By Joanne Albrecht
Rally is fun for you and your dog. People think terriers are hard to train, that is not true!! I have trained and showed two Cairns in Rally. The dogs love it because you can talk to them while you are in the ring like you do when you do Conformation. The only difference is you cannot use bait or a toy to try to get them to do anything. You can only use your voice.
Rally is a course of “signs” that are directive to the command you need to perform. You and your dog follow a planned course set up by the judge and do whatever the sign says when you come to it. There are 3 levels – Novice, Advanced and Excellence. To get started you need to pick up or download the Obedience Rule book from the AKC website, or you can pick up a book at a dog show for usually a small fee. The Minneapolis and the St. Paul dog shows will have them on site, look where the Superintendent’s table is located at each show.
Some of the things your Cairn needs to do are sit, down, stand, heal, turns both right and left, jumps (high bar and broad) which are used in the Advanced and Excellence levels. The best thing would be is to take a beginner obedience class. Pet Junction, St. Paul Training Center and Tails Up, to name a few, offer beginner obedience classes as well as all the levels of Rally classes. Enjoy!!!
Rules/Regulations book on American Kennel Club: http://www.akc.org/rules