Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Rally Obedience

It almost seems like another life time. I was a teenager when I first started training dogs. Back then, we had a young german shepherd, Misty. Misty and I were both a little out of control and I think my parents figured out giving us both a job might be a way to reign us both in. And it worked.

My first dog training instructor through the Manhattan Kennel Club was Dr. Charles L. Kramer. We learned alot, but I can't say my dog training skills were ever perfect back then. We did go on to compete at state, and we went to many dog shows and had a great time. And these were skills that I carried on the rest of my life.

While I grew up and went on to train dogs as a hobby, Dr. Kramer went on to invent a form of obedience called Rally Obedience. In it, the handler follows a course set up with different stations. At each station is a sign. Simply, you and your dog do what is on the sign. Before you try this with your dog, you are able to walk the course as many times as you can fit in to the allotted walking time. It helps you to figure out your flow and what commands you want to use with your dog at what time. Then it's time to try it with your dog.

Recently, Rally Obedience was accepted at an AKC Titling Event. In the Novice Rally Obedience class, everything is done on-leash. This makes it possible for any breed to compete. You can talk to your dog, use your hands, even repeat stations that you've done wrong. It's a postive way to train and one both handler and dog will enjoy.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Kishi's New Job

I brought Kishi out of retirement and entered her in Rally (kind of a cross between agility and obedience) this weekend. The past few years Kishi has been plaqued by all kinds of health problems, so I was really uncertain if she would perform, but her health is doing better and she seemed to be doing fine at home, so why not give it a try?

Well, we got to the show and she began shaking... cold? nervous?... nope! We got into the building where the ring was and she let out her excitement scream, wiggling all the way!

The girl is back! She watched me the whole time and was really excited to be back in the ring doing something. And Rally is such a positive sport, she loved it. She got her first Q in Rally (novice B) today. And I couldn't be more pleased. We try tomorrow for another leg.

If you haven't tried Rally with your dog, I highly recommend it. What a great sport!