Attending your first rally competition

Dog walking along
Yulia Titovets © / The Kennel Club

So you've attended training sessions and now you and your dog feel ready to take the next step into competing in rally.

The first step is getting the rally schedule and submitting the entry form.


A schedule is a small booklet of information detailing the competition information and includes the entry form. It will list all the classes available, the judges who are judging the classes, the secretary’s information, the class definitions, the venue address and more. 

Entry form

To enter a competition, you will need to find your way to the right part of the schedule, which has the entry form. From there you will need to select which class(es) you would like to enter - the schedule will always offer detailed definitions of each class. Please note, you are not limited to just one class; you must enter the level the dog is eligible for and you can also enter up to two additional classes, one further standard class at the subsequent level plus one special class, if scheduled. However, if you are new to rally, we suggest just entering one or two classes so you can get used to the ring and not overdo competing with your dog.

Signing the entry form is important as it forms the contract between yourself and the competition society. If the dog is jointly owned, both owners should sign the entry form unless one of the parties has the written permission of the other to sign on their behalf. By signing, you are declaring that your dog is fit and healthy to take part in the competition, and that you will abide by The Kennel Club's rules and regulations.

Before you attend your rally competition 

Before you attend the competition there are a number of things you should remember to do. 

Checklist of things to do
  • Request a schedule from the secretary or take a look at an online entry system to preview a schedule there and select the class(es) you wish to enter
  • Post your entry form together with your entry fee to the secretary before the closing date or enter your dog online via an online entry system
  • Record details of the competition(s) and class(es) entered
  • Decide on your outfit and make sure your shoes are comfortable!
  • If your dog is showing any signs of illness, do not take it to the competition
  • Prepare a bag containing your leads, water bowls, poop scoop and bags etc.
  • Remember to take your entry passes (if appropriate)
  • If you have made a friend at training or know someone who has competed before, ask them to attend with you so you can go through any questions you may have
Things to take to the competition
  • Water bowl and water
  • Food for yourself and your dog
  • Walking lead
  • Waterproof clothing (if the competition is to be held outdoors)
  • Clothes for the day
  • Money
  • Car park pass, if applicable
  • Make sure you have made a note of what classes you have entered, so you are prepared on the day

What to expect at the competition

Here are our tips to help you make the most out of your first rally competition.

What to expect when at the competition
  • Arrive at the venue in plenty of time to find your bearings
  • Collect your number, usually from the secretary
  • Familiarise yourself with the course, you will have an opportunity to walk the course before the class starts and ask the judge any questions you have
  • Check your name in on the list next to the ring, choose where you want to work and put your number next to that running order
  • Keep an eye on the timings so you don't miss your class or running order
  • Speak to fellow competitors and learn more about rally
  • Look around the event - you will find that there is so much to discover and learn
  • Always clean up after your dog
  • Always leave venues clean and tidy

Next steps - competing in rally

So you've attended your first competition - you're now a competitor. Learn more about competing in rally.