Rally became an AKC event in 2000. This competition emphasizes fun for dogs and owners as well as spectators. There are 50 signs the judge can pick from to design the course which is different at every trial.
The dog and handler most go through the course reading each sign to know what to do, the only direction given by the judge is forward to start the team on the course. The number of required exercises is increased with the three levels of competition.
There is Novice, Advance, and Excellent. In Novice all exercises are performed on leash. Advance and Excellent is done off lead.
Good solid performance is the objective, unlike traditional obedience, handlers may use verbal encouragement, hand signals, and body language to encourage their dog through the rally course.
Courses normally take between 2 and 3 minutes to run. Each dog and handler are timed, times are used for placings, such as first, second, third. However to qualify for a title you do not have to do the course in a certain amount of time. Rally has gotten me back in the sport of dog showing. It is so much fun.
Pictured above are three Pekes that I did obedience with.