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  • Writer's pictureAmelie Koury, Bon Chien Good Dog

Intro to Rally-O

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

Boss and I have signed up for Rally-O classes with our friends at Ivy League Dog Training. I'm very excited to be doing this with him and am looking forward to seeing him learn new things. We're starting this week and in honor of that, I had a little Q&A with Audree, our Rally-O instructor.

Bio Audree Lavertu is the Owner of L'Avenue Canine and also is a Dog Trainer for Ivy League Dog Training where she teaches Rally-O. Her dog training career began after volunteering at the Montreal SPCA in 2014. She quickly signed up for the Animal Behaviour Apprenticeship offered by Dogue Shop and she hasn't stopped learning since. She's taken various courses offered by the FDSA and de Main de Maitre, She and her dog Enzo have earned their Rally Novice, Rally Advance, Rally Excellent and Rally Master titles the past year.

Tell me about your pets. I adopted Enzo, a bully breed mix, when he was about 3 years old. He's now 10. Kylo recently turned 1, I adopted him when he was about 4 months old. What word would describe each of their personalities?

Enzo: Patient

Kylo: Sensitive

What drew you to Rally-O?

At a certain point with Enzo, I started trying different dog sports with him such as flyball, agility, canicross, etc. I went with what worked with my schedule. I decided to try Rally-O after having taken a course on competitive heeling. I really like the attention to detail. When you watch someone go through a Rally-O course, it looks so simple, but there's so much to teach the dog. It's hours and hours of work

What is Rally-O?

Rally-O is an obedience course done with the dog in a heel position. We walk from one station to another, each has a sign indicating what the dog must perform. For example, "turn left", or "ask the dog to sit in front of us, then return to heel position", etc. In Canada, there are 2 associations that offer Rally O Competitions; The Canadian Kennel Club and the Canadian Association of Rally Obedience.

Who can take your class?

Honestly, any dog who can be in the presence of other dogs and humans can take part in a Rally-O class. The majority of the exercises are done via walking with the exception of one that asks light jogging, but it only lasts 5 seconds. There are jumps in the higher levels, Advance, Excellent and Master, but not in Novice, so it's perfect for senior dogs or dogs who have to avoid jumps. Also, at the Novice level, the dogs are on leash. This makes it easier to manage if there's a dog who wants to say hi to others, or if there's a dog who doesn't want to say hi. They each have their space.

What are the benefits of Rally-O?

Like most R+ training, Rally-O classes are enriching to dogs. It works their minds while also solidifying certain cues like sit, lay down, stay, etc. It will also cultivate the bond with your dog, improve your communication skills, and build their confidence.

What does Rally-O require of me, the human?

You have to learn how to read the signs at each station and how to communicate with your dog. But honestly, some of the signs look very similar, so I found the hardest part to be learning the signs to be able to differentiate them.

What's your advice for someone who's interested in Rally-O but doesn't know where to start?

Look for an intro to Rally-O course. There's a few in and around Montreal.

Interested in Rally-O? Contact Ivy League Dog Training to learn more about their classes! Email them at Next session begins in November.

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