Rally-O Ho!

May 8th, 2018

Patiently Sitting.jpgMonday afternoon was perfect for setting up a Rally-O training course.  My husband had cut 10 stakes to attach the laminated commands onto them.  The stakes had to be sturdy enough to withstand high winds and a Newf’s sweeping tail.  He painstakingly applied two Velcro strips to each command card and their corresponding strips to the stakes.  Each one was measured to perfection – a testament to his engineering skills.  I decided that a course of 8 commands plus the start and finish cards were enough to begin.  Altogether, I have 36 novice command cards to choose from.  The course can be changed quite easily.  As a result, I can customize the course to suit Bailey’s learning aptitude.  I selected 8 commands to practice.  The ground in the backyard is still frozen up here in Labrador.  So, I placed the stakes in the snowbanks thereby creating a course that would take us down one side of the house, across the yard and back up the other side.  A few adjustments had to be made once I realized that doing a 360 degree turn wouldn’t be possible in the space available between the garden shed and snowbank or that turning right would mean walking into the side of the house.  I was ready to get my girl.

Now, Bailey always naps in the afternoon to help recover from her noon hour walk.  I aroused her from a sleepy slumber of only one hour.  I made up for the enthusiasm that she was lacking.  My girl perked up when she saw the start sign.  I showed her the reward, dried sweet potato.  We were off with my command of “Okay, heel”.  The first station required a stop then sit.  Bailey pulled that one off without too much effort.  Praise was her reward and we were off to the next card.  Stations 2 to 4.jpgWe proceeded around the yard until finally the end of the course was reached.  Bailey gobbled her treat for a well-done effort.

It was a bright sunny day even though it was -1 degrees Celsius (-10 if you factor in the windchill).  I was bundled up to ward off getting chilled.  The furnace, our black beastie, was warm.  We detoured into the garage for a quick pit stop.  Bailey drained down the water bucket by a third.  Another treat convinced her to try the course again.  I made the mistake this time by turning the wrong way.  Had we been in a sanctioned Rally-O competition, I would have lost points for the team.  I guess that I am the one who needs more practice.  We finished the round and Bailey freshened up with another trip to the water bucket.  I still thought my girl was up for one more round.  Bailey’s speed was much slower as she waddled from station to station. Stations 7 & 8 (1)By the time that we reached the sit followed by down command, Bailey lingered a bit longer on the ground before responding to my “Okay, heel” command.  Obviously, she was ready to call it quits.  Her reward was a fetching a ball tossed into the snowbank.  It only took a couple of throws before my girl was ready to continue her siesta.


The Lie Down


  1. easyweimaraner · May 10, 2018

    BRAVO Bailey!!!! I have to reward phenny for everything with a treat… and the only thing what works is sausage… I have no clue how I will make it through a hall with more than 1000 dogs next sunday with a ton of sausage in my pockets… maybe I can win the Darwin Award that way LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • noofmitchell · May 10, 2018

      I imagine with sausage in your pocket that the dogs will follow you like the Pied Piper. Even if I was across the yard, Bailey can smell her dried salmon treats that I stick in my coat pocket. I stopped putting them there when my coat took on a fishy smell. Good luck with Phenny at the show.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. maisiethenewfieandcompany · May 11, 2018

    We love rally! I love your course, I can’t believe you still have that much snow:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • noofmitchell · May 12, 2018

      It’s slowly going – just enough to keep Bailey happy. One good thing about the snow for me is that placing the sticks in the snow makes changing the course so much easier. I agree that Rally is a lot of fun. Yet, it still provides physical and mental stimulation for Bailey. Our roads and trails are pretty messy at this time of year so setting up a Rally course in the yard helps avoiding these areas.

      Liked by 1 person

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