Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beginning Rally with A DOG'S LIFE

By Sherry Hung, HSSV Volunteer

This past Sunday, I stood in the agility yard at HSSV and watched as three happy dogs trotted, turned, and heeled on command. It was the second session of the weekly Beginning Rally Obedience course offered at Humane Society Silicon Valley through A DOG'S LIFE, and I observed as the dogs and their owners learned to do 90, 180, 270, and 360 degree turns on command.

At the end of the class, these turns were strung together with commands from the previous lesson, and the dogs took turns running a mini-course with their owners.

This is the essence of rally obedience, an AKC event in which dogs complete a course consisting of numbered signs; at each sign the handler must guide the dog with verbal commands and hand signals to complete an action before moving on.

The bond between each owner and dog was apparent as they both learned to communicate and successfully complete each sign. Of course, lots and lots of treats and praise were used to motivate the pups, and these dogs looked so happy running the course with their owners!

I'm hoping to come back again to see how the class progresses, and to check out more of the great classes offered at Humane Society Silicon Valley.

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