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What is Rally Obedience?

Updated: Feb 13

What is Rally Obedience:

Rally Obedience, often referred to as "Rally-O" or "Rally" originated in the 2000's as a more approachable and interactive alternative to traditional Obedience competitions. The main goal of Rally is to demonstrate the dog's ability to perform various obedience exercises while navigating a course with their handler. Rally is a very beginner friendly dog sport. Typically a person attends a weekly class with their dog and then can do some skill-building at home.

Dog Doing Rally Obedience

Courses and Signs:

Unlike traditional Obedience, Rally consists of a series of stations with signs indicating specific exercises. Handlers and their dogs must complete a sign before they move onto the next. Some examples of behaviors a dog might have to do are: sit, down, stays, different kinds of turns, and even jumps. Some of the more advanced signs have you heel backwards, heel in a figure 8 around distractions, and doing some skills at a distance. Each course is between 12-20 signs. As you advance to more difficult levels, heeling through the course will be done off leash. At the beginning levels of rally, you can talk to your dog throughout the course, but as you advance in the levels, cues must be kept to a minimum.

Benefits of Rally Obedience:

  • Rally is a sport that welcomes dogs of all ages, breeds, shapes, and sizes.

  • Rally provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen the bond between dogs and their handlers.

  • Because no Rally course is the same, it keeps both dogs and handlers mentally engaged. It requires quick thinking, problem-solving, and adaptability, providing good mental stimulation to our dogs.

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