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  1. #1
    IdahoLabs's Avatar
    IdahoLabs is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRally questions

    I went ahead and signed up for a couple Rally Novice shows... there's three in September within a 2 hour drive, then nothing nearby until late Oct/Nov and they're much further away. So we're giving it a try now. Pup can heel, down, sit, stay, come, finish both sides as long as I'm allowed to take a step or two. It's not going to be beautiful but we should pass and have fun while we're doing it. LOL. My main concern is that I can't seem to find anyone locally who does rally (imagine that?!) and I'd really like to go through a rally course or two and have someone critique our performance before we step in the ring for the real deal. Doesn't look like that's going to happen though.

    So... talk to me about rally novice. I can talk to my dog while I go through the course, right? if we mess up on a station we have one chance to retry it? Tell me about common errors you've seen handlers do, things I should keep in mind, tips, comments, etc... I've watched some YouTube videos (LOL) of handlers going through Novice and getting near-perfect scores, I know what it's supposed to look like, it's just the tricks of the trade I'd like to know about, so to speak.

    Thanks!
    ~your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on~

    Claire DVM
    Lijah UD GO VER RE CGC TDI ASCA-CD (7/10 UDX, 186/200 OM1 pts, 9/100 OTCH pts + UB/OB wins)
    Zen UD VER GO JH
    Boaz JH CD CGC
    Brie CD CGC
    Tara (future amazingness!)
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  3. #2
    MicksMom is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    ...I can talk to my dog while I go through the course, right?...
    Yes, you can talk all you want, and give multiple commands. I actually chatter (someone at class said I almost sound like I'm singing to Caleb). Just remember not to make it sound harsh.

    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    ...if we mess up on a station we have one chance to retry it?...
    Yes, you're allowed one re-try at each sign. Keep in mind it's a 3 point deduction for each retry.

    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    ...Tell me about common errors you've seen handlers do, things I should keep in mind, tips, comments, etc...
    TIGHT LEASH!! Honestly- it's a point off everytime the slack is out of the leash.

    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    ...I've watched some YouTube videos (LOL) of handlers going through Novice and getting near-perfect scores, I know what it's supposed to look like, it's just the tricks of the trade I'd like to know about, so to speak...
    The best way to avoid a tight leash is to use a 6 foot one. Also, on cone excersise and when you're turning away from your dog (right turns, circle rights, 270 rights, etc), drop your hand to your side so there is more leash. That's assuming when you heel with your hand by your waist like I do. When we do anything to the right, I tell Caleb "Hurry" (in my sing/song way it comes out "Hurry, hurry, hurry") For left circles, etc, it's "Get in", or "In, in, in" I also move my hand closer to my hip and moting back a little with my fingers. On call fronts- don't worry if your dog isn't right at your feet. Our perfect score came with Caleb doing a beautiful front, but sitting about 2 feet in front of me.

    Anytime you halt, make sure the judge sees you pause. I count to 3 (one-onethousand, two-onethousand, three-onethousand). Also do this after walk around excercises. If there is no "stop sign" the dog doeasn't sit at staionary excercises. Example- the stop and down. As you're heeling towards the sign, tell your dog to down. Once he downs, stand up, count to 3, tell him to heel and head to your next sign.

    "Address" signs slightly in front and with them on your right. Exceptions are change of direction signs (right/left turns, 270 left/right, etc). Those are done in front of the sign. Same with the Moving Side Step Right (that one can't be done correctly with the sign on your right). #60 right and lefts are not change of directions, and should be done like the other signs. With change of pace signs, remember to change pace at the sign.


    You can get a copy of the regs from the AKC sight. Rally is included in the Obedinece Regs. I preferr to order them, but you can also download them from the site and print them out. There is a description of each excercise. The parts in bold are the principal parts of the excercise and MUST be preformed. Example, Sign 3 is HALT-Sit. Description says " While heeling the handler halts and the dog sits in heel position. The team then moves foward, with the dog in heel position. So what has to happen is you stop and your dog has to sit in heel position (don't redo it if he isn't perfect. You'll probably only lose 1 point for out of position as opposed to 3 points for a retry).

    That's all I can think of right now. Once you get a look at the regs and signs (they're in the regs, too) it'll help. Really the signs are pretty self explanitory- just follow the arrows on them. LOL

    ETA- the link to Rally info American Kennel Club - AKC Rally®
    Last edited by MicksMom; 08-30-2010 at 12:27 PM.

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    patm's Avatar
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    If you have a "sit and walk around dog" (or any of the "walk-arounds") you must pause after you get back to heel position before you go on. If you forget and just keep walking, you get 10 points off. Easy to do when you're a little nervous I still find the "circles" more difficult than anything - I tend to get lost and head off in the wrong direction - as for the "270s", I tell people to "follow the yellow brick road" If you do get lost and realize it before you do the next (wrong) sign, you can go back and start where you left off - I did this and only got the 3 points off for a re-try (one of those darn circles) Do your walk throughs at the show several times so you are familiar with the ring - act like you have your dog with you and do it exactly as you would with your dog. Good luck! Let us know how it goes. I did Rally without any official training, and although I did buy the signs and lay them out on the ground in a sort of pattern, I never really went through a whole course before entering a show either - and we now have our RAE.

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    IdahoLabs's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input. Patm - that definitely makes me feel more confident about it to hear that you hadn't really been through a course before either. Hopefully our experience goes as well as yours did.

    Micksmom - for the stop/down you mentioned, you make it sound as if it's okay to bend over, give a hand signal, etc? Are hand signals allowed and how much? I've been working on the down to the point that I can just say "down" and Lijah drops. Now we're having some minor issues with him trying to anticipate the drop instead of assuming that he should sit when I stop unless told otherwise... lol. But it's okay, we'll get over that. If he tries to drop and I say "no, sit" before he gets down, will I get points off for that?

    For both of you, so I'm allowed to give multiple commands? so different from obedience. Where does it cross from multiple commands to "retrying" a station?

    How much time I can "hesitate" before moving to the next station? I know it's a timed event, but I assume I have plenty of time, right? In other words, if I get lost and need to take a moment from a sit/stay to figure out where I should go next, LOL, is that okay and how much time can I take?

    This is my Lijah pup in case you're curious...




    ...and no, he's not a Lab. LOL. I'll keep y'all updated, first show is next weekend and then we're showing the 18th and 25th. Any of you JL folks who happen to be hitting those shows in the Denver, CO area feel free to stop by and say hi!
    Last edited by IdahoLabs; 08-30-2010 at 11:13 PM.
    ~your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on~

    Claire DVM
    Lijah UD GO VER RE CGC TDI ASCA-CD (7/10 UDX, 186/200 OM1 pts, 9/100 OTCH pts + UB/OB wins)
    Zen UD VER GO JH
    Boaz JH CD CGC
    Brie CD CGC
    Tara (future amazingness!)
    www.clairedvm.com

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    MicksMom is offline Senior Member
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    Oh, I forgot about the walk thrus- to add to what Pat said- our instructor suggests doing the walk thru at least 3 times. The first time just walk from sign to sign counting as you go. Then go back and start all over again, doing each sign as if you have the dog with you. Do that a couple of times. I like to do it until I can get through the course smoothly. An advantage to doing the first walk through this way is that it will somewhat seperate you from everyone else. Doing it as many times as I do as ended up with me being the last one in the ring, too.

    Keep an eye on the class. Start warming up a couple of dogs before you go it.


    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    ...Micksmom - for the stop/down you mentioned, you make it sound as if it's okay to bend over, give a hand signal, etc? Are hand signals allowed and how much?...
    Yes, hand signals and bending over are allowed. Just don't touch your dog or "pop" the leash down. But don't forget, you can back up and do a retry!


    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    ...If he tries to drop and I say "no, sit" before he gets down, will I get points off for that?...
    I'd try not to say "No", but it's OK to say "Sit". I'm thinking "No" might be considered negative.

    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    ...For both of you, so I'm allowed to give multiple commands? so different from obedience?...
    Yes, multiple commands are allowed. The two hardest things for me to learn in Rally were that it's OK to give multiple commands and to talk to your dog.


    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    ...
    Where does it cross from multiple commands to "retrying" a station?...
    For a retry, you actuall go back a few steps and start the entire station over, right from approaching and addressing the sign. I'm not sure about how many multiple commands area allowed. I don't think there's a set number, but that it's up to each judge. Remember, one of the "requirements" for Rally is that you & your dog work as a team. So I think you'd get points off for lack of team work if you had to repeat a command too often.

    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    ...How much time I can "hesitate" before moving to the next station?...
    I count to three (1, onethousand, 2 onethousand, 3 onethousand) before moving on. Other people say, "Good dog". It gives just enough time to show the judge you paused, but not so much that the judge thinks you've forgotten what to do next.


    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    ...
    I know it's a timed event, but I assume I have plenty of time, right?...
    They only use the time to break a tie score for placement.


    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    ...In other words, if I get lost and need to take a moment from a sit/stay to figure out where I should go next, LOL, is that okay and how much time can I take?...
    The good news is, that in the example you gave, the next sign would be somewhere infront of you. It can get confusing on the cone excercises, but, they tend to aim you in the right direction, especially in Novice. Remember- you'll have a map of the course to look over while you're waiting. AND, I've found it helpful to watch at least some of Novice B and a couple of the other teams that are ahead of me. It helps "cement" the course in my mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    ...This is my Lijah pup in case you're curious...
    He's beautiful! You don't see many solid red Aussies. There was someone close to here who had one awhile ago. I'd never seen one before then.

    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    ...I'll keep y'all updated, first show is next weekend and then we're showing the 18th and 25th...
    Good luck!

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    IdahoLabs's Avatar
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    Thanks Micksmom!

    One of our shows is indoor, two are outdoor... is there anything to keep in mind for indoor shows? When I did obedience all our shows were outdoors.

    So Novice B will show first? hope so. It'd be nice to watch some other teams go through the course first.
    ~your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on~

    Claire DVM
    Lijah UD GO VER RE CGC TDI ASCA-CD (7/10 UDX, 186/200 OM1 pts, 9/100 OTCH pts + UB/OB wins)
    Zen UD VER GO JH
    Boaz JH CD CGC
    Brie CD CGC
    Tara (future amazingness!)
    www.clairedvm.com

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    IdahoLabs's Avatar
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    One other question... tags on a buckle collar okay? I showed Boaz with a choke chain, but Lijah's been fine to train in a leather buckle collar so I figured that's what I'd show in. Do I need to take the tags off or are they okay?
    ~your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on~

    Claire DVM
    Lijah UD GO VER RE CGC TDI ASCA-CD (7/10 UDX, 186/200 OM1 pts, 9/100 OTCH pts + UB/OB wins)
    Zen UD VER GO JH
    Boaz JH CD CGC
    Brie CD CGC
    Tara (future amazingness!)
    www.clairedvm.com

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    MicksMom is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    Thanks Micksmom!

    One of our shows is indoor, two are outdoor... is there anything to keep in mind for indoor shows?...
    You're welcome! The only "advice" I can think of about indoor shows is that they are more crowded, and things sound different. Some trainining centers have mirrors on at least one wall. Sometimes that throws a dog off. Agriculture buildings have different things to think about- echos, exhaust fans, etc. Our problem is with outdoor shows- Caleb's "inner Bloodhound" comes out and he can't keep his nose off the ground! LOL


    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    ...So Novice B will show first? hope so. It'd be nice to watch some other teams go through the course first?...
    It's up to the judge, but usually B goes first. The judging schedule will tell you the order of the classes. Speaking of the schedule, I don't know if they do this with traditional obedience, but "to follow" means the class starts whenever the previous one is done, but not before noon.

    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    One other question... tags on a buckle collar okay? I showed Boaz with a choke chain, but Lijah's been fine to train in a leather buckle collar so I figured that's what I'd show in. Do I need to take the tags off or are they okay?
    The collar is fine, but you will need to take the tags off. I have Caleb's tags on a Tag It. I'm always afraid I'm going forget to take them off before we go in the ring, so, once we get to the show, I take them off and hang them on his leash (I use a different leash in the ring).

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    Belles mom is offline Senior Member
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    Good luck!

    You have gotten some good advice. I do the run thrus as many times as a I can. Even though I have been in the Rally ring well over 100 times (three dogs, with assorted titles) I still fairly recently blew right by a sign in competition. So I try and make the course almost automatic if I can.

    If you have any questions, be sure to ask the judge about how to do a sign...how to approach it etc. That is what they are there for! Are you in Novice A or B?

    I proabbaly sound like an idiot with my dogs in the ring, but I talk to them all the time. Lately, I have been doing regular obedience adn Rally at teh same show, and use the rally as a pick-me up before or after the regular obedience


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    Actually the order of the classes is up to the superintendent. The judges don't know the schedule til we do...
    We had several here where A was before B, but when I did have a conflict w/ obed, etc, they were happy to run me last (when I was in A, after the B's).
    I personally like outdoor shows better since many of our indoor ones are too congested. Good luck! Anne

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