Support of AKC Rally sign now

We respectfully request that Rally Novice, Rally Advanced, and Rally Excellent, be accepted as titling classes for the new sport of Rally within the American Kennel Club.

Rally is for ALL dogs of ALL levels. It's a very positive and supportive sport that welcomes exhibitors of any experience, and since the sport is different in many ways than anything else offered, everyone who tries it finds himself or herself on relatively equal footing. Rally already has a tremendous following of handlers at every level working together to further this exciting new sport.

While Rally will be perfect to attract new handlers to other Companion events, it is definitely a unique sport where dogs of every level can learn that the ring is a positive environment, and exhibitors can develop handling skills and a sense of team work with their dog that will aid them in any other endeavors they attempt. Whether their next step is Obedience, Agility, Conformation, or to continue to compete in Rally, this sport can only strengthen the bond and communication between dogs and handlers from the newest teams, to the top competitors in other sports.

This lively activity has proved attractive to a wide range of owners and dogs. For the experienced handler and dog, there is a new facet to team work in a less formal and more sprightly type of performance. Even formerly discouraged handlers and "ring-wise" dogs find a rejuvenating experience in the Rally class session and Rally ring. Rally also permits the beginner dog and handler to master the complexities of handling in an exciting and encouraging environment.

Rally was never intended to be a "lower title" than other Companion events, it's a whole new sport with it's own requirements. OTCH trainers and UDX dogs, as well as Basic Students and CGC dogs all enter the sport as a "new competitors." All need to learn new skills to succeed in Rally and benefit from the attributes it has to offer. Since Rally is not about half points like Obedience, or time like Agility, it offers a unique opportunity to balance both talent and enthusiasm of the exhibitors, no matter what level of skill they have. It's not uncommon for an inexperienced dog and handler to score as well in Rally as an OTCH or MACH team!

Rally is also a wonderful opportunity for retired dogs or handlers who can no longer compete in the upper levels of Obedience or Agility, but long to be showing again. Rally seems to liven up these dogs once again and it gives them new purpose and new skills to learn. Experienced handlers starting over in Novice-level Rally find that it actually requires the learning of new skills for both the handler and the dog if they are to be successful.

In some sports, titles are earned, then another dog is started and the process begins again. In Companion Event sports in particular, participants tend to want to continue to compete with the dogs that they have worked with for years to build the understanding and relationship they have. From this perspective, the "string of letters" after a dog's name is only an indication of the devotion and caring between the dog and handler working to earn those titles. Classes that allow handlers to continue to enjoy that relationship, which they work a lifetime to achieve, are a blessing. Dogs that have spent their lives campaigning with their human partner don't want to retire, and their handlers don't want to "change partners" to start again any sooner than they must. It's a life long commitment that Rally can either begin, or continue to build and nourish, and that handlers will appreciate. You don't have to be competitive to want to share your life with your best friend and keep finding new challenges on which to build your relationship. In fact, most of the time that's not the case at all.

It has become increasingly obvious that we, who devote so many hours, months, and often lifetimes to purebred dogs and to the sport of dogs, need many ways of reaching out to the public to encourage responsible ownership of all dogs, but specifically purebred dogs. Rally offers an exceptional tool to do this. It has the potential to bring into the fold those who perhaps can't compete in agility, those who may someday compete in obedience, and those who could also compete in conformation. Rally is the newest tool available to introduce responsible ownership and the joy of building a strong relationship through positive interaction with our dogs. It opens the door to other sports, for which Rally prepares its participants. Rally is as attractive to ALL walks of the dog owning public as the CGC Program, and can do much to improve responsibility and understanding within the human/canine bond.

Rally is currently attractive and well attended as a Class at trials, training classes, workshops, matches, and Seminars. Often, Rally Classes offered at Trials make the difference between an event that makes or loses money. Rally can be offered in a 40 X 50-foot ring -- the same size as a Utility ring in Obedience. It can be scheduled around other classes, and in general Rally participants are not demanding or critical, just delighted that Rally will be offered. When classes are limited there is a rush to get entries accepted before the limit is reached, and like the sport itself, those who participate are positive and encouraging. Those who try Rally are quickly drawn into its appeal and remain involved in the sport. There is a strong and devoted following in Rally that has been waiting for years now to have Rally accepted by AKC as a titling event. Rally participants and Rally itself as a sport are not going away, and we will continue to petition for acceptance of Rally as an AKC titling event.

Those who are listed on the petition are just a very small percentage of those who support Rally and are working toward its acceptance.

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Marion OsbornBy:
Transport and infrastructureIn:
Petition target:
American Kennel Club

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