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At my trial, one of the exhibitors was a rally instructor. She told me that if my dog is in Rally A, because I have no other obedience titles on my dog, or any dog in the past, I should hold off on getting a BN or a CD until I'm completely done with Rally. As soon as I get a BN or a CD, I am required to only show in Rally B. Right now, I can show in Rally A all the way through to the end. There is a whole lot less competition in Rally A.

Just something to consider if you're a total newbie to dog trials like me.
 

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That is not entirely correct. You can stay in the A classes through Rally Excellent if you have no obedience titles, but to earn an RAE you must go to the B classes as quoted below from the Rally rule book, Chapter 3, section 15:


"Section 15. Rally Advanced Excellent Title.
Upon completion of the Rally Excellent title, qualifying scores may be accumulated from the Rally Advanced B class and the Rally Excellent B class to earn the Rally Advanced Excellent (RAE) title. To earn a Rally Advanced Excellent title, the dog must have received qualifying scores in both Advanced B and Excellent B at 10 separate licensed or member rally trials.
The RAE title will appear at the end of the dog’s name and a numeric designation will indicate the number of times the dog has met RAE rrequirements, i.e. RAE2, RAE3, etc"


The advantage of being in the A classes is only really about them being smaller classes and making placements more likely. The A and B courses are the same and judging is the same. I had to show Peeves in B classes and also have to show Javelin in B classes. For a class handlers I think there are many things to think about in terms of A vs. B and when to to rally titles vs. obedience titles.



Javelin has a rally novice title only because I had the sort of silly (but accomplished) goal of having him earn some sort of title at PCA before they moved away from Maryland. He will not do any rally again until he has at least a UD or perhaps higher. I love rally, but not necessarily as a way to improve the dog's obedience work. There are too many opportunities to break the attentive contact with the dog when you look away to see signs. For the level of obedience performance I want out of Javelin BN will be where to get the bugs out rather than rally. I can heel a BN pattern based on my memory of walking it and stay connected to him much better than I can in rally.
 

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In California shows, I'm thrilled if we get a placement. Classes can be huge, even in the A classes. So I'm really going for the score. We decided to do Intermediate this month in stead of Advanced A because I messed up Frosty's confidence in jumping. There are 26 dogs entered! I'm not expecting to get anywhere near the top 4, but would LOVE to Q and not get any IPs.
 

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By all means stay in rally A classes for RA and RE and use those opportunities to help support Noelle and let her gain confidence for trials of all types.
 

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In California shows, I'm thrilled if we get a placement. Classes can be huge, even in the A classes. So I'm really going for the score. We decided to do Intermediate this month in stead of Advanced A because I messed up Frosty's confidence in jumping. There are 26 dogs entered! I'm not expecting to get anywhere near the top 4, but would LOVE to Q and not get any IPs.

Wow that is a huge entry for an a class! Near me it is a big trial if there are 20 - 25 dogs in the advanced, excellent and masters classes.


You know if you work on your precision and keeping a near perfect score sometimes you place over other teams who are all about working fast. I am sorry you are having problems with jumps, but you will be able to fix that quickly I am sure. Frosty looks like a guy who deep down loves jumping.
 

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Wow that is a huge entry for an a class! Near me it is a big trial if there are 20 - 25 dogs in the advanced, excellent and masters classes.


You know if you work on your precision and keeping a near perfect score sometimes you place over other teams who are all about working fast. I am sorry you are having problems with jumps, but you will be able to fix that quickly I am sure. Frosty looks like a guy who deep down loves jumping.
Thank you, Catherine! I will definitely shoot for precision over speed :)

Our last two training classes he has jumped confidently at full height, so, fingers crossed, he is over that hump :)
 

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Click I'm glad you asked.

I've messed myself up over this - we'll earn our obedience title before competing in AKC rally so we will be a B entry and won't have any chance at ribbons competing against the more advanced dogs.

I think that AKC is a little unfair in this. But I will have to abide by the rules.
 
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I think the instructor told me up until RE, but I got my titles messed up. Still, it was nice of her to point that out. Stay with rally A as long as possible, then get a BN.
 

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<snip>
... I love rally, but not necessarily as a way to improve the dog's obedience work. There are too many opportunities to break the attentive contact with the dog when you look away to see signs. For the level of obedience performance I want out of Javelin BN will be where to get the bugs out rather than rally. I can heel a BN pattern based on my memory of walking it and stay connected to him much better than I can in rally.
I'm not sure I agree, but you're a more experienced handler and know your goals better than a newbie might. I would still recommend someone new to showing to go with rally as long as they're having fun. Not everyone (nor every dog) enjoys obedience.

I also love rally, and I used it (and conformation) to get Neely used to show environments in a class that didn't seem to have much pressure attached to it. Also, Neely didn't really seem to have many working brain cells until he was older than 2. He's still a wild man sometimes, but my theory, based on observing people who competed in the equestrian sport of eventing, that it is easier and more fun to point the beast in the right direction than to beg them to play with you.

I've noted elsewhere that Neely earned his UKC utility title over the weekend but we're still playing in rally. Two RM legs to go for that title. Then finances will be a real consideration. We might finish RAE3, since we have several legs in that direction, but triple Qs are just not in the budget. I'll likely support local clubs in their UKC rally trials, but we've pretty much maxed out that venue, unless they change the rules and add new stuff.
 

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I've been hearing rumors that the RACh point schedule may change. That changes the finances of it if they give more points for various parts of it.
 
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I've been hearing rumors that the RACh point schedule may change. That changes the finances of it if they give more points for various parts of it.
I also have heard rumors, and that the points schedule change might or would be retroactive.

But it's just not worth it to me. Neely finished ARCHEX in WCRL rally a couple of years ago. I love that venue--it's the first thing I ever showed in--but the next available title is ARCHMX. It's another triple-Q title that was offered before the RACH came along. I didn't do the MX, since I'd rather spend my money in training classes and obedience entry fees.

M
 
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