Rugby Dog Training Club

Rally Obedience

For those members who having trained their dog at the Club and who do not want to enter full obedience competitions but wish to compete then why not try Rally Obedience (known as Rally O).

Rally Obedience was devised in the USA in the early 2000's by Charles L. "Bud" Kramer and is intended to create a bridge between pet training and competition training.

Rally O has become a very successful sport in the USA having being recognised as a Companion Obedience sport by the American Kennel Club (effective January 1, 2005) and is now gathering similar support in the UK. Formerly supported by the APDT., The Kennel Club became responsible for the organisation and promotion of Rally in March 2013.

What is Rally Obedience?

Rally is a fun sport that incorporates basic obedience skills into correctly completing a course marked out with signs (usually 10 -20) in sequence.

Each sign (such as the one above) will give a different instruction as to a task to be performed. The ‘team’ (ie. Dog and handler) will perform the designated task in close proximity to the sign itself, either directly in front of, or in front of and to the left of the sign, once completed the team go on to next sign and complete that task and so on until the course is completed.

Unlike normal obedience a steward does not follow the competitors giving instructions, once the Judge tells the handler to start then it is up to the handler to complete the course with the dog in heel position at their own pace.

Who can compete?

Anyone can compete! Accommodation can be made for dogs and handlers with physical challenges.

What sorts of Dogs are allowed?

All dogs, purebred and mixed breeds can participate, but they must be registered with the Kennel Club either on the Activity Register (for mixed breeds) or the Breed register. All dogs competing must be over six months of age.

Rally Signs

All signs are large enough to be easily recognised by the handler as they go through a course.

Each sign will include descriptions of the exercise to be completed as well as directional arrows for exercises as shown in the examples below.


Building a relationship between the dog and handler plays an important factor in Rally Obedience in that rewards such praise and feedback are positively encouraged, whereas harsh handling, unnecessary loud or harsh commands or intimidating signals are penalised.

Therefore handlers can use unlimited communication such as hand signals (using one or both arms and hands), verbal commands, praise and encouragement, during a competition, however, a handler may not touch the dog or make physical corrections.


Rally Obedience is a great sport for pet dog owners as it was designed with the traditional pet owner in mind to promote greater communication between a handler and their dog in a competitive, fun and enjoyable atmosphere.

After all dogs love to learn and enjoy new challenges and the variety of challenges set by Rally Obedience will keep both you and your dog occupied for years to come, well past the time most dogs retire from competitive canine sports.

Further Information

Further information on Rally Obedience competitions, rules etc can be found on the Kennel Club web site.

Training at the Club

 The club will be holding Rally Obedience fortnightly on a Tuesday evening at 7.15 p.m.

Members are encouraged to participate in an evening of challenge and fun.

Rally Obedience Trainers:

  • Ann Jordan
  • Betty Keepax
  • Val Ridgers

Rally Obedience

Fortnightly on Tuesday Evenings