliness lately…

Week1, Intro to Rally, all levels

Rally is about following the signs. The judge will say, Malamute 34 in the ring, please. You enter the ring, sit or stand your dog. The judge says, Are you ready? You answer yea or nea, and the judge says, Forward. After that, it’s up to you to:

1) count from 1-19 
2) read the sign which tells you what to do and also has a picture showing you what to do
3) get the dog to do the sign

That’s all it is for scoring in Rally competitions. You start with 100 points and work down from there. Anything over 70 is a green ribbon and a leg, three legs and you have a title. Simple, right?

This week we learned ring procedures and Novice TURNS, 90 degrees, 180 degrees, 270 degrees, and 360s.

Ring procedures include bringing the rule book to every class and every trail. Bring a crate and water for your dog. Bring the leash and collar you intend competing with so you get used to it. Bring yummy treats which I will help you give the dog at the right time. Ring procedures include walk-thrus, warm-ups, entering the ring, the start sign, the finish sign, and leaving the ring. These are things you should PRACTICE every single time you work rally, because you can screw up an other wise nice day at a show by entering the ring before the judge invites you (in agility you’re SUPPOSED to be in the ring and ready, in rally, you get a lot of points off for pulling a stunt like that because the rally ring is the JUDGES’ HOUSE, and you wait to be INVITED into the ring.)

Novice turns include left and right, sounds simple, until you realize these signs are a change of direction sign and should be performed IN FRONT OF the sign, as opposed to most signs which are to the left of the sign. We work on footwork, leash cues, treating at the right time, and heeling into and out of the sign. Same with the 180 degree turns, which are called ABOUTS, then the 270 degree turns. Finally the 360 degree turns, which are NOT a change of direction sign and therefore are performed with the sign on your RIGHT and in front of you.

Then I laid out a course using all those signs with 10-40 feet of HEELING between signs. Because rally classes don’t usually teach heeling and that is the most common point off because the dog is being DRUG around the ring — bad owner.

I worked all 4 boys from 7-8a until class started. Used them one at a time as demo dogs, and then in hour2, I ran the course with each of them again. Left at 10:30 and just got home.

They LOVE rally…. <G> And I love TEACHING rally.

Week1 Novice Turns, Signs & Map

Station Sign# Sign
  1 Start
1 11 360 Right Turn
2 8 Left Turn
3 9 270 Right Turn
4 7 About Turn – Right
5 12 360 Left Turn
6 5 Right Turn
7 10 270 Left Turn
8 29 Left About Turn
9 8 About “U” Turn
10 2 Finish

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