I wanted to do agility, but she isn't old enough. Rally looks a little less fun, but probably a lot more useful! I'm sure it will help her transition into agility once she is old enough too. Do other people do both? What do they prefer?
A dog should be at least a year old, with all joints and bones mature before they start in agility. Otherwise they can hurt themselves permanently. Also, they need to have at least basic obedience under their belts. You need to be able to control them off leash or you'll never get anywhere with agility.
Kodi and I do rally, formal obedience and agility, enjoy all three and have titles in all three. Without a doubt, formal obedience is the most challenging, because everything must be SO precise to get good scores… and a single small mistake at the wrong time can cause you not to even qualify. So formal obedience isn't for everyone. I love it because I DO love a challenge!
Agility LOOKS like it is all "fun and games" running around and teaching the dog to do various obstacles. The truth is, that teaching the obstacles is the EASIEST part of agility. What takes MUCH longer is learning good handling skills and teaching the dog how to respond to your handling. Agility is MUCH more a "mind game" than beginners think!
Rally is more like obedience than it is like agility. But the more obedience you do with your dog, the easier time you will have in the agility ring later. Rally is basically a bunch of obedience moves, but done at your own pace, and directed by signs on the course, rather than a regiment of exercises that are always the same and called by the judge as they are in formal obedience.
Here is a Level 3 (hardest level) rally run in WCR:
I included this (recent) video, just so you can see what you're working toward in rally. But below, I'll show you what the "beginning" levels of rally and agility look like.
Here is a Level 1 rally run in WCR. This is similar to to AKC Novice, although the courses are longer:
Here is an AKC Novice run:
Here is a AKC Novice level agility run, which is basically where you would start in agility:
And just so you can see what another venue looks like, this is a NADAC Novice "regular". (which is their equivalent of "standard" in AKC)