403 – Virtual Reality: Step by Step to a Rally Title for Your Dog
Virtual Reality: Step by Step to a Rally Title for Your Dog
Trainer Gabi Vannini from What A Great Dog! walks us through the process to earn a virtual rally title for your dog. Below is a short excerpt from our conversation. Listen in to the podcast for excellent training tips, rally performance do’s and don’ts and more.
“You can submit videos for your rally novice title,” Vannini said. “So the entry level rally, you can submit three videos and get an actual rally title. It's the same as if you went to a trial. You would have to get three qualifying legs. They're having judges actually score these runs and look at them, so it's not just a pass/fail. You're actually getting your score out of 100 on that and having to do it just like you would in a trial. They've got five different courses that you can pick from to try out. They've set courses for you and you can do it in your backyard or your local park. If you have a local training building that you can rent the ring out, I know that's what a lot of people have been doing, but you can get creative with it. Wherever you can fit a reasonably sized rally course and either set up a tripod or get someone to video for you and submit to AKC and get your actual rally novice title.
“(AKC has) been really helpful with … the rally maps. (They) have a specific spot on the map, ‘place camera here’ so that they can get the best view for the judges to be able to look at it. They've got the maps laid out for you. All five maps that you can pull up and use. They've got a really simple way to submit everything. They got their instructions and all of that right there. They've got a nice little how to perform the rally sign setup for you, so it's really making it very accessible for people who are wanting to try something different with their dog.
“I think this is going to be a really good opportunity. For people that know rally and do rally, you can fly through these if you want to. But I think it's a really nice thing for people that maybe have done some of those trick titles or CGC … and now they have something a little more that they can learn about and do at home. By the time we get rolling back in dog shows, maybe they'll want to jump up and go into rally intermediate, where it's similar signs and are still on leash and see how things go.
“You always are gonna get the people that are gonna say that it's gonna cheapen their rally title that they got. All things change. I got an Open title with my dog and no where does it say on my title certificate that he did the long stay in a group. Just because somebody can go do a virtual rally, it doesn't mean yours is less. Those people aren't competing with you. If you're real serious about your rally and you want to get like 100 points on everything, wait for a dog show. The people who are being brought in by this rally virtual program, they're not your competition. You don't need to look at them as some kind of threat.”