What is Agility?
Dog Agility is a dog sport in which a handler directs a dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Dogs run off leash with no food or toys as incentives, and the handler can touch neither dog nor obstacles. Consequently, the handler's controls are limited to voice, movement and various body signals requiring exceptional training of the animal and coordination of the handler. The surface may be grass, dirt, rubber or matting. Courses are complicated enough that a dog could not compete them correctly with out human direction. In competition, the handler must asses the course, decide on handling strategies, and direct the dog through the course, with precision and speed equally important. Each dog and handler gets an opportunity together to attempt the course successfully. Equipment varies depending on which registry you are competing under, they can include: A-frame, dog-walk, see-saw, tunnel, chute, jumps (bar, solid or broad) tire jump, pause table, weave poles and hoops. The more popular registries are American Kennel Club, United States Dog Agility Association, North American Dog Agility Council and Canine Performance Events. Each registry has it's own rules, games and equipment choices.
To learn more about each registry click the link below.
What is Rally?
AKC Rally is a sport in which the dog and handler complete a course that has been designed by the rally judge. The judge tells the handler to begin, and the dog and handler proceed at a brisk pace through a course of designated stations (10-20 signs depending on the level). Each of these stations has a sign providing instructions regarding the next skill that is to be performed. The dog and handler team moves continuously at a brisk but normal pace with the dog under control at the handler's left side. There should be a sense of teamwork between the dog and handler both during the numbered exercises and between the exercise signs: perfect heel position is not required. Any faults in traditional AKC Obedience that would be evaluated and scored as a one-point deduction or more should be scored the same in rally, unless otherwise mentioned in the Rally Regulations. After the judge's "Forward" order, the team is on its own to complete the entire sequence of numbered signs correctly. Unless otherwise specified in these regulations, handlers are permitted to talk, praise, encourage, give additional commands and or signals using one or both arms, clap their hands, pat their legs or use any verbal means of encouragement. Rally provides an excellent introduction to AKC Companion Events for new dogs and handlers and can provide a challenging opportunity for competitors in other events to strengthen their skills. All Rally titles will follow the dog's name. (AKC Rally introduction)