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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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RALLY NEWS!!!

For those of you competing in AKC Rally, (or those still learning!) as of April 2012, there will be some new signs and some changes to the rules. You can get the details here:

http://www.akc.org/pdfs/events/rally...tionsDRAFT.pdf

The signs have been available for a couple of weeks, but the new regulations were just were posted last night. I'm printing them out now and taking them to bed for a "little light reading"!


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Kodi and I went to a 4 hour clinic today on the new Rally rules and signs. Most of the signs aren't that hard, but some will take a little practice. The biggest problem is that the new signs are not that clear. You really need to KNOW the movements AND read the signs. There are two signs where you need to stand your dog, then leave, walk forward 6 ft to another sign, where you need to (either) down your dog or sit your dog from a distance. The problem is that the sign that tells you whether you need to sit or down is back where you left your dog. So once you've turned to face him, you better have READ the sign and REMEMBERED what it said!

I really like the new "stay". Instead of the "honor" stay, you now sit your dog after you cross the finish line, go and get your leash (at least 15 ft) return to your dog and "finish".

There are changes to the scoring rules too, and the judges seem to have been given a LOT of leeway in some areas. I think the scores are going to be all over the map, depending on the judge. Changes take place April 1, so if you compete in Rally, try to find a place to do at least a clinic between now and then!


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 07:20 PM
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We have been training the advanced signs. Our trainer did mention the change in the 'honor' sign, but she hasn't said anything about the stand the dog and walk 6 feet. She did mention a change in the jump, where the handler cannot pass the jump until the dog has returned to heel position. Did they talk about that one? Finally have Augie doing a 'back up' - still a little sloppy but progress!! Also he is standing, also a little sloppy, but progress.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 08:23 PM
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Karen,
Thanks for the heads up, I'll pull the new instructions and start practicing. Mojo and I took a couple of months off from Rally just because I didn't want to drive across town at night in the winter. We started that new C.L.A.S.S. program today and I got a really unpleasant surprise -- the performance I saw in Rally didn't carry over into a less performance/more functional setting. I didn't expect it to 100%, but even the things he does super well (like the three step forward and sit or front or return) just didn't happen in a room full of dogs working on different things. Great opportunity for me to practice tuning in to him, though.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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We have been training the advanced signs. Our trainer did mention the change in the 'honor' sign, but she hasn't said anything about the stand the dog and walk 6 feet. She did mention a change in the jump, where the handler cannot pass the jump until the dog has returned to heel position. Did they talk about that one? Finally have Augie doing a 'back up' - still a little sloppy but progress!! Also he is standing, also a little sloppy, but progress.
The new jump sign doesn't replace the old one, it's a separate sign. So you could have one, the other, or both on a course. We all tried all the new exercizes, including this one, and it was no problem for any of the dogs who had either APDT Rally or Agility experience. The only dogs who had a problem were a couple that had ONLY done AKC Rally and Obedience. For the new sign, you need to send the dog to the jump from 10 ft away. You go in a straight line, and can't pass the jump (and must be at least 3ft to the side of the jump) until your dog returns to you in heel position. Kodii had no problem with that one at all.

The only new sign that we REALLY need to work on is the moving down. I still can't get him to down without at least a slight hesitation on my part. Got to fix that!

Great to hear that Augie is getting the back up... Kodi too. It's not perfect yet, but we haven't finished Advanced yet. We have two trials next weekend, so I'm crossing my fingers. The offset figure 8 will still be our nemesis if it's on the course, I'm afraid! Fantastic that you've got Augie's stand coming along. It's amazing how long it takes to get that, isn't it?!?


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Karen,
Thanks for the heads up, I'll pull the new instructions and start practicing. Mojo and I took a couple of months off from Rally just because I didn't want to drive across town at night in the winter. We started that new C.L.A.S.S. program today and I got a really unpleasant surprise -- the performance I saw in Rally didn't carry over into a less performance/more functional setting. I didn't expect it to 100%, but even the things he does super well (like the three step forward and sit or front or return) just didn't happen in a room full of dogs working on different things. Great opportunity for me to practice tuning in to him, though.
Yes, it's a completely different question when you ask them to do these things with the distractions of other dogs around them. I was super please with Kodi (and all the other dogs at the clinic today. There were 20 of us with "working" slots (27 more people were there as auditors) and a LOT of the exercizes were done off-leash. There were one or two people with Novice dogs who kept their dogs on leash at all times, but most of us worked our dogs off leash. There wasn't a single problem, not even any "unauthorized visiting"!

I think you are smart, though, to practice both competition obedience skills AND real-life obedience skills. KODI and I did a "real life" obedience class when he was younger, before they started C.L.A.S.S., and it was very useful. Our class moved from one place to another, sometimes on the busy town common, sometimes in the parking lot of a grocery store, once in an outdoor mall... Any place our instructor could think of that was a distracting environment. It was a very good experience for all the dogs.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 11:05 PM
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The new jump sign doesn't replace the old one, it's a separate sign. So you could have one, the other, or both on a course. We all tried all the new exercizes, including this one, and it was no problem for any of the dogs who had either APDT Rally or Agility experience. The only dogs who had a problem were a couple that had ONLY done AKC Rally and Obedience. For the new sign, you need to send the dog to the jump from 10 ft away. You go in a straight line, and can't pass the jump (and must be at least 3ft to the side of the jump) until your dog returns to you in heel position. Kodii had no problem with that one at all.

The only new sign that we REALLY need to work on is the moving down. I still can't get him to down without at least a slight hesitation on my part. Got to fix that!

Great to hear that Augie is getting the back up... Kodi too. It's not perfect yet, but we haven't finished Advanced yet. We have two trials next weekend, so I'm crossing my fingers. The offset figure 8 will still be our nemesis if it's on the course, I'm afraid! Fantastic that you've got Augie's stand coming along. It's amazing how long it takes to get that, isn't it?!?
Although we are working on these advanced signs, we haven't even competed at the novice level yet. I did not realize that this jump sign was in addition to the previous jump - I understood it to have replaced it. Good questions for our next class! And the moving down is new? We have been practicing that one all along - where you are heeling and call a down with no sit in between? That one hasn't been a problem for him. The backing up was, because I stepped on his tail a couple of times when we were trying to learn it. So we gave it a HUGE break - and then she gave me another method of training and that worked much better. He got it (sort of) after not too much trouble. The stand - oh brother. But it is like that is clicking now too. We have been working with lots of distractions in class. She has us yelling across the barn, cheering, clapping, and she 'plants' moveable wind-up singing toys around the course. I think it distracts me more than Augie!! I feel like I have been through a major workout after we have finished the course!

Linda, Augie & Finn's Mom
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Although we are working on these advanced signs, we haven't even competed at the novice level yet. I did not realize that this jump sign was in addition to the previous jump - I understood it to have replaced it.
Yes, it is in addition to the old sign. This makes it harder, actually, because in one instance, you need to send the dog away from you, and in the other instance, you need the dog to stay with you up to the jump. But "Send to Jump" is only in Excellent. But still, you need to train both, so that the dog can differentiate between the two on course.

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Good questions for our next class! And the moving down is new? We have been practicing that one all along - where you are heeling and call a down with no sit in between? That one hasn't been a problem for him.
No, the moving down isn't new, but we still have trouble with it. Fortunately, it's in Excellent, so we still have a few weeks to get it down pat. The old one was "Moving down and walk around dog", this gave you a little edge, because you were turning in front of the dog, which helped to stop him. Here are the directions for the new one. (again, added, not replacing) This is from the AKC rule book. There is also a "Stand while heeling" which is essentially the same, except that you stand the dog rather than down them. This is the first time (in AKC) that we've expected the dog to stay in position while we leave them. The emphasis below is mine... this is what I have to REALLY work on with Kodi.

"Down While Heeling While moving forward, without pause or hesitation, the handler will command and/or signal the dog to down and stay as the handler continues forward about 6 feet to the Call to Heel marker. The handler will turn and face the dog, pause and then command and/or signal the dog to heel. This is a 180 ̊ change of direction, about turn. (This sign will be followed within 6 feet by the Call to Heel marker.) Dog must return to heel position and sit, the handler must pause before moving forward. (Stationary exercise)"

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The backing up was, because I stepped on his tail a couple of times when we were trying to learn it.
Poor Augie! He has Finn pulling out the hair on his head, and you pulling out his tail. Before long, he's gonna be bald! Kodi is doing well on the back-up too. He can now do it without a wall, but we still use a bar on the floor to keep him straight. We probably will continue to do that when ever he's not competing, just to remind him to back as straight as possible. I also have to remember to moderate my stride. I have really long legs, and if I take 3 "normal" strides back with such a small dog, it's like asking a Golden to take 9 steps back!

I'm actually glad that they've made Excellent harder. It will really mean something now. As it was, the only exercise that was really harder in Excellent was the back, and a lot of people just skipped that and took the 10 point deduction, rather than bother to train it. Now, with the new rules, you HAVE to at least TRY every station or it's an NQ, so people can't get away with that.

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So we gave it a HUGE break - and then she gave me another method of training and that worked much better. He got it (sort of) after not too much trouble. The stand - oh brother. But it is like that is clicking now too.
Well, I told you how long it took me to get the stand with Kodi... it's not easy!!! (at least for those of us who didn't start with conformation!)

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We have been working with lots of distractions in class. She has us yelling across the barn, cheering, clapping, and she 'plants' moveable wind-up singing toys around the course. I think it distracts me more than Augie!! I feel like I have been through a major workout after we have finished the course!
That's awesome! You never know how an individual dog is going to react to distractions until you get them out in competition. I was lucky with Kodi... being in a strange place makes him look to me MORE for direction. But a lot of people find just the opposite - that they can't keep their dog's attention as well in a new setting.

I can't wait for you to enter Augie in a trial. I think he's going to be awesome with all the careful preparation you've given him!


Karen, Kodi, Pixel and Panda
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 04:11 PM
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Ahhh, thanks for the clarification! It sounds to me like they have made it so your dog had better really be solid on his obedience skills. Nothing wrong with that, and then one can feel like they have accomplished something.

I took Augie out for a walk just a bit ago and we practiced the stand and the backing up during our walk. The backing is still a little rough around the edges but it is getting better. Sometimes he kind of jumps to the side a bit - I think he is afraid I am going to step on him. And it may be that I am not backing smoothly, so I am not going to point the finger at him. And he does not have as much hair as he once did!! I did trim some tail hair so I would be less inclined to step on it. I was so pleased with his stand today. He did it from a sit and a down and even just voice command. Holy cow! I don't know what finally made him get it. But I will take it!!

About distractions, our trainer is constantly telling us we have to make ourselves more interesting than the distractions. So you must be pretty exciting, Karen!! Me, I am pretty boring! Augie has trouble focusing the first couple of signs - after that, I can usually get and maintain is attention. When we are practicing with all the distractions, we are also working off leash. The first couple of times, my heart was in my throat, but I am feeling more confident about the both of us.

Linda, Augie & Finn's Mom
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Ahhh, thanks for the clarification! It sounds to me like they have made it so your dog had better really be solid on his obedience skills. Nothing wrong with that, and then one can feel like they have accomplished something.
I agree. Overall, I'm excited about the changes. It will be a bit more challenging, but I think that's good!

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I was so pleased with his stand today. He did it from a sit and a down and even just voice command. Holy cow! I don't know what finally made him get it. But I will take it!!
That's fantastic! Kodi won't do it just on a voice command yet.<sigh>

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About distractions, our trainer is constantly telling us we have to make ourselves more interesting than the distractions. So you must be pretty exciting, Karen!! Me, I am pretty boring! Augie has trouble focusing the first couple of signs - after that, I can usually get and maintain is attention. When we are practicing with all the distractions, we are also working off leash. The first couple of times, my heart was in my throat, but I am feeling more confident about the both of us.
I don't know how exciting I am... I did learn that I really needed to move briskly to keep Kodi's attention. In the beginning, I tried to go slowly, trying to work on precision. But he just got frustrated with that, and went looking for excitement. When I picked up my pace, he realized he had better pay attention or he'd lose me. Interestingly, I've had VERY little trouble once we started working off-leash. A lot of people have told me that they've experienced the same thing.

As far as losing focus in the beginning, we had trouble with that too, and really worked on it. We practiced just the first step of heeling, over and over again. If he looked anywhere but at me, I had to start over. If he kept his attention on me, I broke him out, played, gave him a treat and told him how wonderful he was. We still practice this at home several days a week, just for 30 seconds to a minute at a time. The other thing I learned was that as we stand at the in gate, with him in heel position, I just say, in a bright voice, "heel!"", and when he looks at me, I hand him a cookie. I never even move my feet, and he never leaves his sit-at-heel position. I do this at least 5 times in a row, just before we go into the ring as our final warm up, and MOST of the time, he is right with me from the first step. I've learned that if I don't have him with me for the first sign, it's not worth continuing. So if it's practice we just reset and start again.


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