I never knew such a thing called dog rally existed until this past year. Our dog trainer did a short introduction into what it was at the end of our last class, and had us do a simplified run through, and it's been in the back of my mind ever since. The point of this post is to share with you what I know about rally (which is in the beginning stages) and possibly spark some interest in you, and also to encourage you to share any experience you have with rally yourself. I am very interested in participating in a rally event with my boys, possibly this summer (or whenever they might be ready). I think it looks like a lot of fun and could be very beneficial to both my dogs and myself in a few different ways. If you're unfamiliar as I was, in a nutshell it is a trail you walk with your dog and it has a series of "stops" you make along the way. At each stop there is a command you have to complete with your dog. One might be "sit, down, sit" for example. You would have to learn the commands and how work with your dog to successfully carry them out and each post. One of the biggest reasons it sparked my attention was that unlike agility (which also interests me s great deal) age and size isn't as big a factor in rally as it is in agility. Piper is 9 and Murray is 5 and they both are close to 100 lbs. This could appropriate for both of them to participate in. It's also always good to keep yourself (and your dog) fresh and up to date with your dog obedience training. Rally seems like a great way to do this. In order to participate you would need to keep yourself and your dog practiced in the rally commands. Regular practice and participation seems like great reinforcement. On a side note...I'm a firm believer in positive reinforcement training, as well. I'm lucky Murray thrives on positive attention. He loves a reward treat, but he is also just as happy if he knows I am happy.... Rally also looks like a great way to incorporate some bonding activities with your dog. It would automatically create a mutual working relationship between owner and dog. Investing your time and energy in this way can't help but develop strong ties. I like that it's not just about the human or just about the dog, but the focus is on the team effort. What kind of team would you and your dog make? There are lots of great resources online. The American Kennel Club, in particular, has some great, free information on rally.
Please feel free to comment and share any thoughts or experiences you have with rally. I would like to learn all I can! Thank You!