Mondioring Exercises

Like most protection sports, Mondioring has a series of exercises to be executed by the dog/handler team in the categories of obedience, agility (jumps) and protection. At the Mondioring III level, there are a total of 17 exercises, completed without interruption, and lasting approximately 45 minutes. An interesting possibility in Mondioring is that a dog that has titled in another protection sport – for example French Ring or Schutzhund – is allowed to enter Mondioring at the level that it has achieved in its own country.

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.

Obedience Exercises

Points: 10

Account of the exercise

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.

Penalties

Dog changes position during the 1 min. absence. -10
Dog changes positions when handler is going to the blind. -10
Handler looks back towards the dog while he walks to or enters the blind. -10
Dog moves without changing position (penalty per meter). -1
Dog changes position when the handler returns. -2
Handler shows himself during the exercise. -10
Any irregular or disallowed command. -10

EXAMPLES of various setups:

Points: Level I 10, Level II and III 20

Description of the exercise

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).

Variations:

  • 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.

There are some new variations to this exercise.
First, when you approach the line of departure, you must arrive at the line and tell your dog to SIT. Then, look at the judge and the judge will authorize you to give your dog the position that it will be left in. (Ex….down or stand. ) IF the position is a sit, you MAY give your dog another command to sit/stay. Failure to sit dog and wait for judge’s indication will result in a loss of general allure points.

It is becoming increasingly common for the judge to have the handler move laterally during each position change. For example, dog left in a sit, handler positions himself with Deputy judge behind. First position given, then handler must MOVE laterally to side and give next position. Often, with a series of persons in a line that handler must stop in front of. Another variation is that handler may have to move laterally from one chair to another.

EXAMPLES of various setups:

Points: 6

Description of the exercise

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.

Remember that in Mondioring there are TWO lines to deal with when approaching and departing from most exercises. The “preparation line” is an imaginary line 3 meters behind the “line of departure”. The handler presents himself at the preparation line, looks at the judge, and is given a signal by horn to move forward to the actual line of departure. At the departure line, another signal will be given to proceed. More information to follow in another article on this topic.

EXAMPLES of various setups:

Points: Level I 10, Level II and III 20

Description of the exercise

Judge, are placed on the ground. In Level I, nothing is placed on the ground. It is forbidden to place food closer than 5 m to the small pieces of wood during the Search for Object exercise. The same applies in the 2 m circle during the Guard of an Object exercise. The Refusal of Food is an exercise, which cannot be executed during another exercise.

Account of the exercise

See “Instructions Common To All Exercises”.
In Level I, only one piece of food is thrown during the obedience exercises, at the place and moment chosen by the Judge. In Level II and III, two pieces are thrown or presented (at the same time or separately). The food must be the same for all dogs.
The goal is not to set up the dog deliberately, so do not place the food in the work zones, landing area of the jumps, start line of send away.

From Instructions Common to All Exercises:

Food
Food must be varied and of a reasonable size (maximum of fist-size). It will consist of raw or cooked meat, bone, fish head, cheese, dried cake, sugar, etc.

This exercise, like the Absence, can vary greatly between trials. Some have a straight forward set up with food delivered and no real complications. Other times, it is delivered during the check in. There are, however, judges that really enjoy setting up a challenge for this exercise. It can sometimes depend on whether the trial is very large, and time is a factor.

Examples:

  • Basic setup…dog left at a designated spot, handler walks away, food is dropped. Handler called back with horn.
  • Food thrown while handler checks in.
  • Other variations…a social setting, with handler and food thrower seated by side. Short conversation, Food is dropped (level one), or handed to dog (level 2/3).
  • Food thrown over something, landing at feet of dog.
  • Food slid down a child’s slide.

EXAMPLES of various setups:

Points: 12

Description of the exercise

The time allowed for the Retrieve of the Object is 15 seconds.

The object will be chosen by a drawing or chosen by the judge prior to the start of the trial from a list given to the Judge (dumbbell, ninepin, cylinder, plastic bottle, solid bottles if they contain water are ok, small bag, stroller wheel, etc.).

The dog must be able to hold it in his mouth, and the maximum weight is 1 kg. All glass or metal objects are forbidden.

No other object can be within 5 m because it would turn the exercise into an identification one; also no food nearby.

The handler cannot move his feet as long as he/she does not have the object in their hands.

The rules say one object yet a pair of shoes tied together is OK as long as it is reasonable.

The dog has three changes to hold the object in the mouth before chewing points are deducted.

Account of the exercise

The time allowed for the Retrieve of the Object is 15 seconds.

The object will be chosen by a drawing or chosen by the judge prior to the start of the trial from a list given to the Judge (dumbbell, ninepin, cylinder, plastic bottle, solid bottles if they contain water are ok, small bag, stroller wheel, etc.).

The dog must be able to hold it in his mouth, and the maximum weight is 1 kg. All glass or metal objects are forbidden.

No other object can be within 5 m because it would turn the exercise into an identification one; also no food nearby.

The handler cannot move his feet as long as he/she does not have the object in their hands.

The rules say one object yet a pair of shoes tied together is OK as long as it is reasonable.

The dog has three changes to hold the object in the mouth before chewing points are deducted.

  • On the Judge’s signal, the object must be thrown at least 5m.
  • After the Judge’s signal, the handler may command the dog to search for the object.
    Only one recall retrieve command is allowed.
  • The handler will wait for the horn at the end of the exercise before leaving his place.
  • A brief command to ask the dog to release the object is allowed – e.g. ‘give’.

The Retrieve is one of the exercises that includes a requirement that the handler NOT speak after the retrieve command is given. Until the item is returned to the handler, nothing can be said. Degree of difficulty of the actual item selected by the judge varies from level to level. Handler may have to throw the item and send dog from a standing or seated position. Retrieve item may be thrown OVER an object that blocks view of dog, ie, barrels of obstacle, etc.

Note that for the Retrieve Exercise, the judge must be provided with six items to select from. It is preferable that the items relate to the theme of the trial. It is also expected that the items will not have been used prior to the trial. As a judge, I can tell you that if the items presented to me look ‘used’, I will magically come up with something that is not from the selection being presented.

Examples of items that have been used in recent trials:
Small stick with a balloon attached, multiple variations of fuzzy or squeaky animals, a plastic rake with balloon attached, a broom, water bottles (full), pair of sneakers tied together, string of bottles tied together, a large disc of plastic cheese (European style), watering can…

The following are some examples of retrieves from trials:

Points: Level II and III 15 points

Description of the exercise

Time allowed for the exercise: 1 minute.

The object must be a small, unused piece of wood, numbered, 15 cm long and 2 cm in diameter. (for the dogs that have a large mouth) It will be chosen by the handler from several identical pieces, all numbered. At the time of presentation at the Judge’s table, the handler takes the wood and puts it into his pocket without showing it to his dog, and informs the judge of it’s number. All the handlers must carry the wood for the same time period. Identical, non- numbered objects are to be placed near that of the wood of the competitor. The object must be placed without showing it to the dog. The wood must be reasonably accessible. No distraction is permitted during this exercise. Like with the retrieve, no other objects should be within 5 m unless part of the theme décor. Non-numbered “distraction” pieces of wood, picked up by another dog, must be exchanged, and “distraction” pieces of wood are put into a plate at the end of exercise to avoid being handled too much.

Account of the exercise

See “Instructions Common To All Exercises”.

  • Each handler puts his dog in a spot indicated by the Deputy Judge. The handler will then place the object, in view of the dog, 30 meters away in a fictitious square, 1 m x 1 m. The handler will place the little wood with his back to the dog.
  • While the handler returns to his dog, other identical pieces of wood (non- numbered) are placed nearby the first one (min. 25 cm) inside the square. There are 3 objects for Level II and 4 for Level III.
  • At the Judge’s signal the handler sends his dog in search of the object with the command “search and bring”. A single command given by voice is allowed. The handler is allowed to let the dog sniff his hands before he gives the command, to make the dog understand the nature of the exercise.
  • The handler will give the returned object to the Deputy Judge, for verification by the Judge.

The LITTLE WOOD exercise is basically an exercise of scent discrimination. The challenge in this exercise is often one of confusion with the retrieve, in which dogs grab the first thing they SEE that resembles a little wood. The most successful dogs are those that rely almost entirely on their nose to locate the little wood. Dogs, being creatures of habit, tend to rely on patterns if they have learned to use their eyes. In training, handlers often put the woods out in a slightly irregular pattern, a certain number of cm apart. If this ‘pattern’ is not evident, dogs can easily become confused. Here are a series of photos that illustrate the variations seen in recent trials of all levels.

EXAMPLES of various setups:

Points: 12

Points awarded:
In the optimum zone between inside markers.     12 Points
Between the outside markers and inside markers    8 Points
Outside the outside markers       4 points

Account of the exercise

The dog must cross a line, parallel to the starting line, marked by 2 outside markers placed at each end. At 5 meters inside the outside markers, there will be 2 perpendicular lines 1 meter in length to indicate the optimum zone. The markers can be decorative objects (that are part of the theme) The distances are 20, 30, and 40 m respectively in Level 1, 2, 3.

 

In the optimum zone between inside markers 12 Points
Between the outside markers and inside markers 8 Points
Outside the outside markers 4 points

 

Account of the exercise

The dog will be placed behind the starting line, on a central point marked by a perpendicular line. At the Judge’s signal, the handler will give the dog a command to go away. The dog must go straight ahead and cross the finish line. When the dog has crossed the finish line, the handler will recall the dog back to heel. The dog must return within 20 seconds.

This exercise that has proven to be one of the most difficult to successfully pass, on multiple fields, for many dog/handler teams. In Mondioring, handlers routinely teach their dogs to go away from them, and run to the fence – where a reward of some sort is usually placed. In a trial, the dogs are recalled when they cross the line, and expected to return to the handler (without going to the fence to find their reward!)

Penalties

Commands given by voice and gesture -2
Any extra commands to send the dog forward. (each) -4
Dog zig-zags, for each change of direction -1
Dog returns before command, each time -2
Dog starts:
a) before the signal from the Judge
b) after the signal from the Judge
-4
-2
Dog does not pass the line -12
Extra commands to recall the dog . (one only) -2
Dog does not return within 20 seconds -12
The dog returns, but wanders ‘loosely’ back to handler. GA

EXAMPLES of various setups:

Agility Exercises (jumps)

The handler puts his dog into position at a convenient distance from the obstacle.
The handler can count paces during the Dog in White, but not after without losing points.
The handler takes his place immediately in the marked square, to the left or right, near the jump.
The handler cannot touch the jumps or lean on the palisade.
If the dog leaves his place before the start command, so that the handler must reposition the dog, he is penalized one attempt plus points.
The dog is allowed 3 attempts for all the exercises: the palisade, the long jump which counts only the forward jump.

For the hurdle, the dog is allowed to try a total of 3 times forward and 3 times return. If the dog fails or refuses to return, the handler will reposition the dog in the place from where the dog can jump. The handler will then return to his position in front of the hurdle and wait for the signal from the Judge. For the hurdle, a stabilization command is only allowed after the “go” jumps (1st direction). On the return, no stabilization is allowed; the dog has to return to heel.

If the dog fails any jump, no matter which, the handler may not ask to raise or lower the height or length.

The jump command shall be given only by voice. Every gesture or movement of the body will be penalized, but the handler may watch his dog in a natural manner, without staring. All two-word commands must be said without a pause in between the words, otherwise it will be considered as an extra command (-5). If, before stepping into the box area, the handler makes a gesture like throwing a ball, it will be considered as training, loss of all points. After authorization of the judge for the jump, if the handler gives command by voice and makes a short gesture -2. A sustained gesture will be considered as a supplementary command (-5).

After each jump, the handler may give one command of his choice to recall the dog to heel or to make it stay behind the jump. If he commands the dog to stay, the handler must go to his dog. If a recall, the dog has 10 sec to come to heel, with or without a command, otherwise there will be a penalty. If the dog is recalled, it can be done with voice or whistle but it must be the same for all jumps (see the type of distance recall chosen by the handler at the time of presentation).

There will also be a penalty if the dog does not stay behind the jump despite the command.

The handler will wait for the sound of the horn announcing the end of exercise, before leaving the jump.

If the dog is blocked (given a fixation command) after the jump without taking the position that the handler commanded he will not lose points.

The handler must not show his dog the jump before the exercise.

Points: 15

Description of the exercise

In Level I, only one height: 1.8 m = 15 points

The palisade is made of a fully attached panel at the bottom, up to 1 m in height; then a stack of rough boards 10 cm in height and 27 – 30 mm in thickness, unfinished. The palisade may be 1.5 m – 1.9 m in width. To allow the dog to jump down, it has an incline fixed to the posts at 1.7 m high, and on the ground about 1.2 m from the wall. Slats are placed every 30 cm to break the dog’s descent. The incline also supports the palisade. In order to move it easily, the palisade is mounted on beams, in the form of a reverse T. It does not have a reverse jump, so there is no fence behind it.

 

Regulation heights and points 
Height(m) 1.8   1.9   2.0   2.1   2.2   2.3 
Level I       15 
Level II      12    13     14   15 
Level III      5       7       9   11     13    15 

Protection Exercises

Points: 30

Account of the exercise

The exercise is based upon several principles:

    1. There will always be a preliminary meeting (a handshake) between the Decoy and handler, with or without conversation. The handler may respond to the Decoy’s greeting with a very ordinary tone of voice.

Defense of the Handler

    1. The difficulty created for the dog will be increased progressively, according to level.

Defense of the Handler

    1. At each level, the Decoy’s aggression will be clear and evident, and made with both hands.
    2. At the moment of aggression, the Decoy and handler will remain motionless for 2 sec. If the dog bites within 2 sec, they will resume normal work; if the dog does not bite during the 2 sec, the Judge will stop the exercise.
    3. The dog must react only if his master is the aggressed upon
  1. The handshake must be made by the Decoy, who is the aggressor.

The Decoy must strike the handler and hold the strike for 2 s. during which time the dog must bite.
During the Defense of Handler, the handler must stay at least 3 m from the Decoy, until after the “out” command and return of the dog to heel.
Progress of the exercise, starting with some examples of possible situations:

  • Simple conversation, after the Decoy and handler meet, ending in aggression.
  • After the conversation, the Decoy walks away and without wavering, returns to hit the handler.
  • The same, but he tries to trick the dog’s vigilance through deception.
  • The Decoy shows aggression toward a third person, to try to provoke an untimely reaction from the dog.
  • The third party pretends to start a fight with the handler himself.
  • The Decoy acts aggressively toward the handler in a situation similar to daily life, etc.

Defense of the Handler
The Judge will give a horn blast authorizing the “out” command. The dog must then guard the Decoy closely for 5 sec, after which the Judge will indicate the end of exercise, and the handler will recall the dog.
Defense of the Handler

Miscellaneous points:

  • At the Line of Departure (after the preparation Line), the handler commands the dog to heel.
  • After this point, there may be no more communication with the dog. Handler will have seen the scenario, and received instructions during the Chein Blanc.
  • Often, the handler is directed by the decoy.
  • Handler may be asked to carry something, move various objects, sit with other decoys, sit and then move to another location, etc.
  • At no point can the handler ‘re-command’ the dog to stay by his or her side.
  • Any repeated command will result in a zero for the exercise.
  • Once the handler has been struck by the decoy, the handler must remain at least three meters away from the decoy/dog.
  • On the signal from the judge (horn), handler will out the dog, who will guard for 5 seconds.
  • On the next signal from the judge, the dog is recalled to the side of the handler.

 

UPDATED PHOTOS:
The following are several photos from events that occurred after this article was written:

Penalties

Dog changes position during the 1 min. absence. -10
Dog changes positions when handler is going to the blind. -10
Handler looks back towards the dog while he walks to or enters the blind. -10
Dog moves without changing position (penalty per meter). -1
Dog changes position when the handler returns. -2
Handler shows himself during the exercise. -10
Any irregular or disallowed command. -10

EXAMPLES of various setups:

Points: Level II 40, Level III 50

Description of the exercise

Distance: 30 meters
All the regulations for this attack are identical to those of the “Face Attack with Baton”.

Allowed accessories: (these are only meant to impress or upset the dog) – branch, rattle, cloth, newspaper
– piece of plastic or sack, plastic water bucket (empty or full)
– any noisy (but harmless) object, etc.
The accessory used for this attack must not completely cover the dog during the bite.
If the dog aggresses a ‘civilian’, the exercise will be terminated immediately and all points lost. If a dog is considered to be dangerous, the team will be removed from the field immediately. If the decoy believes that the dog will hit him in the face, he can protect himself by pushing off the dog or esquiving.

Account of the exercise

Identical to that of the “Face Attack with Baton”.

For the Attack, the Decoy must use the accessory to test the dog’s courage, but must not use it to entice the dog to miss.

This exercise is one of the three exercises that is added at Level 2, and very definitely adds a degree of difficulty not seen in Level 1. There are several components to the issue of just what makes this a difficult exercise.

First, the dog has got to deal with the threat that is presented by the decoy. This generally happens before the dog gets to the decoy. The photos that follow will illustrate that threat.

Second, the dog must get through the actual accessories to get to the decoy. Some dogs are taught to go over them. Some to go straight through them. Decoys are becoming more and more adept at blocking dogs, using both their presence and the actual accessories to impress the dog upon entry.

As a judge, I can tell you that this is one of the most difficult exercises for the dogs, especially those that come from other disciplines and haven’t been well prepared for this exercise. It seems like an easy thing…..run through a few streamers and bite the guy, right? It simply does not turn out that way, for many of the dogs. The decoys take their accessory work as seriously as the decoys in French ring take their stick work. Serious threat can be presented, and it does exactly what the organizers of Mondioring meant for it to do…..impress the dogs! The following are a series of photos illustrating a variety of accessories, and means of presenting them that might be seen in Mondioring.

There are some new variations to this exercise.
First, when you approach the line of departure, you must arrive at the line and tell your dog to SIT. Then, look at the judge and the judge will authorize you to give your dog the position that it will be left in. (Ex….down or stand. ) IF the position is a sit, you MAY give your dog another command to sit/stay. Failure to sit dog and wait for judge’s indication will result in a loss of general allure points.

It is becoming increasingly common for the judge to have the handler move laterally during each position change. For example, dog left in a sit, handler positions himself with Deputy judge behind. First position given, then handler must MOVE laterally to side and give next position. Often, with a series of persons in a line that handler must stop in front of. Another variation is that handler may have to move laterally from one chair to another.

EXAMPLES of various setups:

Points: Level I without obstacle 50, Level II with obstacle 40 and III with obstacle 50

Description of the exercise

Breakdown of points
Start – 10 points
Attack – 30 points in Level I & Level III (20 in Level II)
End and Recall 10 Points

Description of the exercise

Distance:
30m (Level I)
40m (Level II)
50m (Level II)

Allowed:
Barrage, threats, intimidation, charging at the dog (2 steps maximum), esquiving during the attack if the dog loses its bite. An accessory may be used in place of the baton during the attack with obstacle. In Level I, the arms must be accessible for the dog to bite.
Examples of Obstacles:

  • moat or plastic water tub, maximum water depth 20 cm.
  • hay bales
  • tires, piled up or placed upright
  • bands fastened vertically to a crossbar
  • netting

Obstacles must not be more than 80 cm wide, except for water obstacles, or flat obstacles that have a maximum of 25 cm in height. The tires, hay bales, and the netting must not exceed 80 cm in height. The length of the obstacles will be 8 to 10 m and must permit the Judges to evaluate the attitude of the dog as it approaches the attack. No obstacle must injure the dog or do it any harm. In the spirit of this exercise, the obstacle is meant to slow the dog down in order to judge his courage in the face of an accessory or baton, and it should never present any danger.

Obstacles in trials can range from simple (hay bales or barrels) to complex (troughs of water, stacked items, painted murals). The obstacle sometimes fits in with the theme of the event, as in one of the photos below in which the obstacle was designed to look like a giant, rolled newspaper.

The dog is required to jump over the obstacle on the way to the bite, but is not required to jump back over it on the recall to handler.

Remember that in Mondioring there are TWO lines to deal with when approaching and departing from most exercises. The “preparation line” is an imaginary line 3 meters behind the “line of departure”. The handler presents himself at the preparation line, looks at the judge, and is given a signal by horn to move forward to the actual line of departure. At the departure line, another signal will be given to proceed. More information to follow in another article on this topic.

EXAMPLES of various setups:

Points: Level II and III 40

Description of the exercise

Note:

This is an extremely technical exercise. The basic information follows, and will be illustrated by a series of photos and text. Sorry for the length of text, but the exercise is complicated.

Breakdown of points
Discovery 10 points
Escort 30 points

Description of the exercise

Number of hiding places: 6 fixed plus one movable, which may be placed at the discretion of the Judge.

Note:

This statement does not communicate the variety of things that might be considered “hiding places”. Creating new, unique and complicated hiding places has been part of the mark of a great setup at many World Cup events in recent years. Photos to follow.

Time allotted for search and bark: 2 to 3 minutes at the Judge’s discretion, depending on the surface of the field.

It is important that the Judge or a member of the Jury is placed where he can see what happens in the blind. In effect, if the dog is not vigilant, the Judge can authorize the Decoy to flee, and the meters escaped would be penalized.

The Decoy absolutely must follow the course indicated by the Judge, to put all the dogs on an equal basis. His walk must be natural and his attitude as identical as possible toward all the dogs, without provocation on his part. He must attempt to escape three times, at his own initiative, according to the behavior and vigilance of the dog, independently of the possible escape from the blind.. In case the dog loses vigilance after the third escape, the Judge may penalize the dog and request an additional escape. The decoy should not fixate too much on an obstacle to steal meters. He can go over a particular obstacle no more than three times before escaping.

This exercise must demonstrate the dog’s ability to bring a fleeing lawbreaker to bay, and the Decoy must act in this situation like a prisoner attempting to escape.

When the Dog in White appears, the Judge impresses upon the Decoy the proper attitudes and behavior, he defines the course and maintains a good balance between the spirit and execution of the exercise.

The use of jumps in order to assist in fleeing is forbidden.
Obstacles may be used as a diversion during escapes, but not in more than 2 escapes.

Stay commands at the end of escapes are forbidden. The end of exercise command consists of the dog’s name, followed by the handler’s choice of a command word.
At the blind, white marks on the ground must be removed. (Precision from Malaga).

Account of the exercise

The dog and his handler will leave the field accompanied by the Deputy Judge. They return at the signal of the Judge, when the Decoy has hidden. If the dog is vigilant, after the discovery of the Decoy, the handler himself will (upon the Judge’s approval) call the Decoy out of the blind.. He must walk without changing his pace. Once the dog has alerted, the handler will approach at least 3 m to the hiding place before asking the decoy to step out. If the handler runs to the blind there will be a penalty against General Outlook.

Also, if the dog leaves the “zone of vigilance”, marked on the ground, the Judge may allow the Decoy to attempt an escape. A dog is considered vigilant if he ….looks at….follows….watches…. the decoy. If the judge is alone, he/she should place themselves close to the discovery spot so they can have a good view.

If the dog does not make the discovery in the allotted time, then the exercise is cancelled. If the dog makes the discovery but does not bark, he loses the discovery points; but the handler, on the Judge’s signal, will return to the blind to continue the exercise. As long as the dog has not signaled the discovery of the Decoy by barking, the Judge may not allow the Decoy to leave the blind even if the dog has passed and continues his search. It will be allowed the regulation time for the search. If the dog returns to the handler, within a radius of 3 m, before the end of the allotted time, the handler may give an additional search command, which will be penalized. If the dog bites the Decoy, whether it has barked or not, it loses 5 points. If the dog alerts the handler by barking, without having discovered the Decoy, it is penalized 5 points.

Decoy needs to be hidden to keep the spirit of the exercise. If the dog leaves the field (if the fence is not substantial), handler can call back his/her dog. Handler will not be penalized and the clock will stop until the dog is back in the field. However, if the field is well enclosed and the dog leaves, the clock will not stop.

During the course of the exercise, the Decoy must esquive when he attempts to escape, and keep as far as possible from the dog. There will not be a one meter allowance for the escapes. He will stop his escape attempts only when the Judge sounds the horn and the handler gives the command, about 3 seconds after the bite. The distance escaped, while the dog is biting, will not be penalized; but if the dog lets go before the handler’s command, the Decoy will continue to escape. The Decoy may not resume walking after an “out” command, except on the Judge’s signal. During the entire escort, the handler must remain at least 3 m from the Decoy, behind or beside him, but never in front of him.

The Judge indicates the end of exercise by several horn blasts. The handler commands “stop” and the Decoy stops walking. When the escort stops, the dog assumes a guard in place, with the same penalties of those for Defense of the Handler. The handler recalls the dog to heel and puts himself at the disposal of the commissioner.

SEARCH

The SEARCH portion of this exercise is one that proves to be a huge challenge to dogs, both beginners to level two and experienced competitors. As dogs are schooled about how to locate craftily hidden decoys, judges are one step ahead creating something that no one had thought of. The following is a series of photos taken from events over the past few years:

Far and away the best example of a determined dog is the following of Fiest du Loups du Soliel, in Portugal in 2008. The entry to the enclosure was very well disguised. Dogs could leave the enclosure and take the ramp in; they could figure out how to move a heavy panel of flexible plastic covering the only entry, or……they could be FIEST and just try to jump over the top. This dog did his bark from that perch. When handler, Lisa Maze, arrived she called him down and the escort began.


The following photo illustrates the find blind in the Netherlands in 2010. There are several challenges. The fence kept many dogs out. It was offset, and dogs tended to run clockwise and miss the opening as they ran past. Once they found the opening, that large cow on the ground was facing them as they entered the enclosure. The deocy, Joaquim Dovat, was mounted on the large cow. Happily sitting there waiting for the dogs to figure it out! Some did!!


In Belgium, at the Mondioring Championship in 2012, the following challenge was more than most dogs could overcome. I believe that only 3 or 4 dogs actually found the decoy and made their way into the enclosure. Several dogs barked from the outside of the enclosure, but that only allowed the decoy to escape out the entrance. By the time the dogs had reached him, many, many meters were stolen.

In Belgium, at the World Cup in 2009, the following photo demonstrates the difficulty of the search. The decoy was seated at the back of the bed of this antique pickup.

THE ESCORT:

This exercise is another that has evolved over the years. Preference about just exactly where handlers teach their dog to position itself in the escort tends to change annually. Some escort in heel position, some with their nose just behind the decoy, others from the front, with nose as close as possible. It often is a factor of where the dog is most comfortable. Here are a few examples of dogs escorting, and catching, decoys.