6-Week Class

Get Ready to Rally: Get in the Ring!

Start Date: June 1, 2022
Registration Opens: May 22, 2022

Class Description

Imagine this…

It’s your first time in the Novice Rally ring with your dog. You walk into the ring and you feel confident — you just know that both you and your dog are fully prepared for this moment.

You set up next to the start sign and the judge asks if you are ready. You focus on your dog and see those brown eyes staring back at you, twinkling, ready to work. “Ready!” you reply to the judge.

Stepping into the ring with your dog for the first time can be nerve wracking — and it’s easy to let those nerves get the best of you. The best weapon against nerves? Knowing you and your dog are completely prepared.

With the skills you learn in this class, that could be you! That happy attentive dog could be your dog! Taking the time to prepare for your first show will pay off each time you step into the ring with your canine partner.

For the first three weeks, we’ll cover all the Novice/Level 1 signs from the four most popular venues: AKC, WCRL, UKC, and ASCA.  Each week will contain a short course with the signs that we learned that week.  There will also be lectures on acclimating your dog to the signs on the ground, staying connected to your dog, and how to reduce reinforcement.  The last three weeks will feature lectures with important information such as how to read course maps and remember courses, common rally rules, how to enter a trial, and what to expect at a trial.  In addition, each of the last three weeks will have 2 courses for you and your dog to practice all the skills you’ve learned!  These courses will start simple but by the last week will be similar to what you’ll see in the novice ring.  The information you learn in this class will help you get better scores as you receive advice on how to avoid the most common point deductions as we polish up your team’s current skills!  After this class, you will be much more confident about sending in that first entry!

As with the entire Get Ready to Rally! Series, Gold teams can continue working on refining and adding precision to any of the skills needed in rally.

This class will feature a TA (Teacher’s Assistant) in the FB Study Group! Your TA will be Ann Smorado. Ann has done a wonderful job as TA for all my rally classes and the study group is lucky to have her!

Check out this exciting trailer for this exciting class!

Teaching Approach

Lectures will be released weekly on the first day of each week.  There is one lecture for each Novice/Level 1 sign, which includes a description of the sign, several demo videos, a written explanation of how to teach the skills needed for the sign, several short videos showing the training steps for the sign, and tips for performing the sign correctly to minimize point losses.  In addition, there are several written concept lectures.  Videos do not include captions or voiceovers.  Rally is a physical sport which requires walking but accommodations can be made for those with mobility issues.  I have coached students in wheelchairs and with canes and people using mobility devices can have successful rally experiences.  This class would work best with students that prefer written out instructions with video examples of each step and prefer a systematic approach to rally training.  I will provide written feedback with video examples if necessary.

Class Syllabus

This information is subject to change:

Week 1

  • Sit, Down, and Stand in Heel Position Signs
  • Fronts and Finishes Signs
  • Signs on the Ground Lecture
  • Course

Week 2

  • Turns and Moving Side Step Signs
  • Short Heeling Segments Signs
  • Staying Connected to Your Dog Lecture
  • Course

Week 3

  • Pace Changes Signs
  • Stays Signs
  • Removing Reinforcers
  • Course

Week 4

  • Reading a Course Map
  • Tips for Not Getting Lost on the Course
  • 2 Courses

Week 5

  • Common Rally Rules
  • How to Enter a Trial
  • 2 Courses

Week 6

  • What to Expect at a Trial
  • 2 Courses