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Rally?

Discussion in 'Sheltie Training' started by Roberta, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. Roberta

    Roberta Premium Member

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    I am thinking of trying Rally classes for my 8 month old sheltie girl (Maxine) and would like some advice. She has already taken 2 obedience courses and passed her STAR Puppy and Canine Good Citizen tests so she knows her basic commands.

    My goal is to have her qualify as a therapy dog at the local hospital. They are VERY strict about the dogs they accept into the program - so I want to give her the best chance possible to get accepted.

    Her biggest issues now are that she is very shy and is a jumper (at least at home, although she doesn't jump on other people). My dog trainer suggested Rally. There are also agility classes we can take. The trainer set up some of the agility equipment at a few of our obedience classes and Maxine loved jumping the hurdles and running through the tunnels.

    Truthfully, I'm not even sure what Rally is, so I'm looking for advice as to whether I should go with Rally or Agility to help prepare her for the Therapy Dog program. Thanks!
     
  2. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    I did agility years ago before I took up conformation and enjoyed it. A year ago, I was working with an adult (2 year-old) Sheltie girl who was shy and fearful in the show ring and did the same thing you have. I took her through obedience and then decided to try Rally, which I'd never done before. I expected it to be like another level of obedience, but I was wrong. It was a blast, and I loved it! So did my dog, who absolutely shined at it.

    The best description I can give you, having done both, is that Rally is somewhere between Obedience and Agility. You work with your dog on-leash (until the upper levels) which I found is good for dogs who are shy since they still have you on the other end for confidence. You do a series of movements on a planned course ... for example, make a 180 degree turn to the left, or pass the leash and dog behind you until they face front, or give the "down" command and walk around the dog. The entry level commands are not hard, especially for a dog that's done obedience.

    I think Rally is a great confidence builder for puppies, who are too young to do the jumping yet required by agility. If you want more information, Google AKC Rally and you'll find lots. I'd give it a try, and see if you and your girl like it!
     
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  3. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

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    Honestly, I think both would help your pup gain confidence. Both are good for building comraderie and to increase your bond. Rally might relate a bit more to what she’s asked to do in a therapy setting, but agility is likely a bit less formal. Either one sounds like a great ide!
     
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  4. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

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    unlike obedience, you can talk to your dog the whole time in the rally ring. it is very fun and is where I started performance with my older rescue sheltie girl. she wasn't ever going to do agility and never mastered the jumps in the higher levels of rally. I have done rally with all the shelties since and have qualified my boy Cranberry for the Rally National later this year. we also do agility but a lot of what we do in rally has helped with their agility skills and learning how to do things. I would definitely do some form of obedience before agility.
    here are some videos to give you an idea what it's like- Destin Novice B Rally and Cranberry Advanced B Rally
     
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  5. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    Rally is a very fun experience for both you and your dog...you have a number of stations (usually at least 15) and at each one you have to perform a specific task...for example a left turn next sign a figure 8 etc. Many people call it a dance with your dog because as you move with your dog it becomes like a dance as you work together smoothly. Also a great confidence builder as your dog learns. I think it's a great idea!
     
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  6. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

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    Beckon, aka Colonel Underpants, took Rally classes and competed up to Rally Advanced. It really helped build his confidence and ability to focus. I recommend Rally highly -- but we only do classes for fun now because Beckon doesn't like competition.
     
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  7. Roberta

    Roberta Premium Member

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    OK - I just have to ask - where did the nickname "Colonel Underpants" come from?
     
  8. Cara Sandler

    Cara Sandler Forums Enthusiast

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    I started Spirit in Rally because I was desperate to find a way to help her agility ring stress - but it turns out that she ADORES Rally! And it has helped her agility tremendously. I started Skylar in Rally as well and she loves it too. I think it's another wonderful way to bond with your dog and do something fun together.
     
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  9. Cara Sandler

    Cara Sandler Forums Enthusiast

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    That's awesome, congratulations! Spirit missed qualifying for Nationals by 1 point :-( If I had known about Nationals at the time I wouldn't have moved her up, and would have gotten that third score of 93! She got a 92 on her third Q :-(
     
  10. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

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    Qualifying became our goal last year after seeing some of the Rally National competition last March. it definitely helps when you know what the requirements are. that's too bad that it's only 1 point that's keeping you from entering. of course, just because we qualified doesn't mean that we'll get in. they have limits on all the classes so :fl that our entry arrives in a timely fashion.
     
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