What is Rally Obedience?
Rally-O is a new American Kennel Club trial event in which the handler and dog complete in an obstacle course designed by a rally judge. The team proceeds through a field of obstacles (10-20 depending on the level), and each station has a "Road Sign" describing the action to be performed by the team.
Rally scoring is much more forgiving than in a traditional Obedience trial. For example, in the Rally Novice "A" Class, the course is entirely on-lead, and the handler is allowed to talk, gesture, clap or use any means of encouragement, short of touching, or verbally abusing the dog. Multiple commands/signals are allowed, and the handler's arms do not need to be in any particular position.
Rally-O is much more accessible to the average Dog owner. The fundamentals of Dog Obedience must still be in place, but teamwork is much more important here.
At the Novice level, Rally-O provides an excellent middle step in preparing for a Companion Dog title.