What is Mondioring dog sport

If you think some dogs are only good for fetching, eating, sleeping, and repeating; you might want to think again. Just like humans, dogs have an organized sport called “Mondioring” or “Mondio Ring”.

Mondioring is an obedience competition where the team (the Mondioring  dog and the Mondioring Handler) has to conquer. Mondioring is a precision dog sport that one has to watch for himself to really appreciate its discipline.

It is a protection sport that tests the ability of the dog to protect both themselves and their handlers, even through extreme distractions. The successful competition requires extensive training and discipline.

Brief History

Mondio Ring translates into “World Ring”.Mondioring is an F.C.I. authorized international dog sport developed in the late 80’s by representatives from every major country that has a competition dog sport. It is a combination of the French Ring Sport, the Belgian Ring Sport, Dutch KNPV, and German Schutzhund. The intent behind the formation of the sport was to provide an international competition that combined the best of each country’s existing traditions. Titles awarded in Mondio Ring are internationally recognized.

What is Mondioring Dog sport actually mean

sport includes a series of exercises that the dog and his or her handler must execute together in order to score well. Mondioring assesses a dog’s obedience, athleticism, agility, and ability to protect in a mock scenario—not to mention it tests the owner’s patience and dedication to training.

A Mondioring dog competes at each level without collar or leash throughout the trial, thus testing the control of the animal. Sports demands of extreme control combine to require that the dog be clear-headed with excellent character.

Mondioring has a unique theme. Each trial (competition) is based on a theme – much like a theatre set up on a field. Props, scenarios, distractions are placed at strategic points on the trial field. While the exercises remain the same from trial to trial, the order and the setup will change with each judge’s own creativity. No two trials are ever alike, thus preventing the possibility of preparing the dog ‘by rote.’This really teaches the dogs to deeply understand each exercise on a conceptual level.

The three categories

Dogs must go through to win Mondioring Title

  • Obedience tests require the dog to heel for one minute; hold sitting, standing, and down positions, food refusal then retrieval of the judge’s chosen object. Erring is sometimes inevitable, and the more commonly seen fault in this category is the double command. The handler is supposed to signal only once. Any more than that is a deduction.
  • The dog’s willingness and dexterity are put to the test through a series of jumps in the Agility course. There are three types of jumps: palisade, hurdle, and long jump.
  • Protection tests: The dog’s ability to distinguish when and where it needs to attack then defend itself or the handler. A trained mondioring decoy takes charge and assesses the dog. The decoy will try to distract and take away points the whole time the dog is biting. A common fault during this test is the recalling, or when the dog ignores the handler’s signal to stop biting. Deductions are made for every second that passes.

Five important Elements of Mondioring Dog Sport

1 . Mondio Ring

Mondioring, though it was intended as an avenue through which working dog enthusiasts could have fun, it is a sport that tests precision, coordination and clear communication between the handler and canine participant. It demands a lot from the dog and handler tandem as well as the trial decoy whose job is to thwart the attempts of the dog to engage him in combat.

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2 . Mondioring Handler

A mondioring handler has to have a passion for 3 things – his dog, dog-training, and competition. The prospective mondioring handler should first of all have a pre-selected and pre-tested dog with good working potentials. He has to have the resources to provide for his dog’s nutritional and veterinary needs. Working dogs need to be maintained for them to do the job properly and that requires time and money. Yearly vaccinations are a must for all dog sports.

Handler’s insight – First is to instill discipline in yourself and dog. Sometimes there are days where you don’t feel like training, but you must keep in mind that it’s a necessity. Then there is patience; there are dogs that are slow learners. Finally, you need to have a passion for both the dog and the sport. One can’t be without the other.

3 . The Certified Mondioring Judge

In order to be a certified mondioring judge you have to be CREDIBLE and hence, you MUST be or have been a mondioring handler/competitor and MUST have titled your dogs to a given level (depending on the rules of the governing mondioring body for a given country).

4 . The Mondioring Decoy

Much effort has been put into the Mondioring rule book to guide decoys from different dog sports into developing a uniform decoy system. The Mondioring system allows the decoy to use a wide array of stressors to assist the judge in evaluating the dog’s working ability.

The simplicity of the trial rules allows the decoy to remain true to the core values of dog sport, to test the inborn character of the dog, and the quality of the dog’s education. However, the Mondioring program goes a step further by aiding the judge and decoy in evaluating the dog’s over-all adaptability in changing circumstances.

5 . The Mondioring Dog

The dog is the featured character in mondioring.It is preferred that the potential canine candidate display a tenacity to work even under stress (from handler correction, environmental distractions, and decoy pressure), a “happily-hyper” character, clear-headedness and closeness to the handler.

Mondioring Dog Sport Exercises

When competing in Mondio Ring, the dog has no collar or leash on at any time except during the heel on leash. No food rewards or physical corrections are allowed at any time while competing. Points for an exercise will be lost for multiple commands, incorrect commands, or failure of the dog or handler to perform the exercise correctly.

There is a 1-second leeway on the outs before the dog is penalized for being slow to out.  Control is emphasized from the moment the dog/handler team walks onto the field until they leave at the end. The exercises dog has to go through in Mondioring Dog sport are

1.Heel off leash

in a pattern determined by the judge with multiple stops and starts, left and right turns The handler also might be required to pick things up, carry things, go through various obstacles, etc.

2.Long Sit/Down

done with the handler out of sight, the dog stays in a pre-drawn position 1 min during distractions. These distractions could be decoys arguing, throwing a ball, running circles, loud noises, etc. The distractions must be at least 5m away.

3.Food Refusal

the dog is thrown 2 pieces of food (usually meat or cheese). The dog must not eat the food, and if it is “accidentally” thrown into dogs mouth, he must immediately spit it out. The field is also baited with 6 pieces of food, in strategic locations (i.e. by blinds, jumps, area dog runs over during send away, etc.) The throwing of the food can be done in various ways, such as of a plate the thrower pretends to be eating from or in another manner that might fool the dog into thinking this isn’t a food refusal.

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4.High Jump

the dog jumps a hurdle on command, then does a return jump on command and comes to a heel position by the handler


the dog jumps and climbs over a wooden wall which has a sloped backside, so there is no jump straight down to the ground.

6.Long Jump

the dog jumps a PVC/metal “key” long jump on the ground


the dog is told to sit, stand and down in a pre-drawn order. the handler is 15m away. points are lost for creeping forward during the positions, or failure to perform a position The main requirement here is that the handler has a direct line of sight to the dog, however, the dog might be on uneven ground, next to strange objects, etc.

8.Thrown Retrieves

the handler throws the item at least 5m, on command the dog retrieves the item and presents it to the handler. the retrieved object can be almost anything not metal or glass, or dangerous to the dog with a max weight of 1kg.

9.Scent Discrimination

At the beginning of the competition, the handler is given a small dowel, 10x2x2cm. During this exercise, they place it on the ground 30m from the dog. After placement 4 other dowels are placed in the same area, then the handler sends the dog to find the correct dowel and retrieve it.

10.Send Away

the dog is told to run in a straight line away from the handler until called, then it returns to the handler, distance is 40m

11.Face Attack

the dog is told to attack a decoy who is facing him about 50m away behaving in a menacing fashion using a stick, without/recall.  There are also obstacles between the dog and decoy that the dog must go over or through (not around).

12.Face Attack with accessories

the dog is told to attack a decoy who is facing him about 50m away behaving in a menacing fashion using various items.   These could be a hula hoop, caution tape, cones, anything that might impress the dog but wouldn’t hurt them.  There are also obstacles between the dog and decoy that the dog must go over or through (not around).

13.Fleeing Attack

the dog is told to attack a decoy who is running away, without/recall after the bite/fight.  The decoy fires a gun when they bite.

14.Defense of Handler

There are two decoys during this that mill around the field, argue with people, jump up and down, etc.  Pretty much anything they can think of to cause the dog to bite too early, or bite the wrong decoy.   The handler might also be told to do various things such as walk to a certain point and pick an item up then carry it somewhere else and put it down or lay down on a stretcher that the decoys are carrying.

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At some point one decoy will come up and shake hands with the handler, this is the decoy who will ultimately attack the handler.   They leave after shaking hands and the decoys can continue to mill around or one might go hide.  Eventually, the decoy will come back and attack the handler, usually while the other decoy is trying to keep the dog’s attention or even lure them away from the handler.  The dog must bite the attacking decoy and fight them until commanded to out, then after a brief guarding period recall to the handler.

15.Search, Hold and Bark with Escort

The dog finds the decoy who is hidden somewhere on the field, not necessarily in a blind, and barks to indicate the decoy has been found. The handler approaches and commands the decoy to come out of the blind.  After exiting the blind the decoy is escorted around the field by the dog, with multiple attempts made to escape.

16.Stopped Attack

This is done exactly like the fleeing attack, however, when the dog is about 1/2 way down the field a flag will be held up.  Depending on the color of the flag (red or green) this will be the stopped attack or not, and the handler must recall the dog before it bites.  More points are earned the closer the dog is to the decoy when it is recalled.

17.Guard of Object

the dog is told to guard an object, and the handler goes to a place out of sight. The handler does not participate in any way again until it is time to retrieve his dog. The decoys try three times to steal the object, and the dog stops the decoy each time by biting.  As soon as the decoy begins to move away from the object, the dog lets go to remain close to the object he is guarding.

During one of these attempts, the decoy can carry an object to confuse the dog as to which object it is guarding, or attempt to prevent the dog from biting.  Points are lost for biting to soon, allowing the decoy to move or completely steal the object, guarding the wrong object (allowing the other one to be stolen), being drug away from the object, etc.

If you think your dog can do Mondioring Dog Sport

Mondioring has grown steadily in the United States since the first trial in 2000. There are several full member clubs and a variety of other clubs forming around the country. Trials are held regularly and provide an opportunity to earn titles in this fascinating sport. Mondioring titles are recognized internationally.

Each year the organization in America, the USMRA, sends a team to compete in the International Championship of Mondioring in a different country in Europe. An interesting note is that international competition is quite “do-able”, as we are still a relatively small organization in a new sport.