About The Sport
Rally-O is a relatively new sport to the dog world. It is a variation on obedience that encourages a happy working team of dog and handler. Dog and handler teams maneuver their way around a course set by a judge, performing obedience tasks along the way. Because of the fast paced action of Rally-O, enthusiastic and upbeat performances and positive training methods are encouraged.
Who Offers Trials?
There are currently a number of organizations that offer Rally-O trials in Canada. Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) offers trials for registered purebred dogs or dogs that have received a CKC Performance Event Number. Canadian Association of Rally Obedience (CARO) offers Rally-O trials for purebred or mixed breed dogs.
Who Can Play?
Any dog can play Rally-O! Mixed breed, purebred, registered or not. Allowances can be made in CARO Rally-O to accommodate handlers or dogs with disabilities, making Rally-O a great sport choice for older or retired dogs. This also allows people with limited physical ability to engage in a dog sport, where their limitations may have prevented them from participating elsewhere. There are no breed limitations placed on Rally-O, and dogs of all persuasions have found success in the Rally-O ring!
How Challenging Is It?
Rally-O is as challenging as you want to make it. Since emphasis is placed on a happily working team, the requirements towards precision are somewhat less that what is expected in formal obedience type exercises. That said, stellar performances are rewarded accordingly! Both CKC and CARO venues begin with a Novice level that focuses on the basic heeling, sits, downs, stays and basic obedience commands. Each subsequent level incorporates more difficult tasks, including commands that one would see in agility or canine freestyle competitions.