I've been thinking about enrolling Smokey and myself in a Rally class in the spring.
I am not experienced and really am just wanting to try it because it looks like so much fun, I think Smokey would do well and that it would be good for him (and me).
My question is for those of you that are experienced and serious about it. Do you think it will be ok for us to try it out and have fun or will we be frowned at by people that are there that know more and are super serious about it? I am not very competitive and don't know how far I would take it, might turn out I become addicted, might turn out it isn't for us.
I guess I was put off by a past experience and just don't want to pay for something that I think will be fun and have it spoiled by a few seasoned pros who take it way too seriously and would treat my dog and I like nuissances. (Yes, I am a little sensitive and had a bitter experience with some of the same people who will be part of the group at this class, like teenage girl clique and I was the new girl)
Is it OK for me to just enroll for the experience and to have fun or should I look for something else if I do not know if we will take it further than the class?
If you're worried about the attitude of the others in the class, I'd suggest you talk to the instructor/training facility to see what kind of classes they are. Where we train used to offer pet and competition Rally classes. But, honestly, I wouldn't have a problem with you taking classes just for fun. A good instructor will "nit pick" performances of those who are serious and want to compete, while letting those just doing it for fun slide a little (as far as "perfection" of excercises).
I live in a very rural area ant the classes/instructors are few and far between. This instructor is great, I like her and she welcomed my Smokey to basic obedience with open arms. However some of the other enrollees were less accepting of a young lab pup full of himself and energy to spare with their already well trained herding breeds. It was just snobbish and I felt like I was invading their space. It was, afterall BASIC obedience.
I'm doubting they will be happy to see us at their classes. Granted Smokey was the youngest (only puppy) in the last classes and he was the only lab. He improved each week and I was proud of him.
Honestly if you're happy with the instructor and the instructor is okay with your goals, I wouldn't worry about the others. You're paying the same as they are. I also think the real competitive ones are probably in upper level rally and not novice. Go and have fun, that's what Rally is supposed to be about anyway.
Dog people can be pretty weird- not especially warm to people they don't know. Rally clases are usually more laid back and friendly. I love teaching rally classes. I just ask that people try to learn the signs- you and your dog don't need to be perfect by any means. I have been training with Baxter for 2 years now, and he still enters the training building like a maniac. Just try to be aware of what he is doing and don't let him bother other dogs.
Thank You for answering. I think it looks like so much fun and Smokey really came along well in obedience classes. He loves when I have a pocket full of treats, he looks at me and waits for a command. He does want to do well, he just is still very easily excited.
I say Go For IT! Like mentioned above, when I teach Rally I can "customize" it a bit for each student depending on their goals. I nit pick the ones that want to compete a bit more than the ones who are just there for fun! As long as your dog knows the basics and is under control I'd do it! Don't worry about the other students! You deserve to be there just as much as them!! Everyone starts somewhere!
Jen and the crew!
I'm late to the party, but I agree - go for it! The "dog world" just like every other group has a few people that think they are better than everyone. I go into the Rally ring to have fun with my dog and to better our relationship.
I'm late to this too. I took a couple of rally classes with my girl. Just got started and the place I train had a UKC Obedience / Rally trial with same day registration. Never showed Rally before and a couple of people said UKC was really laid back. I do teach obedience but been busy with agility and field and haven't had time to work on rally.
Signed my girl up for two shows each day on both Saturday and Sunday. Never througt that UKC rally signs could be different then the AKC signs I had seen in class. That weekend we got our URO1 in the first show on Sunday and the Judge asked about each leg when she was giving out awards. When I got my third leg she encourged me to go move up, so I did. Yikes! suddenly realize I have to do this off leash and there are signs I have never seen before. So a title and leg on my RO2 in two days. The very people I was competing against helped me figure out the signs I didn't know. Took me outside the ring to a warm up area and talked me through executing the signs with my dog. It was so much fun! Made some new friends and had a really good time with my dog. What could be better! Since I've done one AKC trial and have my first leg in rally there as well.