NZ Association of rally Obedience

Rally-O for Kiwis

Handy dog

Handy dog

What is Handy dog?

Handy dog is unique to NZ. It combines skills from Rally and Zoom with other skills typically required as foundation for Agility and dancing with dogs, to name just two! Many of these extra exercises might be seen as simple Tricks to do with your dog! The major difference will be the change of side, with the dog required to change side during the exercise.

This class was introduced in 2012 with a range of signs added. It is intended to add signs over time to ensure the class stays interesting.


The object of this class is to show that the dog can

·       perform exercise stations on either side of the handler

·       perform a range of obstacles


Marrying is where two or more signs are placed at the same numbered station. In Zoom and Handy dogs signs may be married. Married signs are performed in sequence from left to right. For each level there will be a maximum number of stations that may have married signs.

Rally and Zoom signs applicable for the level may be used. Also NZARO signs #1, 2,3. Obstacles will include the ramp, cavaletti, perch, labyrinth and mat. There will be changes of side, which will occur whilst the dog is stationary. Some signs may be married. 

Signs to be used.

NZARO # 10. Turn in, change of sides

NZARO #11 Side by Side left Change sides

NZARO # 12  Side by side right change sides

NZARO #13. (Halt) Cross behind change sides. The handler stops, the dog sits and the handler goes behind the dog to the other side, pauses and then resumes the course.   

NZARO #14. (Halt) Cross in front change sides. The handler stops, the dog sits, the handler crosses in front, turning towards the dog, changes side, pauses and continues.   

NZARO #16 Spiral right dog inside – used when dog on handler’s right.

NZARO #17 Spiral left dog outside– used when dog is on the handlers right.

NZARO #22  Moving side step left – when dog is on handlers right.

NZARO #H1:-Handler to change sides. Each set to have a minimum of 5 of these. This can be married to existing halt/down stations.


NZARO # 4 – Labyrinth. This is a series of directional changes. Changes of direction are defined by a series of poles laid on the ground (see diagram) Poles are 1.2 -1.5m long and fixed to the ground.

NZARO # 19 :- Distance control. This will be performed on a mat or area defined by poles laid on the ground. 760-900mm square. 

NZARO # 7 – Plank. Ramps 2.4-3m long, 300mm wide, non-slip surface. The ramp is slightly elevated off the ground at both ends by at least 100mm but no more than 200mm (eg. block of 4x2 underneath). The dog must walk along the ramp using all 4 feet on at least half of the plank.

NZARO # 5 - Cavaletti) A series of 6 low jumps to be placed on the ground 40cm apart. Width: 60-80cm. Maxm height 100mm. (Could be made from PVC pipe, guttering, 4x2s)  

NZARO #20 :- Stool/Perch. A potty stool where the dog is required to put the front legs on the stool and move the back legs around. The handler can require the dog to move either left or right. Both the handler and dog move around a full circle.



Other obstacles.

- Tunnel

· Weave poles

· Jump

– Seesaw

The level of difficulty will increase. This will mean different obstacles, more changes of side, more marrying and extra new signs. There will be signs that ask for a change of side while the dog is still, and then the change of sides will be on the move. The distance control will have a restriction area and there will be more changes of position.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, Dec 9 at 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM