In the official International Rules of Mondioring, there is a very important section that includes information that is critical to all exercises in Mondioring. A great deal of information that relates to handling is contained in that section, called “Regulations “. This begins on page 7 and continues through page 12. As a handler, you will save yourself many lost General Allure points by thoroughly understanding the information in this section.
The dog will be placed on the ground or on a stable and fixed surface big enough for the dog at a spot indicated by the Judge, in a “down” position for Level I and II. In Level III the position (sit or down) will be determined by a drawing. The Judge may change the position during the competition according to the condition of the field and the weather.This exercise will last 1 minute, which starts when the handler enters the designated blind. The handler must not look back when he leaves his dog on the way to the blind, nor when entering the blind. During the Absence of the Handler, a distraction occurs, to which the dog must remain indifferent, without moving or changing position. The diversion will depend on the level. It must never take the form of aggression or provocation. Interference from the Decoy is forbidden. The distance from the distraction to the dog shall be at least 10 m in Level I and II and 5 m away from the dog in Level III.
This exercise varies from trial to trial, and judge to judge. Some take advantage of the time allotted to create a ‘scenario’ using club members, field helpers, etc. Others simply set the exercise up and provide a degree of distraction appropriate to the level.As both judge and handler, I will list a few that I have done or experienced:All bulleted points assume that dog is placed at designated position and handler has gone into blind:
- During trial with Alien Theme, multiple aliens were dissected at the ‘morgue’ by loud and jolly undertakers.
- During trial with theme of Garage Sale, two club members with exceptional acting skills set up a Gucchi Purse Store.
- During a Spring Cleaning trial, more club members conducted a loud and engaging garage sale replete with fights over various items.
- A pair of club members, guys, danced around the 5 meter perimeter with a dummy doll. I remember this one, as my dog was on his toenails and guys were trying to decide which one was getting thrown in front of the other when my dog broke his absence. (he didn’t)
- During a trial with a Western theme, a line of ladies were set up to do a raunchy (well, not really) dance at the dance hall.
EXAMPLES of various setups:
This exercise is common to the various ring sports, with subtle variations in each.
The exercise will take place with the dog on the ground. The dog and the handler must be able to see each other from a distance of 5, 10 and 15m, depending on the level. It is permitted to call the dog by name before giving the positioning command, but it must be spoken only once along with the command. If not, it is a double command.
For each position, the handler is entitled to 2 additional commands. If the dog has not executed the position after the 2 additional commands, the exercise is ended and all points already awarded are kept. Also for the initial position, if the dog changes it, handler must re-command the dog (2 extra commands allowed) The dog that anticipates the position, at one position at least (that which it has just left), may eventually lose another one, if it takes the following position. To avoid a situation where the dog obeys the Deputy Judge’s signal, we propose a “triangle” system of signals (the dog faces away from the Judges and each of the three positions are illustrated on a moveable three sided board).
- Handler Seated
- Handler w/back to dog using mirror
- Handler behind bottle wall
- Handler lying down
- Handler peeking out window
Account of the Exercise
The handler positions himself with his dog sitting at the line of departure. He commands the initial position upon the Judge’s signal, and then leaves his dog after a stay command.
The handler must always be able to see his dog during the execution of the exercise.
At the start, the dog will be placed in a stand, sit or down, at the direction of the Judge.
In Level I each position is taken once. In Level II and III each position will be taken twice, at the signal given by the Deputy Judge.
EXAMPLES of various setups:
The judge and the ring assistant gives the DH and his dog a specified route, which they shall follow. It contains 3 changes of directions as right or acute angles, 1 turn and 2 stops by the signals from the judge.Sounds simple. Not many points. How hard can it be? Generally, the heeling pattern for the Brevet is relatively simple. Small distractions along the way, not too complicated. The degree of difficulty increases in each class. The following are brief examples of either patterns or challenges that have been used in various trials here in the United States:
- Heel up steps and then down steps (over a small podium).
- Begin heeling pattern from a seated position (in a chair).
- Kick a basketball out of the way.
- Duck under a canopy along the way.
- Step over hay bale, step over agility tunnel, step over construction fence, step over barrels. (not all in same event !)
- Heel with a group of people leading and following.
- Heel through and under tarps and sheets on a clothes line.
Account of the exercise
In the heeling exercise, the handler is allowed to give the command to begin (Dog Heel) at the departure line*. Handler may not speak to the dog again at any point in the exercise. The Deputy Judge will show the handler where the preparation line is, and handler is expected to remember the pattern from the demonstration by the Chien Blanc (Dog in White). The judge will indicate that the handler is to move forward from the preparation line to the departure line by signaling with the horn. Again, the judge will signal the beginning of the exercise at the line of departure by signaling with the horn. At several places during the pattern, the judge will honk the horn to indicate to the handler that he should stop. The horn then will sound to begin again. When the handler hears a series of beeps from the horn, the exercise is over.The challenge in this exercise is two fold. First, it is necessary that the handler REMEMBER the heeling pattern that has been demonstrated by the Chein Blanc (Dog in White, or practice/demo dog). The second challenge is the issue of handling the dog through the distractions along the way.That second challenge separates the ‘men from the boys’, so to speak, in Mondioring heeling. How to approach that basket…how hard to kick the ball…..which leg to lead with over an obstacle…..how fast to walk……how to pick up the wheelbarrow without totally distracting the dog’s concentration….. In short, how to convey to the dog that “Yes….this IS still heeling!!!” without saying a word to the dog. No commands, no body language, no extra help along the way. The judge give the handler general directions during the Chein Blanc’s heeling pattern with regards to what needs to happen in the exercise. However, many small details are not ‘spelled out’ that you can use to your advantage. Small details can make or break the exercise for the dog/handler team. Several photos are included here to demonstrate some of the heeling challenges over the past few years in America.
EXAMPLES of various setups: