Obedience & Rally

OBEDIENCE & RALLY2018-08-13T17:43:00+00:00

Annual Meeting and Potluck/Bucket Raffle 

December 2 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

December 2, 2018 General Membership Annual Meeting and Potluck/Bucket Raffle  [...]

Obedience

Obedience training may just be the best gift you can give yourself, your family, and your pet. It teaches your dog appropriate social behavior with both people and animals; helps correct annoying behaviors like jumping, digging, barking, and chewing; and keeps your dog entertained and happy. A win-win all around!

When to Start Training

The sooner, the better! It’s easier to train a puppy how to act properly than it is to retrain an adult dog who may have already established less-than-ideal behaviors. Still, it’s never too late to train your dog—it just may take a little longer before he adopts new behaviors. Much like people, every dog is different. Some are hyperactive. Some are laid-back. Some are serious. Others are silly. Some are shy, and yet others have too much confidence. Regardless of these differences, training is necessary for all dogs and beneficial to your entire family.

Take a Class and Practice at Home

Taking a class at your local AKC club is the best way to train your dog in obedience. But that’s really just a stepping stone because you can’t rely on classes alone: you have to practice at home as well, and your instructor will tell you how often and how long practices should be. While it’s important to practice regularly and frequently, sessions should be short and interspersed with playtime and rewards.

All dogs—purebred and mix breeds—are welcome to participate in AKC obedience training classes. Classes are taught by experienced trainers who have won obedience competitions with their own dogs. They know the latest training techniques, are familiar with training all breeds of dogs, and oftentimes can help solve behavior problems.

Your local club will usually offer three types:

  • Puppy class, designed for dogs 3-5 months old. Young pups will learn basic household commands and how to socialize with people and other puppies. You’ll learn about nutrition, grooming, housebreaking, and troubleshooting common problems.
  • Basic class, for dogs 5 months and older. You’ll learn essential training commands to keep your dog safe, such as heel, sit, stand, down, stay, and come. Instructors will also teach you about proper nutrition, grooming, and solutions to common problems.
  • Companion events classes, which prepares you and your dog for competition in obedience and other AKC events like rally, agility and tracking. You’ll learn about the various levels of competition and titles available, how to teach your dog the required exercises, and will help you to learn the regulations for competing.

Additionally, Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Class may be a separate class or a part of a beginner class at AKC clubs and other organizations. CGC is a certification program that is designed to reward dogs that have good manners at home and in the community. Your dog will need to know the commands and exercises taught in a basic training class to qualify for a passing score on the CGC test. Dogs that pass the CGC test receive a certificate from the AKC and are recorded in the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Archive. Get more information about CGC.

Go Further! Consider Competing

For many dog owners, obedience classes are their own reward. But for others, the experience of obedience training inspires a desire to continue onto the competitive level. If that’s you, there are two types of AKC Obedience competitions (“trials”) to explore:

  • All-breed Obedience trials: The most common types of trials, these offer competitions for the 195 breeds and varieties of dogs recognized by the AKC; also eligible are Foundation Service Stock breeds. Mixed breed dogs are also eligible, but they must be spayed or neutered in order to compete.
  • Specialty trials: These competitions are restricted to dogs of a specific breed or to varieties of one breed. But under certain circumstances, specialty clubs can be allowed to hold trials with all-breeds and mixed breeds alike.
  • You may also want to explore Rally trials, which are similar to Obedience trials, but rally is a fun way to show how your dog can complete exercises all while you are able to communicate with them throughout the performance.

To compete, your dog must be:

  • At least 6 months of age.
  • Physically sound.
  • Have an AKC number via one of the following:
    • AKC Registration as one of the 175 recognized breeds.
    • AKC Canine Partners, which is for mixed-breed dogs and dogs ineligible for AKC registration.
    • Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) program, which is for purebred dogs that cannot be fully registered with the AKC to participate in AKC events.
    • Foundation Stock Service®(FSS), which is for recorded breeds on the road to full AKC recognition.
  • Spayed females and neutered males are eligible to participate but females in season are not.
  • Dogs that are deaf or blind are not eligible to participate.
  • No dog can compete if it is taped or bandaged or in any way has anything attached to it for medical purposes.

No matter how far you go, Obedience is arguably the most valuable training you can do with your dog. It will provide life-long skills, and each time he does something you ask him to do, you will burst with pride (and your family will be super impressed!)


Rally

Know the Basics

AKC Rally® is all about teamwork. You and your dog navigate a course together, side-by-side, at your own brisk pace. You move him through a course with signs where he performs different exercises. The courses are designed by the Rally judge (10-20 signs per course, depending on the class level) that include various turns and commands such as sit, down, stay, etc.

Unlimited communication from the handler to the dog is to be encouraged and not penalized. While touching isn’t allowed, you can use verbal commands, clap your hands, pat your legs and use hand signals to praise and encourage your dog.

Scoring in Rally is less rigorous than in other competitions like traditional obedience or agility. You begin with a perfect score of 100, with points deducted along with way. If you retain a score of at least 70 points, you will qualify toward earning a title. As you qualify the required number of times, you will move onto the next level.

Where to Begin
If you haven’t yet seen AKC Rally in person, we encourage you to do so to become familiar with ring procedures. You’ll see first-hand how much fun it is – and you’ll be able to ask questions of owners who are experienced in AKC Rally events.

Take a Class

As it is with any sport, we highly recommend getting involved with your local AKC Club and taking a class. Prospective students are usually welcome to observe a class before signing up for a training course. When you attend a class with your dog, instructors will show you how to train your dog and will expect you to practice at home. The younger the dog, the shorter the practice sessions should be. For the best results, both you and your dog should enjoy frequent short sessions, combined with some play and rewards.

There are five levels of Classes in AKC Rally:

Novice is for those just getting started:

  • All exercises are performed with your dog on leash.
  • There are 10-15 signs.
  • Exercises vary from turning 360 degrees to changing paces during the course.
  • You may talk, clap your hands and/or pat your legs to encourage your dog.
  • To earn a title it takes three qualifying scores. Intermediate or Advanced is the second level with more challenging exercises:
    • After Novice, handlers may choose which class they are ready to participate in, either the Intermediate or Advanced level.
    • All exercises are performed on-leash in the Intermediate level and there is no jump required.
    • All exercises are performed off-leash in the Advanced level and there is one jump required.
    • There are 12-17 signs.
    •  To earn a title it takes three qualifying scores.

    Excellent is the next level of competition. The course is similar to the Advanced level (above), but with some more challenging exercises.

    • All exercises are performed off-leash.
    • Handlers are not allowed to pat their legs or clap their hands to encourage the dog.
    • Dogs must jump twice.
    • There are 15-20 signs.
    • To earn a title it takes three qualifying scores.

    Master is the highest level of competition. The course is similar to the Excellent level (above), but with some more challenging exercises.

    • All exercises are performed off-leash.
    • Handlers are not allowed to pat their legs or clap their hands to encourage the dog.
    • Dogs must jump twice.
    • There are 15-20 signs.
    • To earn a title it takes ten qualifying scores.

Enter a Rally trial

You’ve both worked so hard and it’s time for your first trial (“competition”). The official announcement of a club’s event is called a “premium list.” It contains all relevant information regarding the trial, including date, location, classes offered, and judges — as well as an entry form.

To enter a rally trial, the owner of the dog must submit an official AKC entry form, which can be found in the premium list or on the AKC website. The entry form should be sent to the trial secretary or superintendent of the trial listed in the premium list. You may find rally trials using the AKC Event Search on the website. After the entries have closed, a program showing the schedule for the judging of each class will be mailed to you along with all relevant information about the trial.

To be eligible to compete, your dog must be:

  • 6 months of age or older
  • Have an AKC number
  • Spayed females and neutered males are eligible to participate but females in season are not.
  • Dogs that are deaf are allowed to participate, but dogs that are blind are not eligible.
  • No dog can compete if it is taped or bandaged or in any way has anything attached to it for medical purposes.