Also called Rally-O, this sport combines 12-20 performance stations and a variety of demonstrations of a dog’s understanding of obedience in a series of tasks at each station such as “sit-down-sit,” “send over jump,” “straight figure eight,” and others. As their skill level progresses, they add jumps and other agility components as well.
No treats or toys may be used, but most other forms of encouragement from the handler are permitted. Teams begin with a score of 100 and points are deducted for mistakes or tasks not performed well or correctly. Rally-O events are also timed, which makes it even more challenging.
Watch this video to see a great example of Rally Obedience. This handler and dog are competing in Rally Novice, which is the first level of competition. This team achieves a perfect score. Notice that the entire course is done on lead. In more advanced levels, dogs will be off-lead. Here’s a great example of an AKC Advanced Rally course: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAA3UYII3e0.
A portion of this article reprinted with permission from Mile High Dog Magazine, Greenwood Village, CO http://milehighdog.com/