The Rough & Smooth Collie
Training Association

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If you enjoy training your Collie and you like doing obedience, then the new canine activity of Rally may just be the sport for you!  Known as Rally-Obedience or Rally-O in the USA this has been gaining popularity in the UK.

Basically the dog and handler navigate a course with numbered signs indicating different obedience- or agility-type exercises to perform such as: 'Sit',  'Down', 'Figure 8', ' Recall over Jump' and 'Left Turn'. Navigation of the course should be at a brisk continuous performance without direction from the judge. Points are deducted for mistakes.  Handlers are encouraged to talk to their dogs during the performance.

At present there are not many Trials being held, but this is improving as the sport gets more popular.  Different rosettes are gained depending on scores achieved.  There are also 'levels' to work up through, starting at level 1.

The Kennel Club has taken over responsibility for the governance and future development of this sport from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.  Guidance for clubs and potential competitors can be found on the KC website.  There are also Talking Dogs Rally Obedience with shows throughout East Anglia and in the SE, Kent, Sussex and Hampshire, and Pet Dogs Rally Obedience which is based in the Ipswich area.  Their websites give more information, including trainers.

The Kennel Club call the sport 'Rally'. Like the other Rally organisations, the team start with 200 points and there is an optional bonus station which can earn up to 10 additional points. A lot of the exercises are similar to PDRO and TDRO although the signs have different graphics. There are some major differences. There are 6 levels in total. For Levels 1 and 2 the dog is on a loose lead. Levels 3 and above are off lead. Food as a reward is not allowed at any level. You need 3 scores of 170 or more under 3 different judges to progress to next level. If a dog progresses with 3 scores of 190 or more they are entitled to the description 'Rally Excellent' for that level. Places are awarded in KC Rally but progression is independent of wins or placings. You must enter the level you are eligible for but can also enter one class a level above.

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