Unlike regular obedience, instead of waiting for the judge's orders, the competitors proceed around a course of designated stations with the dog in heel position. The course consists of 10 to 20 signs that instruct the team what to do. Unlike traditional obedience, handlers are allowed to encourage their dogs during the course.
Rally-O is a great dog sport that can be enjoyed by dogs (and people!) of any age and ability. The dog and their handler are required to perform a different exercise every few metres. Exercises include combinations of turns, presents, finishes, changes of position, heeling around cones, halts, stays and jumps. Even though Rally-O has evolved from Competitive Obedience, it does not require the same level of precision as Obedience. The main goal in Rally-O is to gain a score of at least 90% and so earn a qualifying certificate, Once you have enough qualifying certificates, your dog can gain a New Zealand Kennel Club Rally-O title. There are several levels of title to work towards, each level more challenging than the one before, with longer courses, more difficult exercises and stricter criteria for success. Rally-O is fun and exciting!
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