It’s our birthday! The end of the month will mark a decade of Rally Freestyle Elements. While we’ve grown and evolved over the past 10 years, much about this organization has remained unchanged. For example, it’s important to me to maintain a supportive, family atmosphere. Newbies to RFE are swathed in encouragement and given tons of learning resources because, let’s be honest, Rally-FrEe and Musical Freestyle are hard!
But they’re also fun! We want you and your pups to benefit from and enjoy the training and performance. If you’re not already a member of the Rally Free for All Facebook group, join now! It’s a great place to ask questions, stay current on RFE happenings and participate in some birthday-ish activities, too! Visit the group and let us know how you’d like to celebrate this RFE milestone.
What’s Your RFE IQ?
Take This Quiz to Find Out
We’re a friendly lot and we have fun together! Since RFE’s creation a decade ago, we’ve grown both numerically and geographically, but many of the original exhibitors are still active participants. Whether you’re a new member or have been around to watch us grow, take this short quiz to test your RFE IQ.
1. True or False. Julie created the sport of Rally-FrEe to provide a structured way to train foundation freestyle behaviors and build greater precision and accuracy in freestyle routines.
2. In Regular Divisions of Rally-FrEe and Musical Freestyle, handlers are encouraged to use _____________________ during a performance.
b. Verbal praise
d. Squeaky toys
e. All of the above
f. None of the above
3. After a performance or run, you can reward your dog in the ring by
a. Playing with a toy.
b. Giving them food.
c. Having someone toss a toy into the ring for you.
Julie and Kashi at Top Hat and Tails 2013 – the first live Rally-FrEe event.
4. Each dog-and-handler team enters the performance area with _______________ points.
a. 30 points if they’re wearing a hat.
b. 200 points with deductions taken for mistakes.
c. Zero points with points earned for execution and creativity.
d. Zero points with points earned for training and choreography.
e. C and D
f. None of the above
5. In freestyle, the performance of ____________________ is/are evaluated.
a. Both canine and human partner
b. Only the dog
c. Only the human
d. None of the above
6. True or False. Obedience and Agility dogs should not do Rally-FrEe or freestyle.
7. The Rally-FrEe signs and behaviors are structured from Novice to Advanced levels,
a. But can be trained in any order.
b. And build in difficulty providing a guide for musical freestyle training.
c. With Free Choice stations only present on Novice courses.
d. And increase in quantity from 15-20 on a course as you move up the levels.
8. True or False. Good dancers score higher in Rally-FrEe.
9. True or False. Rally Freestyle Elements (RFE) is the organization that offers titling in the sport of Rally-FrEe (RF).
10. Julie Flanery
a. owns Creative Canine LLC and Rally Freestyle Elements.
b. is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer.
c. has titled dogs in Obedience, Rally, Agility, Rally-FrEe, Parkour, Tricks, Musical Freestyle and Heelwork-to-Music.
d. is an Instructor at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy.
e. likes a good cocktail.
f. All of the above
g. A and D only
Happy Birthday to Us!
RFE IQ Quiz Answers
1. True. As a Musical Freestyle judge, Julie saw creative routines earning low
technical scores because the canine partner lacked attention, precision, and
good foundation behaviors, so she created the sport of Rally-FrEe to develop
these skills while still encouraging creativity. Although Rally-FrEe was developed
to improve the quality of, and participation in, Musical Freestyle, it’s now a stand-
alone sport enjoyed by all dog sport enthusiasts, not just freestylers.
2. B. Verbal praise is encouraged in both RFE sports. Corrective collars (chain,
pinch, choke and e collars) are not allowed. RFE trainers use positive
reinforcement to strengthen teamwork and foster a reciprocal learning process
between the dog and handler.
Food and toy reinforcers are only allowed in the ring in the Provisional Division.
Squeakers and other toys that make noise cannot be used at RFE events.
3. A. If they choose, handlers can reward their dogs in the ring by playing with a toy
for several seconds, but food and toys are not allowed in the ring in the Regular
4. E. In RFE Musical Freestyle and Rally-FrEe points are never deducted. All points
are earned based on what is presented. Each Dog-and-handler team enters the
performance area with zero points and earns points for Training and
Choreography in Musical Freestyle and for the execution of each station sign;
their heelwork, attention and teamwork; and the creativity and/or difficulty shown
at each Free Choice station in Rally-FrEe.
5. A. Musical Freestyle incorporates a wide range of creative dog behaviors and
handler movements in a performance in which both partners are actively
participating and evaluated.
6. False. If you participate in any dog sport, training for Rally-FrEe will provide a
solid foundation. To teach your dog to perform behaviors on verbal cue in Rally-
FrEe, you learn how to fade food lures, as well as hand and body cues. You
learn how to get working duration when you set a Rally-FrEe goal for the dog to
do fifteen behaviors plus heeling in order to earn a reward. Although Rally-FrEe
was created for freestylers, it is a favorite of enthusiasts of other dog sports, such
as obedience and agility. Many of the foundation freestyle and Rally-FrEe skills
are similar to those in obedience exercises: Finding positions, pivots, position
changes and engagement. And agility competitors love the challenge of
expanding their dogs' repertoires!
7. B. Rally-FrEe was created to help bring a high degree of precision and accuracy
to the sport, but also to help teach the freestyler about clear criteria, verbal cues,
smooth transitions and how to build skills in a methodical, upward progression.
8. False. Each Rally-FrEe course is like a freestyle routine specifically for learners.
RF courses eliminate the need to choreograph, so new students can focus on
improving each element of the performance. The transitions that are taught in
Rally-FrEe (points where the dog changes direction and/or position relative to the
handler), stretches of heeling between stations and tricks specified on the signs
make it easy to start putting together sequences for a beginner freestyle routine.
10. F. Yup, all of these are true! If you’d like to see for yourself why this combination makes Julie a great teacher, check out her brand new Fenzi course, Handler’s Choice for Freestylers! It’s a great opportunity to get personalized training or follow along as dog-and-handler teams receive coaching or guidance on a variety of skills and behaviors.
8-10 Grand Champion. Congrats!
4-7 Advanced. Well done!
2-3 Intermediate. You’re on your way!