I sat ringside of a recent rally trial and watched the competitors. The same mistakes were made at the same exercises at all three levels. It wasn’t lack of training on the dog’s part that earned point deductions. It was incorrect performance on the handler’s part.
Novice signs 13 & 14 – Handlers had their dogs sit after the finish instead of immediately moving forward.
Novice signs 17 & 18 – Handlers did not sufficiently change their pace to slow or fast.
Novice signs 23 & 24 – Handlers entered the cones from the wrong side on the straight weave or serpentine.
Novice sign 25 & 26 – Handler miscounted 1 step, 2 steps, 3 steps.
Novice sign 27 – Handler stopped before downing dog.
Novice sign 30 & 31 – Handler did not pause before resuming walking.
Novice sign 32, Advance sign 108 – Handler crossed through the center of the figure 8 an incorrect number of times.
Advance signs 116 & 117 – Handler had dog sit after pivot.
Advance sign 118 – Handler stopped and waited for dog to catch up before resuming walking.
Excellent signs 203 & 204 – Handler did not pause before resuming walking.
Read the rule book, print out a description of the signs with correct performance, down load the app (IOS or Android) with a description of the signs with correct performance, take a class with a knowledgeable instructor, watch experienced handlers in the ring. The correct performance of each exercise should become muscle memory before you enter the ring.