In 2005, Dog obedience-rally events were developed for dogs and their owners to compete in a more relaxed and casual venue than obedience. Rally (or Rally-O) requires teamwork between the owner and their dog. It is a relatively low-impact sport that primarily asks the dog and handler to walk through the course. The handler may use mobility devices, such as canes, crutches, or electric scooters or wheelchairs, as needed. The handler communicates with the dog using verbal instructions and hand signals.
The team navigates a course of 10-20 different signs, in numerical order. Instead of waiting for a judge's directions, the teams navigates around the course, performing the tasks described on each sign. Some basic signs are sit, stay, come, turn 90, 180, 270, or 360 degrees. As you move up the levels, the signs get more challenging and numerous – and, often more fun for the dog.
All sorts of breeds participate in Rally. Organizations like AKC (American Kennel Club), World Cynosport, and C-Wags (Canine Work and Games) are organizations that host Rally events. After having three qualifying runs under two different judges, a title can be earned. Rally is a wonderful and fun way to introduce your team to canine sports.
Here's a link to the AKC Rally information.
Challenges for the Dog
Novice Level - walking, short trot. Higher levels require some jumping, fairly low heights. Dog must be willing to partner with handler.
Challenges for the Handler
Handler walks with short bursts of running (10-20 feet). Must be able to read and understand signs, and find their way around the course in correct order. In advanced levels, multi-part signs. Must see dog as partner.
Must be consistent with training. With regular training and practice, dog and handler may be ready to compete at Novice within a few months, and progress fairly rapidly.