Rally with a limp.... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Rally with a limp....

Hondo only has two toes on his right hind leg. He has a pronounced limp because of this. He is not in any pain, but due to his limp his right leg is weaker than his left.

We are nearing the end of our 1st OB class. I would like to work towards Rally.

Assuming that Hondo holds up to the task - would I be penalized in Rally for his limp? I aslo noticed that at some point there would be a request of a jump. How high is that jump? How important is speed?

I really appreciate any information I can get!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 02:21 PM
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There are some organizations that will not allow a dog that is lame. It's hard to say from your description if Hondo is truly lame. Here is what the rules say:

AKC: A dog that is lame in the ring at any obedience trial or at a tracking test may not compete in that class. Lameness is defined as any irregularity of locomotion. The judge must determine, without a veterinarian’s opinion, whether a dog is lame. If the judge deems a dog lame, that judge will not score the dog and will mark the judge’s book “Excused-lame.”

Note that the obedience regulations in AKC apply to Rally too so when it says obedience, it means Rally too.

UKC: 3. Blind or Lame Dogs. Blind or lame dogs may not participate in Rally Obedience trials.

Note that UKC doesn't define lameness in the Rally regs, so you might want to contact UKC for info.

I think your best bet would be APDT Rally. They make more allowances for handicapped dogs. Their rules say:

Any dog that appears in pain, discomfort or goes lame while on course must be excused by the judge. The judge’s decision is final and will be based on his/her observation of the dog on the day of the event.

BUT - they also say

Dogs with disabilities are allowed and encouraged to compete in APDT Rally. In the event a dog's disabilities prevent the team from performing an exercise as described, the handler shall provide the judge with an Exercise Modification Form with a written description of how they intend to perform any of the course exercises that must be modified to accommodate the dog's particular disability. The form must be submitted prior to the start of the class and approximate, to the best of the dog's ability, the original course exercise. No exercises may be omitted. All exercises on the course must be completed. If the judge approves the modification(s), the judge will initial and attach the Exercise Modification Form to the team's score sheet. Approval of the Exercise Modification is at the discretion of the judge. Judging guidelines may not be modified.

So basically if it were me, I would look into APDT rally as a good place for Hondo. Check out Rally Obedience for All Dogs!

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much Tracie! Great information!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 07:18 PM
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I'm glad to here about APDT's rule on lame dogs. My 7yr old broke her leg at the end of August 09 and still has a limp. Her agility career is over and probably OB as well except for Rally. I'm still hoping she will learn to use it more naturally as time goes on. Between my cancer treatment and Gretchen's accident ( she ran into my dog walk while chasing a rabbit) 09 was a bust.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-16-2010, 07:53 AM
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I would also shoot off an email to akc and voice your concerns see what they have to say about the dogs afflictions.

Unfortunately I have seen limping dogs doing agility (and most likely not from missing toes or a dog that has a permanent non medical issue) and some judges will say something and excuse them while others won't say a thing.

I'm also wondering if you got something in writing from your vet, saying the missing toes for example, have no effect on his performance if this would suffice with a judge.

Again, I'd probably email AKC as well and ask

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