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Rally: Put Your Obedience Skills to the Test

Behavior and Training  •   AKC Pet Insurance  •   Dec 22, 2020

What is AKC Rally?

Rally is a fun sport in which you and your dog navigate a course of 10 to 20 different signs.  There is a clear sense of teamwork between handler and dog.  Judging is not as strict as in traditional obedience, and the handler is able to talk to their dog and give hand signals throughout the course.  It is a great way of training obedience, building confidence, and bonding with your dog.  Rally is a very good starting point for those who are new to canine sports.

Who is Eligible to Compete in Rally? 

All AKC-registered breeds as well as dogs enrolled in the AKC Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) and mixed breeds listed with AKC Canine Partners.  Dogs must be at least 6 months old to compete in rally.

Getting Started in Rally 

It is important that your dog is able to respond to basic obedience cues such as sit, down, come when called, walk on a loose leash, leave it, and stay.  A great place to start this training is to take your dog to an AKC Canine Good Citizen class.

When your dog has the basics down pat, find a training class for rally near you.

Rally Titles

Rally titles range from Novice to Masters.  Novice and Intermediate courses are performed with the dog on a leash.  With Advanced to Masters courses, the dog will be off leash.  Dogs will always heel on the left side of the handler. After Masters, dogs may strive to earn the AKC Rally Championship by competing in the Advanced, Excellent and Masters classes.

Rally Virtual Courses

At this time, rally titles may be earned at the Novice and Intermediate levels through pre-determined courses by videoing and submitting your entries.  This is a great opportunity offered by the AKC for those beginning in rally.  You can view the courses to choose from on the AKC website.  At each level, three courses of your choice are submitted, judged, scored, and passed to earn a title.  You can find all the information you need about Virtual Rally online.

Start Training for Rally Today!

Whether you just want to train your dog or decide to compete, rally is a great way of spending time with your dog and creating a special bond as a team enjoying a dog sport together.  For everything you want to know about AKC Rally, visit: Don't forget, pet insurance is a great way to ensure you and your dog are prepared to compete in dog sports!

Elizabeth Sandling is a dog trainer and a member of the AKC GoodDog! Helpline team. The Helpline provides seven-day-a-week training and behavioral advice to its clients. Professional dog trainers man the line. The service is good for the life of your dog, and there is no limit to calls or questions. For more information:



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