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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at the Piedmont Specialty this weekend and actually helped steward the Rally trial. I was amazed at how bad the handling was in Rally. Now, I'm not talking about dogs having issues but handlers who obviously did not know the rules and many in Rally Novice from watching the performance should not have been in the Novice ring. Granted it was a Specialty but I have noticed lately some really bad handling in Rally Novice and Novice obedience. Aren't people reading the rulebook? Aren't they getting instruction? Man, my people think I set up hard courses and question them taking a test on the rules and regulations. But, their success rate is very high and that is what it is about for them--help them succeed in the ring.

Ok, I'll quit
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
One thought--I don't want Betsy or Susan thinking I was refering to them. I was not, ok! I'll be really bad--it was mostly people who were in the breed ring. So many think rally is a walk in the park and don't prepare.

I was at a show recently here in Ohio and in the Novice B ring people were heeling with their hands behind their backs and doing all kinds of weird stuff.
 

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I noticed some people in the Rally ring doing weird handling too..I literally saw one woman with a doxie bend over leading the dog around the whole course..
 

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I agree Susan. Again its one of those things that people think its so easy, and they'll get a title. They get a title, but barely passing.

Ruby scored 100 (98 once in Advanced) most times and was quick about it, but we over prepared. A team doing it well looks like a beautiful thing really.

While I don't put much weight on the value of a rally title, I do think its just a fun way to get a dog 'into' the obedience ring, and I'm actually quite happy the breed people are in there at all, if you catch my drift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree Melissa. I don't hold a lot of stock in Rally titles but they do certainly help attitude. I know Caleb would not have gotten his UD much less his UDX had I not put him back into rally. Micah will come out in the fall. It is suppose to be a place to bring out green dogs and help them get use to the ring before going on to obedience. Micah's attention is getting better but we sure have a long way to go!
 

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Well, I put some stock in MY rally titles, because we worked for them and did very well. I guess maybe a rally title in general can be gotten with less "work" than an obedience title, but it not "nothing". I do agree however that people seem to enter rally thinking they can "bluff their way through it" and that pisses me off. I think that you should basically "know the rules" for anything that you do (not just dog shows). I had a friend from my breed club who called me last year to ask about rally. She was thinking about entering her dog (who washed out in conformation) in rally because she wanted to do something with her. The dog had no obedience experience except in the breed ring, the gal had no idea what rally was, but even after I explained it all to her, and didn't recommend they enter for a show in a few weeks, she stated that she was pretty good at "winging it" and thought she would enter anyways. I was pretty upset about it - after all, it's "my thing" and someone else taking it so lightly annoyed me. I actually don't know if she ever entered her dog or not because I haven't spoken to her since then (not because of that, she was a "club friend" and I no longer belong to the club) And while I like the idea of breed people getting involved in obedience, I want them to take whatever level they are doing seriously and put some thought and work into it. I do agree that alot of people shouldn't be getting the scores they do in rally. It's alittle harder to NQ in rally, because in obedience you have to get at least half the points in each exercise to qualify, while in rally, that would be too hard to judge. I would like to see rally taken more seriously though. And when Emilu and I get our RAE - don't anyone dismiss it as "too easy"
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's not that I don't put stock in them, but compared to a CD, the RN isn't close to comparing. And most breed people are treating the RN like it's a CD. A CD is more difficult than even the RAE, which is what it was intended to be. I will be using the rally classes to get Micah ready for obedience. It just torques me when people think they can go into rally without any prep or without even reading the rules. Pleeze!
 

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I never took Rally too seriously I had a friend give me two lessons and I spent maybe a total of 3 hours practicing it. Amber was 3 for 3 in Novice and 4 for 4 in Advanced I think we had 5 first and one second and one fourth, our lowest score was an 89 because I screwed up a moving down by not pausing long enough and her elbows didn't touch the ground. Obedience was much tougher and took 100's of hours to train just for a CD.
The worst performance I saw someone do in Rally Novice had 18 points off for a tight leash and 10 points off because the dog didn't know a stand and had an IP.
Kelly and Amber.
 

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Susan, I think it's the folks from the breed ring that just enter and they are totally clueless. There was a young junior handler there, and obviously her mother put her in the class. I watched her and most of the time she was on the wrong side of the signs.

Rally Novice was never meant to be equal to CD, so you can't make that comparison. I USED to think Rally was silly, until I realized what a valuable tool it is for training and keeping your dog's attitude up in the ring. It's invaluable to me.

And, with Remington (my special needs child) we've worked hard on those Rally legs and titles. Now that he's through Advanced we need to hold him back from advancing because he's focus just isn't there (and maybe it never will be).

What I strive for in Rally with Ruger is to get perfect scores. I've gotten four 100's with him on our venture to an RAE, and the other scores have all been high 90's. He enjoys it, and that's part of the game as well.

For beginners I think Rally is a good starting point to learn to work with their dogs.

I too make very difficult courses for my students (in rally AND in agility). I often hear my students comment that a novice course is easy at the shows :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm with you Linda! My students complain about how hard my courses are until they get into the ring and then the course is so easy for them. Goes back to that make your training so challenging that the ring looks easy.

We all know it is not meant to be equal. But there sure are folk out there who treat it as such! Geez!
 

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Pat your Rally titles are important and well earned. Rally was originally supposed to be a combination of obedience and agility. It is a stepping stone to either venue. A way to generate interest and create a positive ring experience for the dog. Just like life, one can fake their way through it earning barely passing scores and gaining little. Or one can put their all in to it exceed and take lots of lessons and revelations about their dog out of the ring. Your effort is not diminished by the other people who don't put much into it. By your dogs it is evident that you take it seriously and put lots of time and effort into their training. Most impressive to me, is that you took a dog reactive dog and she is excelling in Rally. That is a CU (controlled unleashed) Q also:)
 

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Thank you so much - I really appreciate you saying that. I think that a lot of people, even in my training club, look at Emilu and wonder why she isn't better, or why I keep trying with her, and sometimes I don't know why myself. It took me a long time to realize that Emilu isn't like most other labs in that aspect. We've really hit a stumbling block in Open, and we'll try to work through it, but if we don't, there's always Rally! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Every dog is hard. They all have their things they have to work through. Man, look at Caleb and his go-outs! Geez! Trust me, I have gotten the looks, the snobs, the "you shuda" from all different kinds. Rally has helped him. My issues is with the people who think they can just walk into a Rally ring and think they can qualify. It all takes work.
 

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Every dog does have their issues I agree. However, when you have a dog reactive dog just being able to enter a show is a major accomplishment. Going into a trial envioronment with all the other dogs and the stress of a show. A dog reactive dog elicts a whole different response from people. It's like being Jeffrey Dahlmer's mother on parent teacher night. I have been in classes where I have overhead people talking loudly saying "I don't want to be in the lab's group". People shun you based upon your dog's behavior. The behavior is not seen as fear, which it is, it is seen as agression. My yellow boy has never been able to compete because of his dog reactivity. I purchased him from a reputable breeder. He came with all clearences. However, he received a bite in the but from another dog at a dog class, when he was going to the start line of an agility course. Since then there has been nothing I have done that allows him to be with other dogs. He is so fearful and dog reactive that he cannot attend classes. When I take him swimming it is during the week and I must be on the lookout for other dogs. It is a huge burden for us both. We constantly do relaxation protocols and use controlled unleased. It definately helps, but he will never be able to compete. He does agility with unbridled joy and passion. He could have gone far. I believed he would MACH. So Pat I understand what you go through. The stress and the fear of how your dog will behave. Go Emilu and accomplish all you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Every title is important. But, we all need to remember what Rally was designed for--it is foundation before an obedience title. Pat has her CD on her and that is a wonderful, much more challenging achievement. My instructor was on the committee that designed rally and it is all designed to help the dog get ready for the obedience ring. My whole inital thing was all the poor handling because people do go into the rally ring thinking they need no prep and the handling is terrible, the training of the dog is terrible. And, it is mostly the breed people who do it. So, what is the issue? I am so proud that Pat got her CD. That is much more difficult than even the RAE (and usually a whole lot less expensive :p). A lot of dogs get their CD and cannot progress on. My first yellow boy was one of those. Was attacked multiple times and was so scared of showing that he did not get his CD until he was 12 1/2 years old. I am, in many ways, more proud of his CD than Caleb's UDX and all his HIT's. Pat is a good handler and she's come a long way with Emilu. She has achieved a CD on her and that is outstanding. Again, rally was designed to be less than obedience titles. But, every title is an accomplishment.
 

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From the information I have from the classes I have taken and from AKC is that "Rally provides a link from the Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) program to obedience or agility competition, both for dogs and handlers. In addition, rally promotes fun and enjoyment for dogs at all levels of competition". I am not trying to split hairs. Rally is a combination of agility and obedience. I am not saying that it is traditional obedience nor does it require the exacting response by the dog to the handler to a command. Nor is it traditional agility. Much more additional training goes into preparing a dog for either of these venues. However, what I am saying is that any title for a dog reactive dog is a remarkable achievement in itself whether that be for the CGC, Rally, agility or traditional obedience or even flyball. I think that getting a dog reactive dog to calm down at a trial site and then perform is a remarkable feat in itself, for the dog and the handler. By no means am I trying to diminish the time and preparation you have put into obedience. I too have many years into agility training and basic foundation obedience. Maybe we are saying the same thing, just a different way.

I started a new agility class with my fearful aussie, Panda. She came from an abusive background. I know from my experience with her that the first class is always iffy. She runs around, acts unfocused and generally looks like I have never trained her in her life. She has earned multiple titles in the year I have owned her AKC, ASCA and DOCNA. She is also a registered therapy dog. I told the new trainer how she would behave and that we just had to get her through the first night jitters. The trainer told me that maybe I moved her to the class too soon, maybe she needed more foundation work. I told her again of her issues and that she has multiple titles. The underlying current was that I must have rushed her and that her titles were not real or valid. Last run of the night all the other dogs ran and goofed up a truly technical, difficult course. My Maddie ran and performed perfectly. Then it was Panda's turn and she ran the course flawlessly. The instructor turned to me and said I would have thought Panda was in excellent after watching that run....validation. Sometimes a less than stellar performance can mean fear or dog reactivity. Sometimes it is lack of preparation and foresight. Just a thought.

Either way I do have alot of respect for what you have done and are doing with you dogs. It is wonderful that so many people passionate about dog performance can talk about these things in varying ways and still remain supportive of eachother's work.

Lisa
 

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Every dog does have their issues I agree. However, when you have a dog reactive dog just being able to enter a show is a major accomplishment. Going into a trial envioronment with all the other dogs and the stress of a show. A dog reactive dog elicts a whole different response from people. It's like being Jeffrey Dahlmer's mother on parent teacher night. I have been in classes where I have overhead people talking loudly saying "I don't want to be in the lab's group". People shun you based upon your dog's behavior. The behavior is not seen as fear, which it is, it is seen as agression. .
I have to respond to this...I understand that you all feel the burden of having dog reactive dogs- I really do, as Gabby was noise reactive as a puppy/young dog. It was a huge struggle for me and Luke, and we spent a ton of time and money helping her through it. However, we spent a lot of time controlling her environment until she was trustworthy- that meant avoiding trials, show n' gos, high noise/high excitement areas until she was okay.

However, you have to understand the stress of being the owner of a non-dog reactive dog and knowing that there is a dog reactive dog in the ring with your's during stays (ESPECIALLY out of sights) - or simply having a dog reactive dog get too close to your's at the in-gate.

To me, it simply doesn't matter if it is aggression or fear based or where it comes from. As an owner of a non-dog reactive dog, I am unhappy with people with dog reactive dogs who put their dogs in trial environments with mine because they are putting mine at risk. People with dog reactive dogs often don't know their own dogs' triggers and are continuing to show because THEY want to- not because the DOG wants to, etc. I've seen too many incidents and squirmishes at shows here to think otherwise.
 

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Susan - I actually agree with you about handling in Rally. I guess I feel strongly about Rally because we started in it, and I do take it seriously. But I realize that others don't, and you do see dogs and handlers that shouldn't be in the ring. Of course, right after I was thinking that about a dog and handler , Skippy practically dragged me out of the Rally ring trying to get to the exit door. This was after a performance in his first show that rated a 95. But I will also be the first to admit that I haven't worked with him as much, and given him as much experience in different areas than I did Emilu. I will also admit that Rally probably gave us problems in Obedience, because Emilu got so used to me "cheering her on" and it is hard to wean her from it. But I still like rally because it gets people into the ring and having fun with their dogs that might never show in obedience.
 

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I take Rally seriously as well, but I can see where Susan is coming from. I've seen some bad handling as well from folks who thought they could "wing it". Rally might be a stepping stone to OB (I've seen some horrendous handling there as well), but I don't think it should be approached any more casually and without at least some training. When I first started training for Rally, I actually was running through Advanced and Excellent courses in class, and I totally agree that it made Novice a bit easier when we actually did enter for the first time. Steve is now trying for that perfect 100 as he proceeds to Blue's RAE (ETA: he took over after Novice). They've come very close a couple of times- just a few nicks to work out (like Blue dropping her head in the last 2 feet of the course- cost her 2 pts one time, lol).

That said, I personally am not so quick to say that Rally titles don't say much. To me, whether the team was prepared or just "winged it", it does show that the dog is fairly trainable (of course, the difficulty level of that training is different for every dog)- and, certainly not all the time, but a lot of the time, has a fairly biddable temperament. (Of course, I would ask some questions about how the team trained/performed if I were looking at a possible stud.) But, these are just my thoughts.
 
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