Does Anybody Rally Know What Time It Is?

Delilah and I started a new class.


I’ve heard so many people tell me how easily I could Title Delilah in the sport of Rally.  Let me go on the record as saying Delilah could probably Title in Rally, I just wonder if I’m the right person for the job.

I’m not just self-deprecating (VBP.) Have you ever looked at a Rally sign?



Those are just a few of the NOVICE signs.


The first night of class I stood and stared at the top two for about five minutes trying to figure out just exactly what I was supposed to do.

Delilah was no help, she was raiding the treat bag while I was reading.

Arianne came over to help us out and it took me most of the class to really get it.

We practiced heeling and stopping.  When I’m heeling my dog and I stop, I expect my dog to sit.

And she does, she just sits in such a manner that her body is turned so she’s facing me.  She’s not sitting by my side.

I asked Arianne how to fix that.

IMG_3803 There’s a trick to this folks.

And the trick is this.  Some of us (ME) keep our treats close to our sides because we want a nice close heel with our dogs, which is why Delilah tends to be facing me when I stop.

In order to correct this, when you stop, you actually move your treat hand away from your body, this will automatically correct the sit.

I kid you not.

IMG_3804 Notice how my hand is a good distance from my body.

The other thing I’ve been doing incorrectly is holding the leash in my left hand.  You probably already know this, but humor me for a minute, you actually have better control of your dog with your leash in the opposite hand of the side you are heeling on.


Because if I’m heeling my dog on the left with the leash in my left hand and my dog decides to lunge, my right hand has a way to go in order to grab the leash.  If my leash is in my right hand and my dog lunges my left hand is already there and can quickly reach out and assist my right hand.

See why I think Delilah is doomed?  I don’t even know the proper way to hold her leash, how can I give her the proper signals and set her up to succeed?

We’re participating in the Vocabulary Building Project blog hop, hosted by Texas, A Cat in New York, Savannah’s Paw Tracks, and Hey It’s Jet Here.

Check out the other participating blogs and see how you can increase your vocabulary.

Author’s Note: The rally photos are taken from a handout I received from my trainer, they are AKC registered and available on their website.
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  1. says

    Are you sure it’s not Delilah who trained you this way 😉
    Just kidding!
    Thanks for your pawticipation in our blog hop!
    I have replied to your comment on my bloggie (I don’t want to put all these techie things on your nice bloggie on my first visit ;-). Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have further questions!
    Purrs to a great weekend.

  2. says

    BOL – I did Rally years ago with my Golden Cisco. I don’t remember too much of the signs, but I decided to put Sam in a Novice A show at the end of February. Yikes!


    • Jodi Stone says

      Oh my gosh, have you been practicing or you just winging it? Will you post about it? I’d love to hear all about it! Good luck!!

  3. says

    As long as Delilah knows the secret to raiding the treats while you’re distracted, she’ll be fine. You on the other hand may be embarrassing to her. :) We learned the leash-holding strategy in obedience school. I hold the beginning of the leash in my right hand, but control Cupcake with the part of the leash in my left hand. For the past 2 months, I have had to use a cane because of my bad knee. Cane in the left hand = BAD Cupcake. Today is my second day off the cane, so we have some review work to do!! Good luck at Rally!

    • Jodi Stone says

      Oh dear, sorry to hear about the cane! I do hope your knee is feeling better. The funny thing is when I walk with her I do hold the leash in my right hand, just for some reason during this class I was using my left. I need to break myself of this very bad habit!

    • Jodi Stone says

      Awe thanks for the video Julie! I would guess she is keeping her arms folded to make sure she doesn’t inadvertently give her dog a signal for something else and to insure it doesn’t look like she’s luring her dog.

      I think it’s a nice easy way to ease your dog into competition. :-) Not sure if I will enter Delilah or not, but it’s a fun class to take and way to strengthen our bond.

  4. says

    First, thanks for the great tip on straight sits…never even thought of that before…and I laugh looking at those charts…I am such a klutz i’d be tripping all over myself and probably Gizmo too…it’s why i was never very successful at agility…my dogs were fine but me? i could never master the footwork …guess I’ve have to continue to admire from afar those that compete..PS Love today’s title and yes I do remember the song :)

    • Jodi Stone says

      That’s exactly how I feel! I have to really study the sign to figure out what I need to do, that will be what messes us up. ME!

      Isn’t it funny? I was singing the song all day. :-)

  5. says

    I loved Rally when Toby and I were competing in it, and even though the signs are confusing at first, they eventually become second nature….like reading traffic signals. You’ll get it. Glad you are pursuing this with Delilah! Bet you’ll both have a lot of fun. :-)

    • Jodi Stone says

      It’s something different Donna, she is so smart that I need to find ways to stimulate that mind of hers or else. Well you’ve read her Monday Mischief posts. :-)

  6. says

    I bet you and Delilah will have a blast once you figure it out. Everybody says it is fun! Freighter’s mom has her Rally Advanced and her bother has his Rally Excellent. Both their handler’s just love it, but I am with you on the signs. :)


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