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Discussion Starter #1
Next weekend I will be taking my dog to our first AKC rally trial. I have been trying to work with the signs but have been confused by some of the rules that could change the way I work Skyler. If I am in an exercise, can I repeat the command? For instance, if she had to stay while I walked around her can I say "stay stay stay" without getting marked off? Also, how tight do the circles have to be? And lastly, if I know that I failed an exercise and I want to repeat it, do I just go back and do it again before continuing or do I have to look at the judge and get permission? I know AKC has rules on their website but I have read over them a few times and I am still slightly confused.

Any other tips would be greatly appreciated :)
 

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Technically you can be marked off for repeating a command. In practice, some judges enforce it more strictly than others.

The circle around the dog does not need to be a specific size but I would avoid being close enough to touch your dog which they can ding you for (maybe even NQ, but I can't remember for sure off the top of my head).

I don't think it matters if you ask the judge or not. I've said something like "I'm going to try that again" and I've just gone ahead and repeated and I've never been scolded either way.

My biggest advice is just to try to relax. I know that's easy to say, but the more tense you get the more tense you will make your dog and the more likely you are to biff a sign. It's supposed to be fun. :)
 

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Also, the first time I did rally I just straight up told the judge "this is my first trial and I'm nervous" and he was super nice and chill with me. Not that I think he went easy on me, but he just kept the mood really relaxed.
 

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I tried to look for AKC rally obedience rulebook but I only found some vague information about scorings and so. The Finnish Rally Obedience club has a lot more and more detailed information about this sport... There may be and likely is differences to our rules so you better ask the judge.

So I don't know about USA but in Finland
- you can always ask the judge about the course and rules during the walk-through.
- you are allowed to give as many commands as you like but you can lose points for repetitive commands. I watched a discussion about this in a Finnish Rally-O FB group and learned that stay...stay...stay is probably allowed but staystaystaystay can cost you points.
- I just walk around my dog. I do not walk a big circle but not over her tail either. Remember that the leash must not tighten!
- here you must say loudly (or express it clearly otherwise) that you are going to repeat the exercise before doing so but you do not have to ask for permission.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll definitely make sure that I don't repeat commands. I don't expect much point wise because it is our first time and the rules are so vague so I will probably mess up, but I thought we would give it a try :)
 
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