Lyra and Hilary’s Rally Obedience and Agility classes continue on a weekly basis and both girls – and their handlers – are making good progress. Some of the elements that seemed complicated and hard at our first sessions have turned out not to be so difficult, while other elements will take a lot of practice to get it right. Fredrik and Hilary have been introduced to all the agility obstacles apart from the teeter-totter and so far the weaves is their biggest challenge. At Rally-O, Lyra and I have attempted 20 of the 30 signs that make up the Rally Novice class in Sweden and it’s obvious that we have some work in front of us when it comes to improving our precision and smoothness. I think both Fredrik and I could easily get bitten by the training and trialling bug, as this is great fun! However, one disadvantage of having multiple dogs (in our case 8 dogs) is that we do not have the time to become really specialised in individual sports, as we need to make sure that all our dogs get their fair share of attention and training. But we will definitely make the most of our classes this autumn and the girls are having a blast!
The A-frame is a walk in the park for Hilary as she loves to climb on top of things.
The jumps are still her favourite obstacles but we’ll have to improve our “send away” technique.
And while balancing on things is fun, we have to make sure that she doesn’t miss the contact areas by running too fast across.
Rally-O is all about establishing great teamwork with your dog through positive training.
One of the most important skills your dog needs to do well is the ability to walk on a loose leash – as a tight leash, even if it’s just for a moment, will deduct points from your score.
What I particularly like about Rally is that you are allowed and encouraged to talk to your dog throughout the course to keep him/her happy and interested. As you can see in the photos, I use a lot of verbal cues (and yummy Orijen Treats!) to keep Lyra alert and on the ball. In fact, I probably talk too much and should focus more on developing a more effective body language.
We are already looking forward to next week!