A Peek Into Rally Master: Dog Circles Right Handler Circles Left

November 26, 2022

The Dog Circles Right Handler Circles Left is one Master sign that many people dread, but it’s not nearly as difficult as it seems!  If you think of this sign as two left about turns in place, you’ll realize your dog already has the skills he needs to be able to successfully perform.


Here’s a video of what this sign should look like.



Around Cue


In order for your dog to do well, he needs to have a strong “around” cue.  When my dog is in heel and I cue the around, I use my right hand in front of my body as my hand signal combined with the word around.  This catches the dog’s attention so he moves across the front of my body, rather than doing a left pivot (which is what he would do if I didn’t cue him to go around, and is exactly the opposite of the behavior I need).


First, review your around cue.  Here is my first attempt to work with Excel on this sign, and I noticed that his around cue was weak.



After I reviewed the around, I did this second session.  You can see that he has a much better chance of success when he does a good around!



Review Left-About Turn


Be sure your left about turn is solid.  It should look like this:



Put It All Together


Once you have that skill, try the double left about, with 2-3 steps in between the turns.



Finally, when that’s going well, put the two together without any steps in between.  You’ve taken this tough sign and broken it down so it doesn’t seem so difficult anymore!

Do you want to up your rally game??

If you’ve started dabbling in Rally but am not sure where to go from here, I’ve got the class for you!  Improve foundation skills, heeling, connection, and more in my class, Rally: Beyond the Basics!  Prepare yourself for trials too, by learning how to memorize signs and courses, reduce stress, and prevent common errors.  Topics such as distractions, generalization, and building longer chains will also be covered.

Wherever you are in your Rally journey, I will meet you there!

Registration opens on March 22nd.  The 6-week class will start on April 1st!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *