Rally Obedience is definitely a sport for the novice exhibitor to begin competition with their Lhasa Apso. It builds on the dog and handler learning to communicate with each other in a fun way.

Rally Obedience is a form of dog obedience with a twist – a total focus on fun and excitement for the dog, handler and spectator. Dog and handler teams follow a set course, performing the exercise indicated by 10-20 consecutive signs. Signs are numbered to indicate the course the handler and dog take during the performance.

You and your dog navigate a course, side-by-side, as you steer him through a course of 10-20 different signs. Each of these signs provides instructions regarding the next skill that is to be performed. The dog and handler move continuously throughout the course with the dog under control at the handler’s left side. There is a clear sense of teamwork between the dog and handler both during and between the numbered signs. Although each performance is timed, having a good race time is not the goal; it’s all about working as a team while performing the skills, with the dog under control.

There is a lot of variety with each rally course. And Rally Obedience is different than Obedience in that handlers may talk to their dogs, praise them, and give them needed verbal commands. Handlers can even use hand signals, point and in Novice and Advanced, clap as often as the handler needs. And it’s not only allowed, but encouraged – making it a really fun sport!

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