Milo complete his 6 week rally course today, and he's now (almost) ready to compete! Rally is a dog competition that is somewhat of a mix between obedience and agility. At the novice level (where we are), there are something like 35 possible signs. Each sign has a different command (left turn, 270 right, sit your dog and walk around them, walk in crazy patterns around these cones, etc.). In any given course, there will be about 15 signs. The dog and handler walk the course in order, following the directions at each sign.
One of my adventures while James is gone is to compete in a rally competition. Now that I know a little more about rally, my goal now is to actually qualify in a rally competition. Rally is scored out of 100 points. You start with all your points, and you lose them as you go mistakes such as having a tight leash, messing up a stop, touching your dog, etc. To qualify, you must have a score of 70. If you qualify, you get a green ribbon. That green ribbon is my goal!
Milo has now learned all of the signs, and he is pretty good at most of them. There are a few we still have more trouble with, but he is capable of all of them. Before he can compete, he has to be AKC certified. Since he is a mixed-breed, he will be registered as an ALL-AMERICAN DOG. I think it makes him sound much more dignified that he really is. Once that's done, he is ready to compete. There is a competition in July, and according to his teachers he is ready to compete, so hopefully I'll have a (real) update about rally in a couple of months!