An Introduction to Rally Obedience

NEW 3rd Edition

by: Charles L. (Bud) Kramer

The Originator of the Sport of Rally Dog Obedience

$30 (postpaid)

Order from: Charles L. Kramer; 401 Bluemont Circle; Manhattan, KS 66502

(e-mail:; phone:  785-537-7022)

For Exercise Signs, see below.


Rally-O - 3rd Edition

This 3rd Edition contains a complete coverage of AKCís version of Rally Obedience: exercises, signs and course designs. There are over 60 totally new course designs, 38 are AKC courses. Small (1.5 x 1.25 inch) illustrations of AKC exercise signs and the signs that I have proposed are included with the descriptions of each exercise. Each exercise contains a discussion of how the performance of the exercise should be evaluated and scored. Differences in how the AKC has developed a scoring system and how I have proposed evaluating and scoring each of the exercises also is discussed. Also included are directions and materials for constructing course designs.

CONTENTS (those underlined are clickable)

Forward (by Robert T. Self)

Historical Outline of Rally Obedience

Introduction to the Second Edition.

A history of the events that led to the development of the Rally concept and the purpose I hope that Rally will serve are discussed in this Introduction.


Introduction to the Third Edition.

In the Introduction to the Third Edition, I have expressed my concern of two major differences between what I have proposed and what AKC has adopted in their version of Rally: selection and arrangement of exercises within the three Rally classes, and the method of judging the performance.


Chapter 1. The Rally Obedience Concept.

The concept of the Rally performance, the Rally course, the Rally Exercises, and the three classes of the Rally program are discussed. Also Included are lists of the exercises adopted by the American Kennel Club, Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the exercises I have proposed in this 3rd Edition.


Chapter 2. General Procedures.

The facilities and materials required for offering a Rally event are discussed along with the responsibilities of the judge.


Chapter 3. Philosophy and Concept of Judging Rally Obedience.

Subjects include:

    Evaluating and Scoring the Rally Performance,

    Judging Rally by the American Kennel Club Regulations,

    Scoring the Exercises,

    Scoring the Elements of Individual Exercises,

    Communication with the Dog,

    Repeating Commands and Performances of Failed Exercises,

    Informing Handlers of Unclear Situations

    Performance and Judging Heeling Between Exercise Locations, and

    Timing the Performance

Chapters 4, 5 and 6 discuss each of the three Classes of the Rally program.

Each Chapter contains a description of one of the Classes, a list of the exercises that are introduced for that Class, a discussion of the performance, and the evaluation and scoring of the performance of those exercises. The discussion of each exercise includes a comparison of the AKC exercise with the corresponding exercise that I have proposed. In many cases, the exercises are exactly the same, but in some cases they differ. Those differences are discussed.

Chapter 7. Handling in Rally Obedience.

Various types of commands, such as: those for the dog to heel, front, stand and assume the down position; those for attention, prevention and correction of exercises; and, tapping of the leg, are discussed. Also included are discussions of holding the lead and the location of the execution of the performance of exercises.

Chapter 8. Designing the Rally Course.

This chapter begins with discussions of the materials needed to design courses for Rally competitive events, as well as for oneís private use at home and for training classes. This is followed by a discussion of the general characteristics of the Rally course. I then discuss a specific approach to designing Rally courses, and a step-by-step progression in the designing of a course, with discussions of the reasons for the various choices made in the selection of exercises. Also included is a plate of exercise icons (symbols) that I use for the easy recognition of the exercises when arranged in a course design. A blank form on which the course design may be laid out is provided. The blank forms, icons and any of the course designs may be photocopied for private use. A similar plate of icons for the AKC approved exercises is also provided.


Chapter 9. Getting Started in Rally-O.

This final chapter discusses the approach that one may take in understanding Rally and in teaching his/her dog to perform the exercises. The descriptions and illustrations in this book have been done so that the person completely new to Rally and dog Obedience should be able to become proficient in the performance of Rally courses.


Over 60 totally new course designs have been placed in the Appendix; 38 of these are courses designed using AKC approved exercises. Comments concerning the selection and placement of exercises accompany each course design. This is most helpful in gaining a better understanding of how course designs are constructed.
Also included in the Appendix is a comparison of AKC signs and performance of exercises with those proposed in this 3rd Edition of Rally-O. This allows you to see which signs are exactly the same and what differences occur. It also indicates which exercises are performed exactly the same and how others are performed differently.
A complete set of AKC exercise icons for use in constructing course designs is also included.


American Kennel Club Rally Obedience Signs

I now have the complete set of 68 Rally signs as required by the January 1, 2008 AKC Rally Regulations.

This complete set of 68 AKC New and Revised signs include:

Sign #27 - Stop-and-Down (Revised)
Sign #48A - Moving Down-Walk Around Dog (New)
Sign #60

- Send Over Jump-Handler Runs By (This is a duplicate of Sign #34 that I have included for use when two jumps are used in the same course designs as permitted in the AKC Excellent Class)

Signs #NR1 through #NR7 - These are new signs for use in AKCís New Non-Regular Rally Class

 Also, 10 of the original signs have been replaced with revised signs that more exactly duplicate those illustrated in AKCís 2008 Rally Regulations. This set of signs more exactly duplicates the signs illustrated in AKCís January 1, 2008 Rally Regulations.


  1. Complete set of 68 Rally signs as discussed above that are heat sealed in heavy plastic (3 mil) envelopes that are water resistant (they can be left out in rain for a relatively short period with no damage), with a stiff chip board backing that allows them to stand up on their own in PVC or other similar type holders. This is the best of any Rally signs on the market from standpoint of quality, durability and cost: $49.00 + $6.00 postage = total $55.00

  2. Complete set of plain, not laminated signs as discussed above. $11 + $2 postage = $13.00

  3. Set of AKC new and revised Rally signs that are mounted (laminated) in heat sealed (3 mil) plastic envelopes with a stiff backing. (Includes signs: #27, #48A, #60 [duplicate of #34], and the seven New signs for the Non-regular Class [NR! - NR7]. $8.00 + $3.00 = total $11.00

  4. Set if 10 New and Revised signs (as discussed in 3.above), plain: not laminated. $4.00 + $1.00 = total $5.00

Order from: Charles Kramer; 401 Bluemont Circle; Manhattan, KS; 66502 (Check or money order please; sorry I do not have facilities for credit cards.)  Click Here to download order form for Rally Book and Signs.



The following illustrations depict various stages of the handler and dog performing the "dog right and forward" element of Exercise 17, Call Dog Front-Dog Right & Forward.

Click on images for a larger view.

For many of the exercises, I have also included "foot print" illustrations to accurately depict how the exercises may be performed. Click on the following links to show the movement of the dog and handler in the performance of the "Dog Right & Forward" and "Dog Left & Forward" elements of the same exercise (Exercise 17) illustrated in the photographs above. Note the solid circles located in exactly the same place in each panel of the illustrations to show the movement of the dog and handler as they progress through the performances of the exercises.


Some versions of acrobat will not display the legend of these footprint correctly, is so the figure legends are written below.

Legend for Dog Right and Forward:  Dog Right and Forward element of Exercise 17. Foot prints of handler and dog to illustrate an acceptable pattern of footwork in the execution of the exercise. The closed circles are to indicate movement of the team relative to the original position. a) Handler standing stationary with dog sitting in the front position. b) The first set (1), taken forward with the left foot; dog moving to handler's right. c) Dog continuing behind handler as handler continues forward taking a second step (2). d) Dog nearly to the heal position as handler takes the third step (3) forward, e) Handler moving forward with dog in heel position.

Legend for Dog Left and Forward footprint:  Dog Left & Forward element of Exercise 18. Footprints of handler and dog to illustrate an acceptable pattern of footwork in the execution of the exercise. THe closed circles are to indicate movement of the team relative to the original position. a) Handler standing stationary with dog sitting in the front position. b) The first ste (1), taken forward with the right foot; dog moving to handler's left. c) Dog turning toward handler as handler continues forward taking the second step (2). d) Dog catching up to handler and moving into the heel position as handler continues forward taking the third step (3). e) Dog and handler moving forward in heel position.