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2020 Top Rally Dogs

Full Results PDF

Rally is all about teamwork. A fast-moving, motivational event, rally demonstrates the competency of handler and dog in performing basic obedience exercises, without requiring exact precision for success. It’s rare for someone to witness rally for the first time without hearing them say, “That looks fun!”

Canada’s Top Rally Dogs of 2020 range from a huge Bullmastiff to a tiny Pomeranian. What they all have in common is a great connection with their handler, a desire to please, and a fantastic sense of fun.

We caught up with the Top Rally Dogs of 2020 to learn more about these brilliant canines. 

#1 – RCh. Yando vom Haus Stirling 

Call Name: Yando
German Shepherd Dog
Owner/Handler: Gaeleen Ratte
Breeders: Peter & Lorina Luhoff
At what age did you start training with Yando? Yando began learning commands at eight weeks of age.
Why do you think a German Shepherd makes an ideal choice for Rally? German Shepherds are quick to learn and passionate about their work. They are happy and responsive partners who enjoy the interaction with their handler in the Rally ring.
What other events does Yando participate in? Yando competes in traditional Obedience and has done some dock diving, barn hunt, agility, and tracking. He is a certified working therapy dog through Therapy Dogs International, and enjoys visits with residents in hospital.
What does Yando love to do when not in the ring? Yando loves to go for long walks, chase gophers, play ball, tug, and Frisbee. He loves all water outside of baths, and has a wading pool that he frequents often in the summer months. He is a wonderful family dog and is passionate about guarding the property from intruders.

(Photo credit: Cait's Eye Photography)

#2 – McD's Glad All Over RMX SDO CGN PCD RAE2 TDCh.

Call Name: Clark
English Springer Spaniel
Owner/Handler: Mary Monteith
Breeders: Mary McDonald & Louisa Arendt

At what age did you start training with Clark? Training begins the day the puppy comes home. That doesn't mean he starts learning commands right away, but that is when our relationship begins, and I start shaping behaviours and teaching the puppy that lots of rewards come from learning new things! The relationship between me and my dog is the most essential part of training.  
Why do you think an English Springer Spaniel makes an ideal choice for rally? The English Springer Spaniel is an incredibly versatile breed that can be trained to do any activity. They do very much enjoy learning and having things to do. They are biddable, happy and very smart companions who are eager to learn, and enthusiastic in everything they do.
What other events does Clark participate in? Clark is one of the few English Springer Spaniels in the world who has earned the BH-VT (Begleithund) title. This is the introductory obedience title and temperament test in the larger sport of IGP (formerly known as Schutzhund). We are training for the first level of IGP obedience. Clark has titled in scent detection in multiple registries and earned his Trick Dog Champion title. He will be doing obedience and more rally in CKC, UKC and AKC venues when things open up more and we have trials again and can travel. Last summer we tried sprinter for the first time, and it was amazing to see him fly down the field! I am interested in learning tracking with him as well.  
What does Clark love to do when not competing? Clark is never far from my side and he loves to occupy my lap whenever possible. He also loves to train, and his leap into the air to place himself in heel position is his trademark move. He is a joy to train and to live with.

(Photo credit: Anne Raszewski)

#3 – RGCh. Valubal One Broke Girl 

Call Name: Lily
Old English Sheepdog 
Owners: Katherine Ball & Valerie Bandas 
Handler: Katherine Ball
Breeders: Valerie Bandas & Lavella Shaw
At what age did you start training with Lily? Around 16 weeks.
Why do you think an Old English Sheepdog makes an ideal choice for rally? Old English Sheepdogs are a great choice for a sport like rally where teamwork is heavily rewarded. They are intelligent, agile and sociable. They enjoy nearly anything that gives them the opportunity to spend quality time with their people, which makes training a pleasant experience. Most importantly, however, they are wonderful companions, which makes it very easy to develop the great relationship that is the foundation of every good dog/handler team.
What other events does Lily participate in? Lily has competed in formal obedience. She has completed several trick dog titles, made a few runs in CKC sprinter, and has had an introduction to sheep herding, barn hunt, and agility. She would be happy to spend more time on any of those activities!
What does Lily love to do when not competing? Lily loves to spend time with her favourite people   especially if they will throw a ball for her to retrieve!

(Photo credit: Cathy French)


Call name: Neo
Mixed Breed
Owner/Handler: Christine Ryder
At what age did you start training with Neo? Neo came to our family at the age of seven months. He belonged to a friend who was suddenly diagnosed with cancer. She knew we were lovers of the herding breeds so she bequeathed Neo to us. He was a special rescue. So, knowing he had been through some puppy classes and was quick to pick up new behaviours, I immediately started training the foundation for rally obedience. I also started training the foundation skills for agility as well. He actually started his dog sport career in agility, but I found he had an aptitude for the close work of rally. And that’s how our journey began. 

What motivates Neo? My husband Rick and I would have to say, Neo is motivated by the three "F's", food, family and fun, not necessarily in that order. Neo loves his food and thoroughly enjoys being rewarded with treats. Because he is one of the most fun-loving dogs I have owned, he is equally reinforced with his tug and throw toys. And not to be underscored, spending time with his dad and I, as well as the other dogs in our household, is also high on his list. He is a serious cuddle bug and is always first to get his place by me in the evening

What other events does Neo participate in? Neo participates in agility across many venues, obedience, CARO rally, CARO Working Class, scent detection and trick training. He is getting older, but I think he would have also enjoyed dock diving, as he is quite a swimmer. 

What does Neo love to do when not competing? The list is long, but we can say without a doubt that Neo loves to go for beach walks (as water play would be likely), car rides, hikes, trick training and swimming in our dog pool. He loves making us laugh at least once a day. It's as if he knows he has done something amusing, as he gets this happy dog smile. He always loves sharing quiet family time with Rick and I and our other fabulous dogs.

#5 – Kibergo Royal Lad RM CDX RAE3

Call Name: Kingsley
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Owner/Handler: Jennifer McLean
Breeder: Brigitte Falch

At what age did you start training with Kingsley? I started training Kingsley at 12 weeks of age. Lots of foundation work and play and working at building our relationship. He was a challenging little puppy, but taught me so much.
Why do you think a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes an ideal choice for rally? I think Cavaliers make excellent little rally dogs because they are food motivated and have a huge desire to please. They also really enjoy doing stuff with their people. I highly recommend this sport to anyone wanting to do something fun with their dog while at the same time strengthening their bond with each other.
What other events does Kingsley participate in? Kingsley also participates in competition obedience and I really feel this gave him a super good foundation for his rally, as there was a strong focus in precision. He learned discipline and focus, which are two skills that have helped him a great deal in his rally career. 
What does Kingsley love to do when not competing? When Kingsley isn’t in the ring competing, he can be found on occasion performing on television and in theatre productions. His other hobbies include hiking, rolling in the sand and tormenting his little brother.

#6 – RGCh. Goldunn Fly’N First Class CDX CGN RMX5 RAE11

Call name: Ace
Golden Retriever
Owners: Charlie & Joan MacMillan, Pat Gorgerat 
Handler: Charlie MacMillan 
Breeder: Del Lunn 
In 2020 the dog world lost a remarkable individual with the passing of Charlie MacMillan. Charlie impacted the lives of so many, and much of the success of the sport of rally obedience in Canada is due to his contributions.

​In Charlie’s stead, Pat Gorgerat provided the following comments:
“After the passing of his partner Joan, who was an integral part of the MacMillan team, Charlie had to organize his show trips, get himself to the right ring on time and fill out his own entry forms (something he often told everyone that he had never done). Knowing that Joan would want nothing less, despite his own ongoing health issues as well as the limited amount of trials that the pandemic allowed, Charlie and Ace placed sixth in rally. Placing within the Top 10 for five consecutive years is a testament to Charlie and Ace's determination, enthusiasm and love for the sport of rally.
Ace has a much quieter schedule these days. He has been adjusting to his new family, teaching them just how clever and mischievous he is, as well as playing and chasing his brother Deuce.” 

#7 – RCh. GMOTCh. Meadowpond Goldunn Kaldora CGN RMX2

Call Name: Dory
Golden Retriever
Owner/Handler: Del Lunn
Breeder: Cherie Berger
At what age did you start training with Dory? I started with Dory at about nine weeks old. She was a very easy puppy to train and she caught on well as time went on.
Why do you think a Golden Retriever makes an ideal choice for rally? I have trialled Goldens for a number of years and I attribute a lot of my success to my breeder Cherie Berger. All Goldens are not created equal and one would want to make sure there are performance dogs in their background. They catch on to rally and most do very well.
What other events does Dory participate in? I have always trialled Dory in obedience parallel to her rally exhibiting. I kept her busy keeping up with these sports. I am sure she is capable of other sports but I just focused on obedience and rally.  
What does Dory love to do when not competing? Dory enjoys relaxing and running with her daughter. She has been a pleasure to train for competition and at the same time she is an excellent pet.

#8 – Ch. Sycalcade Dare Push The Limit RAE CD CGN SDIN

Call Name: Max
Owners: Shelly Filippi & Leanne Zukowski 
Handler: Shelly Filippi 
Breeder: Leanne Zukowski 
At what age did you start training with Max? The second I got him we started using commands. We got into classes as soon as he had his shots, as a puppy, and quickly discovered we both enjoyed rally. 
Why do you think a Bullmastiff makes an ideal choice for rally? Bullmastiffs learn quickly and enjoy working IF it’s fun for them. They don’t require hours of training or repetition and retain commands well once learned, which makes advancement relatively easy once they have a good foundation. Rally encourages enjoyment and interaction in the ring, which Max is a big fan of.

What other events does Max participate in? He loves barn hunt and scent work. We would like to learn how to track. Max loves all kinds of work as long as it involves treats and people. Max is usually one of the hits at any show because he is so happy and friendly. He always makes visiting a priority and reminds everyone it’s important to relax and have fun.
What does Max love to do when not competing? Most importantly socialize. He is always happy to go for a walk if it’s nice out, sharing an apple or piece of bread is his favourite pastime. I’m sure his best life would involve regular classes with his favourite people and dogs who can put up with his enthusiasm and dog shows every weekend. He is usually seen outside a ring on his back with someone adoring him, the more attention the better. Max can best be described as aggressively friendly and is persistent in his pursuit of happiness. Working with Max has made me a better person.

(Photo credit: Cathy French)

#9 – GMOTCh. RCh. Diaz Policier NS RAE7

Call Name:  Diaz  
Belgian Shepherd
Owner/Handler: Sharon Otto
Breeders: Birgit Hall
At what age did you start training with Diaz? Eight weeks old.
Why do you think a Belgian Shepherd makes an ideal choice for rally? I like a dog that has good drive and character.
What other events does Diaz participate in? Sprinter and obedience.
What does Diaz love to do when not competing? Diaz hangs around with my husband on the farm.


#10 – Cristyhill’s Cody Chrome RM RAE

Call Name: Cody
Owners: Sonya Klemm & John Blair
Handler: Sonya Klemm
Breeders: Gerda Hill
At what age did you start training with Cody? The day we picked him up at 10 weeks old.
Why do you think a Pomeranian makes an ideal choice for Rally? Poms are so energetic and so happy to engage with their people. Training for rally is an awesome way to spend quality time with your dog and creates such a wonderful bond. Cody loves to train!
What other events does Cody participate in (or would like to try)? We might try obedience some time, and his prey drive is really strong, so perhaps barn hunt!
What does Cody love to do when not in the ring? Cody loves to do anything we are doing. It could be feeding horses, going for a walk, going camping  he’s up for anything! We also train every week with Jennifer Mclean from Top Dog Canine Training. We have a great group who have been together for a couple of years.