I’ve never been a fan of regular obedience. It was to structured and boring for my taste. I didn’t think I’d like Rally all that much either. But last winter I was looking for something to keep Avery busy until agility started so we tried a 4-week Rally class. Turns out I liked it a whole lot more than I thought I would. Avery, on the other hand, was less than thrilled. She’s kind of a free thinker and very visual. She sees an a-frame and knows she’s going over it. With Rally she had to wait on me for the cues. Not exactly her strong suit.
I did find Rally a lot more difficult than I expected. Some of the moves are pretty tricky. 260 degree turns, dogs turning left while handler turns right, etc. It takes a lot more thought than simple obedience forwards and turns, etc. You have to be looking ahead for the next sign, read the sign, do the command, and keep the dog under control all at once. That takes some getting used to (especially when the dog is Avery). But overall, it is a whole lot more fun and laid back than Obedience. You’re encouraged to talk to your dog, and I hear some people sing to their dogs.
I don’t think Avery is a Rally dog, Agility is definitely her thing. But I’ve started Brogan in a Transition to Rally Class. Maybe if I’d done that with Avery she would have responded better. The Transitions class is less about the actual signs and more about getting the dog to move backwards, pay closer attention to you, etc. It’s supposed to help transition between either Rally or regular Obedience. I think it’s going to lay some good groundwork for Brogan to be a Rally dog.
Hope this helps some!
Avery - Southpawz Elf Queen, CGC- Siberian Psycho Terrier
Brogan - Southpawz Mystery Man, CGC - Ephelis Spaniel
Fenway - Southpawz 4 Yawkey Way -Bull Collie
And the crazy cats