Last week I had the opportunity to  demonstrate World Cynosport (WCRL) Rally Obedience at the 2014 National APDT Conference in Hartford, CT.  Preparing for the demo gave me time to reflect on why I love to train my dogs to play Rally.  At the top of my list is that Rally skills are the everyday skills I use to live comfortably with my dogs.  Walk next to me without pulling on the leash. Turn left and turn right without getting tangling each other. Sit when I stop walking.  Lay down.  Stay here, even if I step away for a bit.

Rally turns life skills into a game.  The game has rules.  It uses signs to designate clearly defined exercises.  It has standards–there is an Ideal for every exercise.  It gives me a way to measure successful performance of sit or down or stay. It gives me a way to make my dogs better companions.

I love Rally because it allows me to train my dog’s life skills under pressure in a safe environment.  In a class or in competition, Rally provides an arena for practicing life skills in situations that are more difficult than training in your kitchen. For example, off-leash heeling in a class or in a competition ring is much safer than trying the same at a dog park or on a multi-use trail.  I want to know those skills are well trained before I try them in potentially life-threatening situations. Rally gives me the chance to train and proof these skills.

I love Rally because it improves a dog’s leash manners.  A goal such as earning a title motivates me to really pay attention to my dog’s behavior on leash.  As with most things in dog training, it is the attention we give that helps solve a problem.

I love Rally because it is inclusive.  Any dog may play.   Exercise’s may be modified to accommodate handlers and/or dogs with disabilities.  There are classes designed for puppies (6 months to 1 year) and grand old dogs (over 8 years.) There are classes for children who want to show the family dog.

I love Rally because of the like-minded dog friends it has brought me.  World Cynosport/APDT Rally competitors support one another.  We love to see improvement in teams–and competitors do improve as they practice.  I cherish the friendships I have made as we train and play Rally together.

Play Video

Click the photo to view video demonstration of Rally

Have you tried Rally yet?  If not, what are you waiting for?  For more information on World Cynosport/APDT Rally: www.rallydogs.com