For those of you who haven’t done APDT rally I highly recommend it. It is quite a bit different than AKC rally. The courses are longer and the exercises are bit different, a bit more challenging. Courses also include a bonus station where you can earn an additional 10 points, making the course value 210. Also, the judges in every trial we have attended have been great, they walk you through the course, explaining what they need to see, answering questions and even taking feedback on placement of the signs. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard at a trial as I had at the Mixed Breed Clubs event a couple of weeks ago, just walking the courses with Judge Hornfisher. Challenging courses, but presented in a way as to really make them fun.
APDT has married stations, where there are multiple signs at the same stop. You also have the option of rewarding your dog at any of the stationary signs-either food or touch rewards. The exercises in each level are a bit different as well, as is the performance of some exercises. For example, unlike AKC, on all pivots the dog moves with you. Additionally, the exercises are considered by some to be harder, but in my opinion, they are much more comparable to the things you would want to practice for traditional obedience. Such as in level 3 you have true moving down, a moving stand with some distance handling, as well as a send to a jump. And a bonus exercise with a marked retrieve which about knocked Magic over as it was the first time he has seen this game in a trial. He was so cute, he looked at the toy, looked at me almost as if to say REALLY! That made for one happy dog.
If you want to see some course maps, let me know because I have kept all of mine. Next time you see a trial near you, think about giving it a try. I will tell you that I am much more excited by Magic’s APDT RL3 than I am about his RE!