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I'm interested in doing Rally with my girl Kona. I've watched lots of Rally routines online and been to one trial in person. Been trying to familiarize myself with some of the basic commands/movements. Below is a list of commands and generally where we are on them. What else would you recommend we start working on? Kona is 7.5 months old. Are we in a good, steady place in the training (for a casual participant) or should I be expecting more of her at this stage? Thanks!

- Consistent commands: sit, down, here (facing me in a sit), stay (while in sit or down)

- Working to tighten up: heel with auto sit, finish to the right, straight sits/downs/finishes (she's still a little crooked), maintaining focus on me when in heel

- Need to learn: finish to the left, stand, stay (while in stand), sit/down/stand/stay while handler keeps moving
 

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I don't know how good it is, but Leerburg is now offering a DVD on Rally. I love many of their other DVDS and trainers..Your pup is just that...a pup. So yes, you are good. I do marker based training. I start in quiet known environments and then slowly introduce distractions. Sounds like you are off to a great start..just keep making it a fun game for you both.
 

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I used to do rally.Pinterest has a lot of course maps that are helpful.The AKC website has a brochure that describes everything in detail and has pictures of the signs.If you can't take a class to get Kona acclimated to the ring,set up various courses in your yard to practice.
It's easy for the dogs,it's the handlers that make most of the mistakes:)
 

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We started Rally a couple years ago. It was a brand new dog sport for me. Right away I found that class time involved maybe two or three run throughs with only minimal help. By the end of the 8 week class we could do the run through with a perfect score at very fast pace. Watching the instructor get DQ at her trial really discouraged me.

I’ve competed in sports most of my life. The goal is to win and then have fun. It’s more fun when you win against tough competition. I always trained hard for the highest level even though I wasn’t the most talented. My goal was to be at top level for me and capitalize on others mistakes. Drilling the opponents star quarter back when he failed the defense read was really fun. Taking a home run ball over the fence for the out was another and making a game winner shot in hockey was another.

I had planned on being able to compete at the top,level before ever entering the novice level. I had the drive and the right dog, However training or guidance to do this simply wasn’t there. Certainly I could have taught my dog each exercise. It’s the putting it together efficiently that was missing in the class. I saw the experts come in and make one or two run throughs then go home. Then at the events I saw them at best complete the course with a passing score. In all brackets it took a 100 or perfect score at a very good pace to win it. Out of 18 in the master class there were 6 perfect scores. But the winner at least 30 seconds faster than the next closest perfect score. Ironically these were not the instructors. Just ordinary trainers. But very good. Talking with them to find out their training, they all had extensive course markers of their own and a place to train. We simply don’t have a place to train much beyond what we do every day now, so I left the sport.

It just my take. There will be a lot of your own time developing the right combinations of moves. You need to be absolutely correct on each event. Train to do them in various sequences as the trials be different. Poise is what we used to call it. Know the rules and what the judges look for. You won’t get far if you force train. The dog has to look happy. You should look happy too. Going out with a long face can set a mood in this sport. Praise your dog when you can.
 
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