I use the term “precision” to describe what the term “obedience” used to mean. These apply to precision behaviours that you teach your dog in order to compete in trials at dog shows. The reason I don’t used obedience anymore is because the way these behaviours are taught to dogs can no longer be considered so-called “obedient”. Dogs are not obedient or not obedient. They are only knowledgable or unknowledgeable about what we teach them. The onus is on humans to teach dogs well so that they learn what we need them to learn. It is not about being “obedient” at all. It is about learning.
Rally-O is a fun and interesting dog sport in which you are allowed to talk to, encourage, or “RALLY” your dog during the trial when you are in the ring. A rally-o course is created by the judge and the dog/handler team goes through the course by reading the signs and doing the behaviours correctly.
Rall-O is not really a competitive sport and is judged a little more loosely than precision behaviour sport, depending on the judge and titling body.
Dogs and handlers go through a course of signs, doing each behaviour as they come to it. There is a time limit for a course which is used for placements if there are score ties.
Behaviours are similar to precision trials in that some of the behaviours are the same, such as sit, down, heeling and recall. Besides this there are many more behaviours and behaviour combinations included, such as 180, 270, and 360º pivots, low jumps, stays, and other interesting things.
Canine Disc or Disc Dog is the sport that got me started in dog sports. It is my specialty so to speak.
My first dog Shasta was a disc whiz so I set out to bring the organized sport to my province. I organized the first canine disc workshop here, was a founding member of Manitoba’s first canine disc club, Westman Disc Dogs, and taught the first disc group classes in the province.
The Canadian Disc Dogs Association (CDDA) is an official titling body in Canada.
Many different dog breeds can participate, not just herding breeds or extremely agile and fast breeds. Any dog that like to chase things can be trained can do so. It is simply a matter of the handler learning how to train her/his dog properly.
This is something that we know how to do well. I have trained a Kuvasz and many Australian Shepherds to play disc and have coached dozens of clients to do the same.
If you want step by step instruction on Training Canine Disc try my E-Book:
A step by step e-book to help you train your dog to play disc from scratch. The information in this book is appropriate for two different types of dog: any energetic, agile breed that likes to chase things and dogs who have little or no chase drive. Taught as a game, and helping your dog stay injury free while training and playing.
If you are interested in learning more about training your Purpose Bred Dog, “stubborn”, “difficult” or “less intelligent dog to play disc check out our Canine Disc
Playlist of instructional videos. I will eventually be addressing the all the different behaviours your dog needs to enjoy and do well in this sport if you want to earn titles. If you want to be notified of new videos make sure to subscribe to our Youtube Channel
Recreational Dog Sledding
In 2002, I started skijoring with my Australian Shepherd McCoy. He and my mixed breed rescue dog at the time Shasta, pulled me in their collars of all things! I didn’t know what I was doing, but I knew I was having fun.
Soon I realized that I was serious about this and had to get proper equipment for my dogs, so I made my own equipment, which included X-back harnesses, lines, and dog boots.
It is essential to know how to repair your own equipment so making it was just the next step. It can be done easily and safely.
I also had to stop falling while skiing, so I switched to a kicksled.
I purchased a Finnish made Elsa kick sled. This eliminated the crashes ( and bruised and broken tailbones!) and increased the fun.
You can use this sled without any dogs by just pushing behind it with your feet. In fact, this sled was actually intended for human power but has been adapted for dogs. It will get you to the post office and the grocery store!
I made my own gangline from doing research on-line. There is some info out there to help you with this, however if are not so inclined to do it yourself, the place you buy the sled generally will have some for sale. The trick is, you WILL need to know how to repair lines or dog harness at some point, so making your own is not the worst thing you can do.
I have used up to 4 dogs on this particular sled, but depending on the size of dog, you might want to reduce that number.
A larger number of dogs or larger dogs could pull the sled apart as it was not made for traditional dog sledding or going at a high rate of speed. If you have more than four dogs, a traditionally built dog sled would be appropriate.
We (my dog and I) have pioneered what we call “Clicker Sledding”. As you may have already gathered, we DO NOT use any force to train our dogs, even in sledding. We use the clicker and food rewards. If a dog is unsure about pulling, it is important that you do not force the dog or get angry at him for not working.
There is always a reason a dog does not want to do something.
Many good pulling dogs, of any breed, are ruined by over-running them or by the handler stressing out about a training issue. This will make the experience of sledding something a dog wants to avoid rather than enjoy.
Below is my dog sledding training playlist.