Rally obedience is definitely for the novice and it is the beginnings of dog and handler learning to communicate with each other in a fun way.

Rally Obedience is a form of dog obedience with a twist - a total focus on fun and excitement for the dog, handler and spectator.  Dog and handler teams follow a set course, performing the exercise indicated by 10-20 consecutive signs. Signs are numbered to indicate the course the handler and dog take during the performance.

There is a lot of variety with each rally course. And rally is different than Obedience in that handlers may talk to their dogs, praise them, and give them needed verbal commands.  Handlers can even use hand signals, point and in Novice and Advanced, clap and snap their fingers at anytime and as often as the handler needs. And it's not only allowed, but encouraged - making it a really fun sport!  

Here is a link to more information at AKC. It opens in a new tab or page, so just close the window to return here.