I am fortunate enough to live near to an obedience center. I enjoy the facility so much I naturally became a member. Obedience centers typically offer obedience, rally, agility, all various levels or skill sets, conformation, therapy or service dog, and scent work.
With conformation shows becoming smaller, lacking in majors, I had to find something fun for my dogs to participate in and discovered the fun of rally. What I like about the rally community is the support of everyone, including the judges, when it comes to competition. I also can dispel the myth that rally is easy.
I participate in a few events with emphasis in rally, like most sports the likability factor has a lot to do with coaches. One of my coaches headed to the rally nationals just a couple of weeks ago and finished 26th overall. Her skill set and her weekly class planning is truly what has led to our obedience center’s students earn more than 75 legs in the last 14 months. All of which were awarded at various venues, none of these were virtual.
My primary rally girl came into heat recently and I had an opportunity to bring along a fellow to rally class, obedience centers typically do not allow females in heat to attend class.
Now this fellow seemed to enjoy the three-week dip into rally. I took a shot at entering him into a rally trial a few weekends back and sure enough, he crushed it. He was tickled with all that ‘good boy’ praise and the team aspect between him and I. He surely is not shy of the ring, in fact any chance he get’s he’ll step out in front and give his most honest pose. The ‘he’ I am referring to is Bono. I mention this as he only began his obedience ventures a year ago; leave it to me to teach an old dog new tricks. I have gotten 11 legs on two of my dogs. I’ll bet some of you are far more advanced. If you’re not super skilled, give it a try, there’s so much on YouTube. If you do not have a obedience class near you, that is a great place to start. Be sure to read your rule book and refer to it often.
Obedience centers do not operate efficiently without the assistance of volunteers. When an obedience center conducts trials, it takes a minimum of three stewards per ring, this does not include set up and take down. Stewarding at obedience and rally is a great place to start. In fact I typically steward in the Utility ring, why not shoot for the highest! If you read my last column, I am big on volunteering. If you were planning on becoming a rally or obedience judge one day, you are required to have stewarded several hours. I hope to see you around the rally or obedience ring soon.