Rally obedience is a performance event sponsored by the American Kennel Club for which a dog can earn a title. Rally obedience is a cross between obedience and agility competition and is a great way to get your dog started on both. Rally O consists of a ring with various stations set up by a judge; at each station is a sign that denotes the exercise to be completed. The dog and their handler must complete the assigned task before moving on to the next station in a specific order.
As in obedience there are several levels of competition in rally obedience. The first title that can be acquired is the RN, rally novice title, which is set up much like novice obedience. As in obedience there is novice A title for handlers and dogs that have never earned a title in rally or obedience and a novice B title for those handlers and or dogs that have gotten titles in either rally or obedience at one time or another.
In the novice classes only the first 31 signs listed on the AKA website may be used. They can be in any order the judge decides and there can be as many as 15 different stations, or signs, in the ring at one time.
The second stage is advanced rally and the third stage is rally excellent. Once past novice the competition is done completely off leash. As the dog advances through its titles the ring patterns becomes more difficult and signs from 1-50 may be used in the layout. Jumps are used in the more advanced rally rings, and more complex tasks are required as well.
In novice rally you are to encourage your dog as much as possible by talking to them, patting your leg, and telling the animal what a good dog they are. This makes rally competition a lot of fun for both you and the dog and is a good way to prepare for the obedience ring and for agility. You can obtain the information about rally obedience competition by going to the American Kennel Club website. The rule book and signs are there so you can download them and get all the information you need.