We participate in “precision” and Rally-O and have done so since 2002. McCoy was the first dog I competed with and we did fairly well considering I didn’t really know what I was doing! Since then my dogs and I have participated in these sports each year until 2014 at which time I no longer had a dog to participate with.
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.