Rally-O – our journey to a new sport continues
Rally-O has been a sport for every dog because of simple tasks and more flexible rules about aids and rewarding. Handler can use hand signals and vocal cue during whole the competition performance to help the dog to perform tasks. Dogs can also be praised all the time which can give boost to low drive dogs and more happy appearance overall team. We hardly are unhappy if we praise each other or dogs. This has given more relax mode to this sport. As obedience trainer these rules has been a new thing that you can do but old habits won’t die so easily. So I have teach my dogs to work mostly without any hand signals and I have hard time to use praise during tasks. Am I then a too serious Rally-O trainer? I don’t think so I just want to make performance as fluent and composed as possible. I think this Rally-O will more change to variety to how to do things. I think it is a richness. Our journey to this sport has been a fun one already!
Finally we have had a change to enter our team to a rally obedience trial. This a nice sport because I can compete with both dogs at the same time. Our beginner class will be in few weeks. I have studied the rules and trained the signs. To my surprise I needed improve Freya back leg work to make spiral work. I have only done 90 degree turns and she couldn’t do properly turns that were milder. I did some turning work so that she keep the leg line all the time. It took few training session but now I have a dog that better uses her back end. This was one of the new tasks to train and made Rally-O even more interesting to me. I love improve my dogs bodywork to be as perfect as possible.
We have also trained stuff from the higher classes. I really love more trick type of things you need teach like “valkovuokko” (dog and handler turns out opposite direction to change healing sides) and tulip (“tulppaani”) were handler and dog turns in to opposite direction. This really tests the team ability understand healing and different direction. Both of my girls are pretty good at healing in both sides to we have been able train these more complex changes right away. I have had to also make a list of cue I use so I don’t mix them up. I learned to make these cue lists when I did my freestyle course. It has really helped to keep everything in track and also it has made it easier to come up cues that aren’t so similar.
Here is our work from todays training: