Another shot at Rally Obedience

start signAfter our last, which would have been our first, Rally trial was cancelled, I realised that I stopped posting about Milo and my training. We still train every day. But, without a goal, it ‘s hard to be systematic about it. I was disappointed by the cancellation because Milo and I put alot of time and energy into getting ready for that event.

I am happy to say that Milo and I are back on track and will make our debut at the Red Barn Event Centre, which is hosting an All-Breed Candian Kennel Club Rally Obedience Trial on October 8, 2017.

Found distractions: Proofing for our upcoming Rally Obedience Trial

Milo and my first Rally Obedience Trial is fast approaching. We’ve been training daily and can do all the exercises with cheerful and brisk focus. Our biggest challenge will be distractions around the ring during the trial.

German shepherd dog heeling beside a woman in blue jeans between a coop full of chickens and another dogLuckily the universe provided us with an outstanding set of distractions for practice. And by ‘the universe,’ I mean my brother and sister-in-law’s farm. Milo has a strong prey drive and a history of dog reactivity. So, we spent a week performing Rally exercises using Louis the Dog an obstacle and the chicken coop as a backdrop. By the end of the week, Milo could heel around the dog while the chickens were flapping and clucking toward their dinner.  Good boy!

Of course, something could still knock us off our game during the trial, but it is good to know that we worked hard and did our best to be ready.

German shepherd dog jumping in the air to catch a treat. He is almost vertical and is taller than the jeans wearing woman holding his leash

Milo’s reward for all that work was to jump for a piece of chicken…

Training plan for the week of July 25: The novice rally signs

As I’ve said before, my goal is to earn a Novice Rally Obedience Title with Milo. In a Novice Rally trial, the judge creates a course of 10-15 obedience exercises and evaluates a dog-handler team as they work through those exercises. According to the Canadian Kennel Club

The chief objective of rally is to provide a fast-moving and motivational activity that demonstrates the competency of handler and dog in performing basic obedience exercises without requiring exact precision for success. 

This German Shepherd earned a perfect score on a novice course.

Most of these exercises Milo and I have been doing for ages. The fancier heeling patterns will need some attention, and I need to keep working on Milo’s engagement in new and distracting environments.

Also, there are signs that indicate which exercises a team needs to perform. Some of them are pretty obvious, and some aren’t. I need to study.

 

So, the plan for this week is pretty straightforward:

  1. Practice engagement in distracting spots.
  2. Work on our Figure 8 heeling pattern.
  3. Familiarize ourselves with the signs indicating various exercises.