Rally Obedience

Fun for You and Your Dog

rallyRally Obedience is a “user friendly” form of dog obedience competition.  The dog and handler team completes a course that has been designed by the Rally judge. The team starts with a perfect score of 100, and as in traditional obedience competition, points are deducted for errors as the dog/handler team completes the course.

Perfect “heel” position and perfectly straight fronts/finishes are not penalized as severely as they would be in traditional obedience competitions. Retrying a station is allowed, for a 3 point deduction.  The only stations you may not retry are the jump(s) and the “sit/stay” at the end of the Excellent course.

leftaboutYou need to qualify 3 times (70/100 points) under at least 2 different judges, to earn each of the first 4 Rally titles (Rally Novice, Rally Intermediate, Rally Advanced, Rally Excellent).  After that, you can try for the Rally Master title.  (See Master sidebar to the right.). 

At the Novice level, the entire course is completed on lead.  For the Intermediate, Advanced and Excellent levels, the course is completed off lead.  At the Excellent level, a “stay” is added on to the end of the course while the handler retrieves the leash.

haltUnlimited communication from the handler to the dog is to be encouraged and not penalized. However, if the judge deems the encouragement to be pleading, luring, or coaxing, points might be deducted.  Additionally, if the dog is barking excessively, points can be deducted.

270At the Novice level, handlers are permitted to talk, praise, encourage, clap their hands, pat their legs, or use any verbal means of encouragement. Multiple commands and/or signals using one or both arms and hands are allowed; the handler’s arms need not be maintained in any particular position at any time. The handler may not touch the dog or make physical corrections, except to “stand” the dog at the Novice, Intermediate and Advanced levels. At any time during the performance, loud or harsh commands or intimidating signals will be penalized.  Food and/or toys are not allowed in the ring.  As you move on to the Intermediate, Advanced and Excellent levels, hand claps and leg taps are penalized.  Hands held as if food is in it will also be penalized.

New AKC Award

Highest Scoring Triple Qualifying Score– Ribbon or rosette

The dog receiving the highest combined score in Advanced B, Excellent B and Master class will be awarded the ribbon and any prizes offered for this placement after the Advanced B, Excellent B and Master classes have been judged and after the announcement of those final scores.

BOTH the RAE and Triple Qualifiers are awarded at AKC Shows.

Click Here for Rally Signs

New Titles and Awards were approved by the Board April 2017

Changes to the Rally Victor/Victrix were also approved as follows:


  • A score of 97 or better in the Master Class and a score of 99 or better in both Advanced and Excellent for a total combined score of 295 out of 300.
  • Dog must have no disqualifying faults as described by the AKC Standard for the German Shepherd Dog as verified by any licensed AKC judge, at the discretion of the Rally Chair, pass upon the Rally Select.
  • The Dog must AKC Registered, not ILP.
  • Regardless of AKC rules, spayed/castrated dogs that otherwise meet the Standard are acceptable.
  • Trophy but no cover of the Review.
  • One owner must be a GSDCA member as with any Parent Club Awards

Novice – this is the first level for those just getting started in competition. All exercises are performed with the dog on leash.

Intermediate (optional) AKC has created a new class and title for dogs that have won the Rally Novice title, but have not yet earned a qualifying score in the Advanced class. The Rally Intermediate class and associated title (RI), will provide a stepping-stone class to help prepare teams for the off-leash performance required in the Advanced class. The Intermediate course is a mirror image of the Advanced course without a jump

Advanced – this is the third level, which includes more difficult exercises throughout the course.  All exercises are performed off-leash.

Excellent – this fourth level of AKC Rally is challenging. Exercises are performed off-leash.


Master All dogs are judged off leash. The Master class must have between 15 to 20 signs (Start and Finish not included) with a minimum of three and a maximum of seven stationary signs. Courses will have a minimum of three Advanced level signs, three Excellent level signs, four Master level signs plus the one required jump sign There are no retries for any of the signs on the Rally Master course. Unlike in the Rally Novice, Intermediate and Advanced classes, in the Rally Master class handlers are not allowed to pat their legs or clap their hands to encourage the dog. Verbal encouragement, multiple commands and/or inaudible signals using one or both arms and hands are allowed; the handler’s arms need not be maintained in any particular position at any time. Handlers may not touch their dog or make any physical corrections. Unlike other classes that require 3 Qualifying scores, this class requires 10.

RACH – Rally Champion The criteria to earn the RACH title (sounds like “ROCK”) requires the team to earn 20 triple qualifying scores; qualifying in the Advanced B, Excellent B and Master classes at the same trial, at 20 separate events, plus earn 300 RACH points from the Excellent B and Master classes. Points are determined by a dog’s score.  At least 200 RACH points must be earned from the Rally Master class.

Effective February 1, 2019, points come from all 3 levels, Advanced B, Excellent B, and Master.  You must still earn 300 points, but only 150 of the points must be from the Master class.  The point values were also changed at that same time.  A “perfect 100” is now worth 10 points.  Points now start accruing once you’ve earned the Rally Excellent title, so that your initial Master title garners you points toward the RACH.