Is there somewhere online where I could print sample Rally Novice courses? I tried googling, but didn't have any success......
I've posted this link numerous times and can't recommend it enough. It is a Yahoo Rally forum. Many Rally judges and competitors frequent this board so there is a wealth of knowledge there. In the files section you can find the signs to print out (8.5X11 and 3X5), courses, training schedules, etc. Print out a course and run it then switch out just 2-3 signs and run it again. It changes the course dramatically.
Check it out.
I never worried about the course as much as I did the signs themselves. I figured if I could do the exercise, it didn't matter what order they were in.
While you are correct that YOU need to know the signs, the order definitely can have an impact on the dog and you how you handle the course.* I set up courses based on what needs to be worked on specifically.Originally Posted by CYNLABS
For example, Essy loves swing (left) finishes.* We have learned that if the first finish (or 360) on the course is left, we are sunk.* All other finishes will be left regardless of what we ask.* : We are really working on this so I will purposely set up courses to practice a left finish first followed immediately by a right finish to engrain in her that she needs to do whichever one we ask for.
Essy also will front and sit straight once (call front finish whatever) but then cannot do Ex #26 (call front, back 1,2,3).* She will attempt to finish on every front so we continually work on this one.
Also, many dogs cannot collect themselves after a jump to do a stationary exercise like moving down, for example.* Other dogs cannot handle jumping towards the open ring gate or jumping near the offset fig 8 distractions.* I purposely set these types of scenaros for the RE courses for my friends to practice.* They hate me at the time but always thank me when it happens on a real course because they are prepared.
Some people confuse the 270 left and 270 right so they need lots of practice seeing those signs on real courses.* You can't compare looking at both signs in your lap where you can clearly see they are opposite and when you see them separated on a course and you have to think does 270 left mean turn right or does it mean turn left.*
Also dogs need to see all of the cones set up on the course (those for the serpentines/weaves as well as those that hold the signs).* Some dogs think they are toys and some are afraid of them.
I rarely set up "official" courses.* I will use more or less exercises depending on what we are working on.* I will set up illegal courses where we do nothing but stationary exercises or all left turns/circles/pivots/finishes, all the cone exercises on one course, etc.* The great thing about rally is that you can be very creative (or evil depending on how you look at it* * *).
Lydia, you truly are a type A person ;D
When I train I do a lot of "doodling" so I really never had to teach much to my dogs with the exception of the three steps back (for Excellent). And that took me a while to teach!
Frances, keep up the training, it will all sink in soon
www.rallyobedience.com has signs and sign descriptions.* I'm not sure if they have courses though.
ETA: it has a sample Novice course, and templates to build your own course maps.
Zeke RN, agility miscreant and CGC failure
one other thing you might want to proof is having a jump(s) in line with a stationary exercise. I lost points when Amber who is being trained for agility went over a jump then an about turn then a stationary side step right. As I heeled her to go past the the jump she just couldn't refuse it and angled over and jumped the jump again and then quite happily got back into heel position in time for the next exercise. I thought I was gonna be NQ'd for sure but they only counted it as a forge and a heel wide. But I learned my lesson and now proof against the temptation of the jumps.. So you do need to run courses to figure out these problems...
Kelly and Amber
Hey! I resemble that remark.Originally Posted by raian
Guess it all depends on your dog as well. The reason I don't worry about the course is because with Maddy, she does what she is told and only fusses with ONE exercise (the moving down, she hates down, bad elbows). Even with Hudler who is a slug, he'll do what he is told, but don't expect to finish ANY course in less than 2 minutes.