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Discussion Starter #1
This got brought up on the other thread and I am interested in hearing people's opinions:

Someone said a rally group had been shamed out of an obedience club by the traditional people. Why? What is it that the other folks think is so shameful about rally? Less precision? More interaction with the dog?

I saw it mentioned somewhere that some people think that pure positive trainers can't compete at advanced AKC obedience & are creating easier venues because they can't hack it (not saying I agree or disagree just what I read). Is this part of the rally thing, or more to do with venues like Companion Dog Sports Prog that allow treats in the ring and praise but otherwise seem very similar to AKC?

What would be the benefit of competing in traditional AKC? Proving your dog in a more difficult venue than rally? Is traditional "harder" than higher levels of rally?
 

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I don't know about the incident you reference. So I have no comment other than I'm glad I was not there or rather they should be!

I believe that it is common knowledge in the dog world that usually no two trainers agree on anything other than the fact that third trainer is doing it wrong. It's hilarious to me how many conversations turn this way at events! I often remind my wife right before going to any dog competition to watch for this and we talk about it on the way home "laughing all the way"

I can say this. I have been invited a few times to this Rally stuff and my gut has often told my mind to go but haven't as of yet. I am however going to start in it this summer. I can't wait!!!

This gives me a new idea for a bumper sticker, My Rally Dog ate his/her/your obedience DOGS lunch!
 

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It goes both ways. Its just people and people not getting along. Some are going to look down on rally for every different reason there can be. Over time you're going to come across some people who like to present their rally titles as equal to every other venue when they declare themselves trainers or as working their dogs for breeding purposes. They're going to knock the other venues and in some cases its going to be because they weren't able to do well, for every individual reason there may be.

There's no formal venue you can't try and compete in with what you're thinking of, as far as positive only. In some things, the dog is going to decide what works. If what you want to use to motivate doesn't mean as much to them as something else, you aren't going to do as well.

Another thing too, as far as clubs. Most of the time, they don't owe anyone anything. Its a group of people getting together to do something they have in common and there's only so much time. If they want to go in a certain direction, maybe it just doesn't include rally. One thing I know when it comes to dog sports or even showing. You have to be reasonably thick skinned. If your dog isn't humbling you, something else will and its tough if it isn't fun. Concentrate on having fun.
 

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From the AKC website:

AKC Rally® is a companion sport to AKC Obedience. It too requires teamwork between dog and handler along with performance skills similar to obedience. Rally provides an excellent introduction to AKC events for new dogs and handlers, and can provide a challenging opportunity for competitors in other events to strengthen their skills. All dogs are eligible to compete in rally.
Its not meant to be obedience. When some want to compare it and present it as equal rather then just enjoying their dog like its actual purpose, there's going to be some conflict with some others.
 

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The club I go to a lot of folks compete in several venues and they are all supportive of each other.And the rally trials are usually on separate days than the regular obedience trials so I haven't experienced any snobbery yet:)
Traditional OB exercises are more formal and precise.So more effort in training a perfect heel position,straight sits,etc.
Rally is the only way that some breeds can ever get in a ring and compete with their owners.The jumps are low for the extra large dogs that can't or shouldn't be going over 36" jumps,dogs that don't do well in group exercises,or don't want to be touched by the judge.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
From the AKC website:


Its not meant to be obedience. When some want to compare it and present it as equal rather then just enjoying their dog like its actual purpose, there's going to be some conflict with some others.
Am I understanding correctly that when people try and present their rally dogs or rally accomplishments as equal to an accomplishment in a harder venue (I.e. traditional obedience), ppl get mad?


As far as titling to prove yourself / dog as a trainer or breeder rally would not be considered worthwhile?

I am not passing judgment on anyone or anything I am just asking questions to people who have more experience in all of these venues than I do....
 

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I've competed and titled in both AKC Obedience and Rally, and unfortunately, there IS a big difference in attitude among the people. :(

Traditional Obedience has to be very precise (as Dogma mentioned), so it's all what YOUR goal is for you and your dog! The main thing is to enjoy whatever sport you venture into!

I used positive reinforcement in both venues.

Moms :)
 

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The trainer I use and love trains as if the dog is going on to get CGC, rally and/or agility. Along with all the basics mine know directions(right, left, about turn, u-turn, etc) and got to do a small agility course as part of their training class(at the end of the class).
 

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Am I understanding correctly that when people try and present their rally dogs or rally accomplishments as equal to an accomplishment in a harder venue (I.e. traditional obedience), ppl get mad?


As far as titling to prove yourself / dog as a trainer or breeder rally would not be considered worthwhile?

I am not passing judgment on anyone or anything I am just asking questions to people who have more experience in all of these venues than I do....
Its like anything, its how people present themselves and how other people want to accept them, or not. From either side. Enjoy the dogs and make friends with whoever you do.

Its not a matter of worthwhile. There's some amount of worth to all of it, but the skill's involved go up with different levels and how many different dogs a trainer has handled themselves and trained with others. Its pretty tough to tell someone you can train X when all you've ever done is B.
 

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I guess it's human nature to form cliques. It's too bad the rally people felt pressured to leave the facility. I haven't been to a trial, but I've taken some rally classes, and they're a lot of fun. I like the idea of rally being a gateway to other venues. Our instructor competes in both obedience and rally, and she tries to teach us how to do things correctly/precisely in case we ever want to go on to compete in obedience. I think that anything that encourages more people to get out and do things with their dogs and get involved with training is good. I wonder if some obedience-folks worry that rally draws interest away from formal obedience, or makes them feel like they'll have to lower their standards or something. Who knows! Rally was more accessible to us. I wanted to take intermediate or advanced obedience classes, but rally and agility seemed to be all that are available (under an hour's drive) unless I wanted to hire a private trainer.
 

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Well, I am certain that rally is the right place for us right now. I was initially only looking for a hobby for my retiring service dog to keep her excited about life. No doubt she has enjoyed learning the exercises, and it gave us some new things to do when we were in a bit of a rut since I can't play with her like I used to (she has physical limitations now)

I kind of feel like my pup might have a knack for this sort of thing, he seems to enjoy it and it crossed my mind maybe I should take him to traditional AKC OB, his sire was super titled, OTCH, UDX, CDX, among a lot of others tracking titles ect. So I guess the possibility is there that my boy has the genetic stuff to do well at this?

He isn't even a year old yet so I really like being able to talk to him and tell him how well he is doing (although to be fair he seems to be able to maintain his performance for a pretty good stretch with no feedback from me...hard to explain he is just mellow and willing to keep on like he knows he is right and he is just cool with it)

Anyway, I am just very curious about the whole thing...

As I said before, I am a big sissy so I have to work on myself before I could compete in a less supportive atmosphere than rally....
 

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Personally, I like agility best. People are great and you have so many options for organizations. Look into ASCA as well. They have rally, obedience and agility. DOCNA for agility.

You find snobs in every venue. People are what they are. Just go enjoy your dog, find the group where you fit and have fun.
 

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Personally, I like agility best. People are great and you have so many options for organizations. Look into ASCA as well. They have rally, obedience and agility. DOCNA for agility.

You find snobs in every venue. People are what they are. Just go enjoy your dog, find the group where you fit and have fun.
Exactly. Have fun.
 

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As I said before, I am a big sissy so I have to work on myself before I could compete in a less supportive atmosphere than rally....
If you want the MOST supportive atmosphere, find a flyball club. :) It's all about the fun, and it's an extremely cooperative sport by its very nature.
 

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I do both.

I am better at rally because I have trouble hearing, especially in auditoriums. I can make out what you are saying if I am looking at you, but taking commands from a judge when I am walking away from him is hard.

Rally is fun and I don't need the judge to tell me anything. It is all spelled out for me.

I have put CDs on multiple dogs, and I have put rally titles on more dogs. From a training point of view, I think obedience is easier. If you train the dog to heel, and to sit when you stop, there are just a few more commands, that you must train, and voila the dog is titled. In training classes we train the sit stay and the down stay with other dogs, in rally there is no use for this, in obedience it is one of the tests. Some people have trouble with this, and some people are wary of having their dog attacked.

When I started doing obedience it was rare that a dog attacked during the stays. I think that when the host of Rally newcomers graduated to obedience, there dogs weren't ready and they took them anyway, and dogs that did not belong at a show yet, were in a position to make bad mistakes. That's too bad.

I think too many obedience people look at Rally as people who are not serious about training, kind of like a red-headed step brother -- we know he is there, but we don't talk about him, and amongst our friends and relatives, we turn up our noses, so no one lumps us in with that crowd. And that is unfortunate.

I think some of what is encouraged in rally grates on the nerves of obedience people -- multiple commands and constant talking and praising the dog. What really happens is that it makes it more difficult to train the dog. Those are things serious trainers already know to avoid and watching it from the sidelines makes you want to go in there and slap the owner. And watching some lady bent over with a fake cookie the entire time luring the dog, you feel that dog shouldn't get a placement, that dog shouldn't even be here yet.

So, I mean, I see both sides. The obedience people don't want to waste their time on Rally people because they aren't here for the long haul and they do not seem serious. On the other hand, the rally people are having fun with their dogs, and their dogs are being trained, moreso than what basic obedience training classes will give you. It does promote a relationship with the dog. It has a lot of merit really.

The CD tends to hold more weight than the RN, but the people getting their RN have trained their dogs, entered them, paid, and their dogs have to be able to manage in the environment.

The other thing is precision. Obedience is more precise, or so they say. But no one asks you if you passed with a 170 or a 198. So they scratched half a point here or there for crooked sits, and a few points for getting out of position on the heeling. I am shocked at what actually passes in the obedience ring. A CD is a CD, whether you got 3 blue ribbons, or 3 green ribbons. And when the obedience people turn up their noses at the rally people for what qualifies in Rally, you can say the same out obedience. Only those who are competing against themselves, their score, are actually getting satisfaction.
 

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There are a lot of "old guard" people in obedience. It's the oldest of the AKC's companion events, and for a long time, was the only game in town.

A lot of people who had been competing in obedience for a long time weren't happy when rally was introduced It was looked down on as "obedience lite", and not a "real sport". And oh, wow, the furor that was raised over the last Obedience Advisory Committee..... well, you would have thought that the zombie apocalypse was coming, or something. Those of us who were happy to see the new preferred track classes introduced were treated like we were singlehandedly going to dismantle the entire world order.

And let's not get started on AKC versus other venues like CDSP, WCRL, or worse yet, online titling venues like CRO and NCO. I mean, everyone knows that anything you can do via video is "worthless". Funny thing about that... someone in the NCO Facebook said that her dogs have multiple high level titles in several different organizations, yet they are struggling with a level 1 NCO exercise.

As for "pure positive" trainers not able to compete at higher levels in AKC... 1) there is no such thing as "pure positive" training; 2) I know of several upper level dogs that are trained with positive, reward based methods, including working on OTCHs and UDXs.
 

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Personally, I like agility best. People are great and you have so many options for organizations. Look into ASCA as well. They have rally, obedience and agility. DOCNA for agility.

You find snobs in every venue. People are what they are. Just go enjoy your dog, find the group where you fit and have fun.
Just today, I was looking at the classes offered by the MSPCA and thought the Rally Obedience looked like it would be so much fun.

Here's the description:
Rally Obedience

Rally Obedience is a fun sport that combines the precision of competition Obedience with the fun of Agility.
In “Rally O,” it is sometimes called, the dog and handler learn 13-20 behaviors that are standard Obedience behaviors: come, sit, heel, down, stay, along with different turns, and jumps are added for fun! The challenge is that the signs are laid out in a course (see the signs here) , and the dog and handler complete the timed course in a specific manner with as few “faults” as possible. The owners are encouraged to talk to their dogs and make the experience a lot of fun for all.
Rally is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country. Sign up and give it a try!
(Your dog must, at minumum, be able to sit and walk at your left side to take this class. If you and your dog have not taken a class at the MSPCA before, please email Michalla Bishop for permission to register!)


Sorry, I couldn't access the signs that are laid out.
 

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Rally was originally designed as a gateway to obedience and agility. But it is not anywhere near agility. Obedience has the same jumps in higher levels. So it is more properly described by "Obedience-light" or as an alternative or companion to obedience.

The idea was that being successful in Rally, people would Rally on toward formal obedience titles or agility.

It would be fun to have a Rally title program that was geared more toward agility. Like:
RN(A) -- Rally Novice (Agility) -- off lead, using the 30 or so RN signs, with at least 5 agility obstacles (A-frame, Dog Walk, Weave Polls, teeter, tunnel, chute, Tire, jump, etc.) interspersed with the RN signs.

RA(A) -- Rally Advanced (Agility) -- off lead, using the added advanced signs with at least 1/2 the exercises being agility exercises.

RE(A) -- Rally Excellent (Agility) -- off lead, using the added advanced and excellent exercises, 1/2 the exercises being agility exercises -- No Signs.

It would be fun.
 
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