Getting ready to Rally!

I’ve finally entered Elsie in a CARO trial, coming up on June 26th.  I’ve been working a lot this week (since I registered!) on getting the stand on cue, as well as more stimulus control on positions.  Despite my earlier work on fronts, I need to do a little more on getting the front smoothly from moving in heel position (call front signs).  I take a step back in the video, which isn’t a problem for CARO, but I’d rather not have to. Earlier in the training session she was coming in very crookedly, as well.  Other than that, I just need to remember how to read the signs and not screw up all my subtle (or not so subtle) body cues, which would totally throw Elsie off in the ring.  I am liking her heeling, she’s got pretty good duration despite a fairly low rate of reinforcement.

I’ve entered three runs in Novice, and I’m hoping to get that title soon so I can get started on advanced.   I’m not competitive, I don’t think well under this type of stress,  and I don’t like performing… The behaviours in Novice are not particularly hard, but I know I’m going to screw something up bad when I get into the ring (read: and piss myself), so I think I won’t set my sights on coming out of this trial with a Novice title!!

So, here’s how things have been going:

3 thoughts on “Getting ready to Rally!”

  1. Really impressive work! Does CARO allow you to reinforce the dog in the ring, or will you be working towards doing a whole run without treats?

    I’d love to do rally with my boy someday. Are there any books or resources you can recommend for getting started?

  2. Thanks! 🙂
    CARO does allowed food in the ring for novice and advanced only. There are rules around when/how to use it – luring will result in NQ, food must be kept in the right side pocket (dog heels on left only in those two levels), and a handler can only feed at “halt” stations. No feeding for the heel or any movement stations.
    Pamela Dennison’s “Click your Wat to Rally Obedience” is a good book (http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DTO226). Check your local rally organization’s website for specific rules and which signs are at which level. Despite having the behaviours down pat, going through a course with the signs is a whole other kettle of fish! Get familiar with the signs so reading them is second nature, otherwise they can be terribly confusing.

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