Prerequisite: Sub-Novice obedience at LRDTC.
Rally is a sport in which the dog and handler complete a numbered course of signs naming obedience moves or exercises to be performed. Handlers are encouraged to communicate with their dog throughout the course; multiple verbal commands and signals are permitted. Each course in competition is designed by that day’s judge. It is timed and judged but is less strict than regular obedience competition. The pace is brisk but smooth; heeling between exercises is scored. Teamwork is the name of the game.
Rally Novice is the initial preparation for competition in the sport of Rally. The Novice-level signs are introduced. Exercises include:
- fronts, finishes, position changes
- changes of pace while heeling; turns (left, right, abouts, 270s, 360s)
- pauses, some with handler moving around the dog
- spirals, serpentines, Figure 8
Students practice each sign exercise and are taught the rules of competition. After learning all of the Novice signs, students begin to practice courses in preparation for competition. This class is not mastered necessarily in one session; it is not unusual to take one or more additional class sessions for novice dogs and handlers to get ready for the Rally Advanced class. Successful mastery of this class should lead to earning the Rally Novice (RN) title at AKC Rally trials.