How to Make Dog Rally Equipment

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Rally obedience (sometimes shortened to Rally-O) involves leading your dog through a course of signs and objects which specify certain obedience exercises. Signs may tell dogs to sit, jump, recall, and perform figure eights, among other things. Cones specify important areas. These items can all be easily and cheaply handmade within a few hours.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Cardstock
  • Printer
  • Laminator
  • Wire garden edging
  • Wire cutters
  • Pliers
  • Clothespins
  • 4" wide Floral foam cones
  • Matte spray paint
  • Drink coasters
  • Epoxy

Making Rally Signs and Bases

  • Compile a list of the rally maneuvers you would like to use.

    There are over 80 acceptable maneuvers, and having a list of those you want to use saves you time later in the process.

  • Boot up your computer and open a word processor of your choice.

    Format the paper horizontally. In bold letters, begin writing the maneuvers of your choice. Your processor may come with free clipart -- such as arrows and stop signs -- which you can add to your signal card.

  • Print the cards onto the cardstock.

  • Laminate the cards individually.

  • Take one section of the wire garden edging, and hold it upside-down so that the rounded point of the top faces downwards.

    Using the pliers, bend this section backwards so that it forms a 30 degree angle to the rest of the metal. This creates the base of the stand.

  • Cut the extra segments pointing sideways from the shape with the wire cutters.

    Try and cut as close to the intersection as possible.

  • Curl the wire ends at the top of your new shape -- the pieces that would have been stuck down into the ground -- down towards the center of the top, so that they each form a roughly triangular shape.

  • Put the clothespins atop the new triangle shapes you've made; these will hold the rally signs in place.

  • Test the finished shape on a flat surface, such as a tabletop.

    Adjust the angle of the bottom as needed so that the wire frame can stand easily while holding your laminated signs. Repeat to make as many sign holders as desired.

Making Rally Cones

  • Match the size of your coasters to the bases of your cones.

    Both coasters and cones come in a variety of widths. The coasters are meant to help weigh the cones down, and should be fairly heavy -- made of ceramic, faux-stone, or a dense plastic.

  • In a well-ventilated area, apply a thin coat of spray paint in a color of your choice to your floral cones.

    Once all have been covered, wait roughly 30 minutes for them to dry.

  • Apply a coat of epoxy to the base of your foam cones, and attach them to the coasters.

  • Apply a last coat of spray paint to the finished cones, and allow to dry.

  • Mix another batch of epoxy, and use a paintbrush to coat your cones in a thin protective layer.

    The epoxy should harden within an hour, and will help protect your cones from denting, scratching, and flaking.

Tips & Warnings

  • Dogs are blind to most colors except blues and yellows. To give your dog some extra help recognizing your rally markers, print or paint them in different shades of blue or yellow, and avoid colors like red, green and orange.
  • Find heavy-gauge wire that is malleable to the touch for best results.

References

  • Photo Credit Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images
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