With low temperatures making it hard for both you and your pet to get out for some much-needed exercise, it is the perfect time to enroll your dog (and you) in a training course. 

Beyond the Basics 

Dog training is not all behavior basics and obedience. While learning the basic commands and manners needed to be a good family member and citizen is vital to your dog’s success in life, training beyond the basics can be a great way to bond with your pet in a fun and challenging way. 

Dog-training courses in Rally and Agility are great ways to teach your dog new tricks, regardless of his or her age. However, unless you’re already involved with this type of activity, you may not know what, exactly, Rally and Agility are. 

Here’s the scoop… 


Rally, or Rally-O, is similar to the basic obedience training and testing that your dog completed when learning his or her basic obedience commands. 

In Rally, a dog and his or her owner work as a team to complete a sort of “obedience obstacle course” comprised of different stations and skills according to the level of competition (novice, advanced, and excellent).  The exercises performed can range from your dog changing the paces of his or her gait on command and taking low jumps, to coming to a heel position when you call and staying in position while you back away from your dog. 

Rally may not sound tough, but it can be very challenging for both pets and pet owners alike. And, it’s a great intro to Agility training. 


Like Rally, Agility training uses your dog’s basic obedience and the bond between the two of you, but takes it to a whole new level. 

Instead of obstacle courses comprised of obedience tasks, Agility courses are comprised of jumps, seesaws, tunnels, and other seemingly acrobatic feats designed to test your pet’s skill, concentration and, well, agility. Like Rally, there are three separate levels of competition ability and judging. 

According to the AKC, Agility is the fastest-growing dog sport in the United States; and if you give it a try, we think you’ll understand why. 

AKC Notes 

While your dog must be registered with the AKC to participate in Official AKC Rally and Agility competition events, that does not mean that he or she must be AKC certified to take Rally and Agility training classes or participate in unofficial Rally and Agility events. 

Rally and Agility dog training and events is fun for dogs of all ages and abilities, regardless of breed or lineage. 

To learn more about Rally through the eyes of the AKC, check out their Getting Started with Rally

Rally and Agility training is available through the training program at Union Lake Pet Services  and is an incredible way to strengthen your bond with your pet and cultivate his or her natural skills and instincts. Not only that, but it’s great exercise for your pet and will help keep him or her in shape and feeling good, all year long. 

So, if you’re looking for a great way to teach your dog new tricks and get the wiggles out this winter, please contact Union Lake’s full-time certified trainers at (248) 363–6262 or email melissaf@unionlakepets.com