Rottweilers, being a very strong, athletic, and responsive breed, always love a good challenge. Sporting with your Rottweiler is a great hobby because it provides the Rottweiler the exercise he or she so desperately needs and is an incredible bonding experience. Besides that, it’s just plain fun for you and your dog!
Amongst the traditional dog sports of carting, hunting, and agility trials, dog rally competition has recently become very popular. It is a newer sport and almost exclusively practiced in the United States. It is a systematic combination of agility and obedience trials, and the competition factor is based around race car driving, hence the term “rally.”
Training for dog rally competitions is a very intensive process. As with any training regimen, it is best to start as young as possible. The Rottweiler is an intelligent breed, and is thus somewhat hardheaded. Proper obedience training as a puppy will make rally training so much easier when your dog is old enough to compete.
In rally competitions, your dog must race to each of fifteen to twenty course stations at which he will perform the required agility or obedience task. There is a limited amount of time in which to complete this task and the entire course. Each task is judged by a professional.
Rottweilers excel at certain aspects of rally competitions and fall short in others. While they are strong, agile, and fast, competing against a smaller herding dog like a Border Collie could mean you’re in tough competition! This should not be discouraging – the skill of any rally team depends almost entirely on its owner’s training ability and the dog’s willingness to compete. With the right Rottweiler, you could leave any bouncy little Border Collie in your dust!
If you are new to the sport, or even new to the concept of rally, that’s no problem. Rally offers three separate levels of competition. The novice level allows you to compete with your dog on his or her leash, which is more lax than most other competitions. This means you will have the opportunity to start competing in rally quickly, rather than spending months training for your first competition without any active experience at a rally meet. Novice meets will also give you an opportunity to observe dogs that perform at higher levels.
Many Rottweiler clubs offer rally competitions, and there are non breed-specific rally clubs as well. If you’re interested in pursuing a rally career or hobby with your Rottweiler, you should get in touch with one of these clubs and begin training. Rally is a great way to stay fit for you and your dog, and is an incredible bonding experience for an owner and their pet.