Welcome to November’s Free Your Dog! Every month, we present a new or different activity that you can partake in with your dog. Leashed walks around the block get old quickly, so our goal is to inspire pet owners to spice things up and seek an adventure with their dog! Earlier this month Goose competed in his very first Rally Obedience trial. Rally-O is a sport where a dog and its person complete a course made up of of different stations. Each station has a sign with a skill or combination of skills on it. Together the dog and handler must successfully complete the skills within the guidelines laid out by the governing association (in our case it was CARO, the Canadian Association of Rally Obedience) before moving to the next station. At the novice level there At the novice level there are 29 possible signs, and each course has a specific order for the signs to be completed. A judge times the trial and watches carefully, deducting marks for each error. Deductions can happen for things such as crooked sits, tight leash, travelling off course, using more than one cue, or if the dog falls out of heel position. As well, any corrections towards the dog, harsh cues, or intimidating signals are not permitted, while words of praise, treats at certain stations, and an up-beat motivating attitude are strongly encouraged! Rally is about testing the skills of the dog and handler team, while keeping it fun! A lot of training goes in to preparing a dog for a rally trial. Scratch and Sniff Canine Services hosts somelocal Guelph classesthat you can take, or you can go to the official Canadian Association of Rally Obedience (CARO) website and learn the different signs on your own. Even if you don't plan to compete with your dog, practicing Rally is a fun way to brush up on some important cues, and can be excellent mental exercise for both the dog and handler! We are excited to announce that Goose took home three second place ribbons at his first trial! Below is a video of our first run of a novice Rally course, with each sign name added in so you can follow along! What exciting activities have you found to try with your dog? Be sure to share your photos and videos with us by using the hashtag #FreeYourDog!