AKC Obedience and AKC Rally are sports where a handler gives a series of commands and signals to their dog under the regulation of a judge.
Some examples of these commands and signals would be: heel on leash, heel free, figure eight, sit, stay, recall, etc.
In formal Obedience there is a judge in the ring with the dog/handler team instructing the handler through a series of commands. The handler is only allowed to give specific commands to their dog.
Helen Whitehouse Walker created the first obedience “test” in New York in 1933 to show the intelligence of her poodles.
The first AKC licensed obedience trial was held in 1936 with approximately 200 entries in 18 trials.
Rally is a less formal version of Obedience. In Rally there is a series of stations laid out in path. The dog/handler team follow the path – with the handler giving commands at each station. Handlers are encouraged to talk to their dogs and encourage them through the course.
Rally was created more recently by Charles L. “Bud” Kramer. It was born from the obedience practice of “doodling” – doing a variety of interesting warmup and freestyle exercises.
Obedience and Rally are rewarding activities with a Toller. Tollers are eager to learn and they have a desire to please.