RallyObedience with Czechoslovakian Vlcaks

Welcome to the varied world of RallyObedience!

On this page, I give a brief description of what is behind this wonderful sport and can only motivate you to give it a try yourself with your dog. The demands are varied for both dog and handler and require concentration and teamwork from both sides. Let’s get started!

What is Rally Obedience:
Rally Obedience is a dog sport that combines many different elements of traditional obedience training into a fun and varied variation. It is a series of obedience exercises performed by the handler together with their dog in a course of signs. Each sign represents a specific exercise to be performed exactly as instructed within a defined working area. These include not only the sequence of exercises the dog must perform correctly, but also very precisely what the handler is and is not allowed to do. In most cases, this is information about the order of steps; if the steps are not performed correctly, fault points are deducted here too. The aim is to complete the course with precision, fun and as a team in a maximum time of 4 minutes with as few error points as possible.

There are 5 performance classes in Rally-Obedience, Beginner, Senior, Classes 1, 2 and 3. To be allowed to start in the next higher performance class, one must qualify for “advancement” at a tournament. In the higher performance classes from Class 2 onwards, the dog may only be led without a leash, in the other classes the handler is free to decide whether to work with or without a leash in the course. After completing a static exercise, the dog may be rewarded by the handler with a stroke or a treat.

How do you start Rally Obedience training?
To start Rally Obedience (RO) training with your Czechoslovakian Vlcak, it is best to find a good dog sports club and attend a trial training session. This is the best way to find out if you and your dog like this kind of work. Of course, you can also train RO without being a member of a club or dog school – meanwhile, there are many training offers, including online coaching. However, for me it is more fun in a group with others, we learn with and from each other and the dogs also learn to work under distraction or just to watch and wait.

Expectations/requirements of you and your dog:
Rally Obedience requires a strong partnership between you and your Czechoslovakian Vlcak. The dog must already know the most important basic commands such as sit, down and on the lead and these must be perfectly complemented by attention exercises and, for example, the “elephant trick”. As a dog handler, you have to have fun learning new things, have the patience and stamina to set up exercises properly from the start and also be able to laugh at yourself, because at the beginning of RO training you often feel like your legs are in knots.

To participate in RallyObedience tournaments, you do not need to have previously taken a test for pet dogs or be a member of a club.

Placements and prizes at an RO show:
Within a performance class, placements are based on the number of points scored (100 points minus the deduction for errors in the course) and, if the number of points is equal, on the team’s running time. So the higher the score and the faster the run time, the better the placement. The scoring is as follows: 90-100 points Excellent, 80-89 points Very good, 70-79 points Good, 60-69 points Passed, below 60 points Passed, 0 points (or if the dog was touched) Not scored.

The tournament procedure:
If you want to participate in a tournament with your dog, you need to fulfil a few formalities beforehand. First of all, you need a performance certificate, which you can apply for through your dog club or else a tournament card, which you can download from the VDH website. The dog must have a valid rabies vaccination, liability insurance and be at least 15 months old. Each team must have submitted a written entry to the organiser before the announced entry deadline to be admitted to the tournament. On the day of the show itself, after registration and vaccination check, you can view the course plan, which will be publicly announced. Before the start of the show class, there is a short briefing by the adjudicator, who answers all open questions and then releases the course to run without a dog. Adjudicators are specially trained individuals who have had to complete a large number of refresher courses and qualifications to obtain the judge’s diploma.

After the course inspection, the individual teams start in the indicated starting order. Before the start, the dog’s chip and collar are checked and there is the opportunity to “warm up” with the dog in a separate small area shortly before the start, i.e. to finish a few signs or try out the obstacle.

At the end of the course, evaluation by the judge takes place immediately, so that when each starter leaves the course, he knows his achieved score and faults have been discussed by the judge.

Tournaments and venues:
Rally Obedience tournaments are organised by dog sports clubs. To find dates and venues, as well as registration details, there are numerous dog sports websites and also announcements via social media, e.g. Facebook.

Rally Obedience Rules and Guidelines:

On the VDH website, you will find the latest rules and also all signs with detailed explanations to download.

I hope that this short summary has piqued your curiosity about Rally Obedience and
that you will try it out with your Czechoslovakian Vlcak.

Have fun and good luck training together!

Would you like to learn more? Take a look at the other pages.

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