Participation in obedience trials is great motivation to get your dog spit-polished and well-trained. Nearly any dog can do well at the simple tasks on the obedience field. Several standards of obedience-trialing are available. Among these are AKC Rally (aka Rally-O), MondioRing obedience, and AKC Obedience


Rally offers a different way to show in obedience. In Rally the dog and handler complete a course of 10-20 stations, depending on level. Each station has a sign that instructs the handler to have their dog do a certain behavior (i.e. sit, down, left about turn, 1 step back, 2 steps back - etc.). The Dog is at the handlers left side as they proceed through the course at their own pace. It is not timed. Unlimited communication between the handler and dog is encouraged and a “strict” heel position is not required but there should always be a sense of teamwork between the dog and handler. In higher level work is off-leash, but at novice level, leashes are used. The leash needs to remain slack, a tight leash will incur penalties. The handler is permitted to talk, praise, encourage, clap their hands, pat their legs or use any verbal means of encouragement short of physically touching the dog.

Watch a perfect routine for an AKC Rally novice-level course on Youtube.
To compete in AKC Rally, dogs must be
  • Registered with the AKC
  • Listed with the AKC Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP) program
  • Listed with the AKC Canine Partners program
  • Be a Foundation Stock Service (FSS) recorded breed.
  • 6 months of age or older.

AKC official Rally page

MondioRing Obedience

MondioRing offers an obedience-only title for dogs registered through a number of organizations. It is performed off-leash in an enclosed area. Level 1 exercises are heeling, sit/lay/stand positioning, food refusal, long stay while handler leaves, send-out, and object retrieve. Jump is optional.

AKC Obedience

AKC Obedience has several level of difficulty and are open to AKC registered dogs.
AKC has a nice pamphlet on getting started in their various sports, with rules and requirements.

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