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Rally Obedience

Rallying around at the Cynosport Games.  By Anne Douglas

Two dogs earned challenging titles as rally obedience launched three days of trials at the Cynosport Games.

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) is sanctioning this year's trials. Rally obedience is an event in which dogs and handlers move through a timed course of obedience and agility flatwork exercises. In the advanced levels there are jump stations.

Belgian Tervuran Dusty, owned and handled by Troy Ballard, and Belgian Groenendael Bing, owned and handled by Ali Brown, both finished their Rally Level 1 Excellent titles which involves earning 10 qualifying scores in Level 1. In addition, Ali Brown and Bing finished their ARCHX, which requires ten qualifying scores at both Level 1 and 2 in the same trials.

The sport of rally obedience is relatively young and APDT rally is new to this area. Nonetheless, this year's organizer, Troy Ballard of Maricopa, Arizona, who runs Paws for Reflection dog training school (, says that the response has been better than expected. "We've added some entries from local rally enthusiasts as well as an agility competitor."

Ballard likes hosting a trial at the Cynosport Games because it allows the public and competitors in agility and flyball to get hooked on this positive, interactive sport. "Agility competitors find that when they do rally with their dogs it helps dogs be more focused and in tune with them," she says.

A "show'n'go" was scheduled for Friday and Saturday afternoons. For only $5, pet owners and competitors in other sports gave rally a try with the help of the friendly organizers.

Anne Douglas is the editor of DogSport magazine ( She can be reached at


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