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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I have a 9.5 y/o GSD who is in tbe process of retiring for being a medical service dog. Sometimes I notice she seems depressed when she doesn't work. We have alwaysplayed at obedience for fun.

I am wondering if it might be fun for her to do Rallyas a hobby? It does not look that physically challenging forthe dog, correct? Her jumping days are over. Any thoughts?

And can you compete 2 dogs in one event?
 

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Rally isn't physically stressful at all.The highest jump (advanced and excellent only) is 16 inches.You can compete with 2 dogs in the same trial if you'd like.
 

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Yes^^^ what Dogma said. Shouldn't be a problem with a healthy older dog.

ETA, how are her hips and elbows? Rally is easy, but there's still a fair amount of repetition/up &down.
 

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I can vouch for Rally AND Nose Work that Mayzie mentioned. Rally is good if she's not too stiff for multiple sits/downs. As dogma said, the jump isn't very high and isn't until Level 2 in WCRL (not sure about AKC). Rally has helped my fearful boy learn to focus on me even when there are people in the hallway - he'd rather do the super fun exercises than worry about those scary people walking by. Nose Work is also a great low-impact sport and is awesome for seniors. My guy (the same fearful one) LOVES it - once he knows he's there for sniffy games, he is much less nervous in public places. He's also zonked after a NW class because sniffing is hard work!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We would be more than happy to not do higher levels.

She is OFA Excellent hips, normal elbows, multiple sits and downs no prob for her. She gets excited about stuff and would probably jump like a two year old in the moment and then regret it later. She cannot take her carprofen anymore due to ulcers, so I only want to do low impact.

Most of the time she moves like a dog half her age, except when she forgets she is an old lady and does 2 y/o things and then she will be creaky. Well, she sometimes looks a little creaky at night. But I would say musculoskeletally, she is in great shape for her age.

I just need to keep her spirits up but must leave her home while I learn to cope without her in everyday life.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Plus I think this might be fun for the pup and if I were going to travel to an event I would want to take both
 

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Then yes yes yes!! Rally would be awesome for her and I bet she'd loooove it. :) It is super fun and much more relaxed than traditional obedience. The emphasis is more on the relationship with your dog than exact perfect correct position (I mean, they still have to be in position, but not as precisely).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Squeetie, that's good because fun is all we're after. I wouldn't mind pushing the pup but just want my old gal to keep her spark and this is a hard transition for both of us. I feel it would help her feel like she isn't "losing me"...or she is still important, or something.

I wouldn't care if our scores were dismal if she enjoyed herself....

She has served me day and night her whole life. I owe her everything
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh but, what happens if the dog talks during competition lol? She might sing, shreik, back sass....bad habit of hers I never broke because sbe is quiet while working and only carries on when she "plays".
 

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I think that if she talks too much, it's points off per occurrence (again, in WCRL, don't know about AKC and it can depend on the judge). I don't compete with my fearful guy and just run courses in class and he still loves it!! It's really easy to practice at home, too - so that's another way you can help her keep that spark alive! I hope to start with the youngster once she gets any sort of brain in her cute little head...
 

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Noise may depend on the judge. My Zoe is noisy, she barks, squeeks and occasionally air snaps if she gets ramped up, no issues so far. Maybe they'll become more strict beyond the novice level??
 

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No jumps in novice, one in advanced, two in excellent.

It is a good hobby for an older gal, sure.

You can have lots of fun with her with it.
 

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My golden loves Rally. We do it for fun, mostly drop ins just to keep him moving.
 

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Look into WCRL Rally - they have a veterans class for older dogs. It's a shorter course with restricted obstacles. They'll also allow exercise modifications for dogs with any physical problems - for example they allowed me to jump my GSD at a lower height due to her HD. It's a great venue!
 

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Check the FB pages of your local AKC or UKC clubs, slightly different rules, but both should have them.
 
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