WYSIWYG Welsh Terriers
Gwin's Rally News 2002
Let’s Rally!
By: Linda Schulte

The second weekend of May found
Gwin, Hogyn and me in Tupelo, MS. Hogyn attended three days of conformation and Gwin attended the two days of rally obedience offered. Like most (possibly all) of the other participants, Gwin and I had never tried this together. And like most of the other participants, we had printed out the information from the AKC website to review and understand the exercises which might be included.

At a Greater St. Louis Training Club-sponsored Pat Krause obedience seminar, Sky and I did the quick walk-through of rally obedience which followed the seminar. This had been my only exposure to it, but I was eager to try it again. Ten year old Gwin earned her CD (companion dog title) long ago and still loves to work (at home). When I tried her in the veterans class a year ago, it was clear she was no longer happy or comfortable in a formal obedience ring. But I was fairly sure that she could do rally. In rally obedience you are encouraged to talk to the dog, clap your hands, etc. and Gwin usually responds happily to praise!

When reviewing the information from the website, there was only one exercise which Gwin had never been taught: a finish to the right and around the back of the handler. (We had always finished with a swing to the left). We practiced and, after only a few times, Gwin learned the exercise and would finish in either direction for me!

The first day, the exercises consisted of (see diagram below):
1. About  Right Turn
2. Right Turn
3. Stop, Down, Walk Around (your dog)
4. Left Turn
5. Front, Left Heel, Forward
6. 270° Right
7. Side Step Right
8. Left Turn
9. 1 Step, Halt, 2 steps, Halt, 3 Steps, Halt
10. Straight Figure 8
11. Sit, Down
12. Right Turn
13. 270° Left
Finish Line
The second day the course consisted of (see diagram below):
1. Halt, Pivot Left, Halt
2. Halt, Pivot Right, Halt
3. Slow
4. Normal
5. About Left Turn
6. Right turn
7. Halt, Down
8. Straight Figure 8
9. 270° Left
10. Spiral Left
11. Right Turn, 1 Step
12. Fast
13. Normal
14. 270° Left
15. Side Step Right
16. Right Turn
17. Right Turn
18. 1 Step, Halt, 2 steps, Halt, 3 Steps, Halt
19. About Right Turn
20. Left Turn
Finish Line
The judge starts by asking the handler/dog team a very familiar question, “Are you ready?” The handler responds if ready and the judge gives the “forward” command. With no further instructions from the judge, the team completes the course by following the signs while the judge scores the performance. A perfect score is 100 and a passing score is 70. In addition to the score, the time for completion of the course is kept and recorded. The time is used only as a tie-breaker for placements in the class.

The first day, Gwin’s score of 92 earned her third place. The second day, Gwin’s handler (me) made an error and spiraled around the wrong cone at the wrong time! Other than that error, we did well and still received a passing score of 85.

AKC rally obedience can be offered as a non-regular class at obedience trials which include all of the regular classes. The non-regular classes are listed as Level-I (on lead) and Level-II (off-lead). I believe that sometime in 2003, Rally obedience will become a regular class with three separate levels and titles to be earned. The latest information (updated April 2002) can be found on the AKC website!

I would love to do more rally obedience and hope that others will try it too!

So... Let’s go out and Rally!
Mary 2002 - Linda with Gwin and her third place ribbon.