Written by Marilyn M. Miller
When I was training and showing my Lhasas in Rally, I always spent several nights before each show watching videos on Youtube. I thought this was the only vehicle to find rally training videos. That, and my "coache's" website where she has videos of some of her students going through courses. Recently I learned there are many other search engines to look at Rally videos. Some of these include Google, Bing, Yahoo, Aol, Dailymotion.com and Webstarter. These videos include everything from a description of all the signs to demonstrations of all the signs. Also various courses at all three levels of Rally.
All kinds of information on Rally can be found including: How to get started in Rally, different Rally - O courses, signs, classes, videos, information on Rally in Canada and where to buy the equipment such as all the signs and jumps. I learned that Bud Kramer was the main founder of Rally Obedience which came from the practice of doing an interesting assortment of obedience warmups and freestyle exercises. His book "The Style of Rally Obedience, 3rd Edition" explains all one needs to know to get started in the sport.
I did not realize that there are as many as five "sanctioning" groups of Rally - O in the U.S. These include: The American Kennel Club (AKC)
Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT)
Canine Work and Games (C - Wags)
Canines and Humans United (CHU)
United Kennel Club (UKC)
Watching these videos helped me evaluate my own performances and be more aware of myself and my dog in the ring. Some of the things I was made more aware of were: allowing the dog to bump the handler, poor posture of the handler, how the approach to the signs makes a big difference on you and your dog's performance, and how bending over for large breeds is unnessary. I would recommend not beginning with hand clapping or knee slapping in Novice to encourage the dog. This is a hard habit to break as you advance into Excellent where it is not allowed. Get your dog started in doing a straight down, not a down off to one side or in front of you. Make sure there is a notable difference between the slow, normal and fast paces. Above all: train for distractions (which takes a major effort if you train alone).
Some of the videos I watched are very creative and fun to watch. One example is an English Springer Spaniel doing a RE course to a big band rendition of "There's No Business Like Show Business". Another dog ran a RE course to the song "I Wish to Rule the World." I watched a really good run by a French Bulldog at a Fun Match. That dog had a lot of enthusiasm!
There is one item that needs to be improved in these Rally videos: There are still extremely few of them that show the new exercises, which aren't that new anymore. If you haven't already looked at these videos on the computer it is fun to do and you can learn a lot by watching. I know I did !