idea of rally obedience is that a judge sets a course
which consists of a number of exercises to be completed
at the handler's pace. The exercises form a continuous
route around an arena which looks a bit like a dressage
arena for horses. At each stage of the course there are
markers set out with instructions on what to do when you
reach that point.A couple of examples can be found
below. Rallying is not as formal as Kennel Club
obedience in that the dog doesn't have to do all the
perfect heelwork and positioning of sits etc. The
handler can use voice and hand signals and as much
encouragement as they want. It is in the early stages of
being introduced to the UK by the Association of Pet Dog
Trainers. Dogs do not compete against each other but
gain points around a numbered course. It is fun for all,
welcoming handlers of all ages and abilities, and dogs
both mongrel and pedigree. Uniquely, TD Rally encourages
dog and handler (classed as a team) to compete against
their own previous scores rather than dog against dog.
With 75 different exercises, three levels of difficulty
and an combination of stations, Talking Dogs Rally will
keep you and your dog busy for years to come.
Is the main entry level of competition. Level 1 station
are colour coded green and are used in all 3 levels.
These stations form the backbone of most courses as they
include many basic exercises such as left and right
turns, pace changes and stationary staples. Level 1 has
31 stations plus 3 bonus stations. All level courses are
performed on lead and handlers are permitted to give
their dogs lots of feedback and rewards throughout the
- The team turn 180⁰
to the left, then make a sharp 90⁰
turn to the left. These turns should flow continuously.
- All rounds are done off lead. This requires more
training, skill and control. Level 2 stations are blue
and are included in both Level 2 and Level 3 courses.
This level contains 17 new stations and include more
recall work and faster pacing. It also has 5 bonus
stations providing teams with a greater opportunity to
Handler turns to face dog and recalls dog. Dog to sit in
front of handler. Handler then asks dog to finish to
their left heel where dog finishes exercise with a sit
to the left heel.
– Encompasses stations from all levels. The 17
additional Level 3 exercises, coloured yellow, include
jumping and going through a tunnel combined with
distance control and, has one of the 4 bonus stations, a
retrieve. As in Level 2, all Level 3 rounds are
performed off lead.
- Handler turns to face dog. Dog recalled over the jump.
Dog to sit in front of handler. Handler then asks dog to
finish to left heel. Dog ends exercise by sitting at
BONUS EXERCISES- These
non-compulsory exercises allow teams to gain extra
points or make up for exercises that they know might
cause problems for their dog. Or if they felt ultra-
confident that their dog could do well in the round and
the bonus exercise they could aim to collect a maximum
of 210 points instead of 200. These exercises add a more
tactical and competitive edge to the rounds and can
make, or break, a winning round.
- The aim of each team is to drop as few points as
possible throughout their round. Each team starts with
200 points and can lose points as they go through the
course. Rather than first, second or third, teams may
earn Pass, Excellent or Ace awards. They can then work
towards winning Level titles by notching up multiple
high scoring rounds which will also help them enter the
National Rankings, with everyone hoping to be No.1
Talking Dogs Rally team in the UK.
CLASSES FOR OLD AND YOUNG – There are also
Puppy and Veteran Levels. Pups 6 - 12 months can compete
and win titles, and dogs over 8 years old can enter
Veteran Level rounds in addition to or instead of
regular Levels 1,2 and 3.
TITLES AND AWARDS -
170 - 179 a ‘Good’ rosette is awarded.
- 189 an ‘Outstanding’ rosette is awarded.
- 210 an ‘Ace’ rosette is awarded.
AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE -
If handler and dog
score 190 or over in each of their first three trials in
each Level, they gain the Award of Excellence and 20
bonus points towards their National Ranking. The custom
made, pewter Award of Excellence will be issued directly
TALKING DOGS RALLY NATIONAL RANKINGS -
All TD Rally registered teams who score 181 or more are
automatically entered into the National Rankings for
their Level. See our current National Rankings
here.There is no restriction on the number of qualifying
scores that may be earned under the same Judge in
pursuit of National rankings.Points are calculated based
on the official trial report submitted to the TD Rally
Office by the Trial Secretary. National Rankings scores
will include qualifying scores gained between 1st May –
30th April. Rankings run annually and totals will also
be reset each year.Rankings will be announced at the
annual National Talking Dogs Trial and awards will be
given to the Top 10 teams in each title level for each
For more information and location of a trainer please
visit their website (http://www.talkingdogsrally.co.uk)
(Logo and signs reproduced by
kind permission of Talking Dogs Rally UK)