Mondioring or Dog Circuit Training

Mondioring, even though it can seem easy for those who don’t know it, is undoubtedly one of the most difficult cynological sports. A dog has to be able to work focused for up to 45 minutes, be perfectly controllable and and handle everything in an unfamiliar environment. Jiří Toman, an instructor, will tell us more details about this sport.

Mondioring requires a lot of experience, skills and physical fitness from both the dog and the handler. Jiří Toman summarizes the basic idea of this sport: “Dogs in this sport need to be even-tempered, confident, with great controllability and useful in everyday life, because the key thing in mondioring is its diversity. Every race is new in some way. In this sport, you can never prepare your dog for all the situations that may happen during the race. You only have to teach it the principle of what it needs to do in any situation.”. He and his dog, Eclipse Olbramovický kvítek, have great results in international competitions.

In mondioring, the dog has to work well in three disciplines in a row with no breaks: obedience, jumping and biting. There are three different levels of difficulty according to how well dogs are trained. The competition is subject to the International Rules of Mondioring recognized by the FCI. The evaluation system is designed to demonstrate the absolute obedience and control of the dog, its ability to concentrate perfectly and to work together with the handler. 

Toman describes the course of races like this: “The race starts with the a Dog in White that shows everyone how the race will look like on the given level. Judges modify the individual exercises and the roughness of decoys during the Dog in White. Then it really starts. The handler always hands over the leash and the collar to the Judge before entering the competition field. The dog can’t have anything on! Then, reports and sociability tests come – e.g. checking their teeth, screening their chips, etc. – it is always up to the judges. And then the race takes place based on the example of the Dog in White in individual categories.”.

The entire race lasts from 10 to 45 minutes depending on the difficulty and can include up to 17 exercises, the order of which can change (but the order of disciplines always remains the same). For example, a dog must fetch an object that its sees for the first time in its life, it is made of unknown material, and it has a difficult-to-grasp shape. However, they still have to do the task with a single command and within a specific time. Moreover, there might be pieces of meat or other disturbing objects in the field which are supposed to distract the dog. In biting exercises, there is enormous mental pressure on he dog. 

Jiří Toman summarizes the perfect nature of a mondioring dogs like this: “It's perfect if the dog has a balanced excitement and attenuation, it's mentally resilient and intelligent. Even though the training is variable, there are many things you can’t prepare the dog for in advance and it needs to be able to respond to them and solve the situation on its own.” and he adds: “This sport is ‘tailored’ 
for Belgian Shepherds and I would even narrow it down to Belgian Malinois. Of course, there are other breeds in races, but they usually compete in easier categories. When we talk about the most difficult category Mondioring 3, the breed of Belgian Malionis clearly dominates.”. However, he also notes there are some exceptions: “When I was involved in races in Belgium, there were also breeds like German Shepherd, Briard, Swiss Shepherd or Dobermann. In the Czech Republic, also Cane Corso competes.” 

Each race has a different scenario and props, the surface of the ring and the objects on it are different and also the number of people in the ring differs. That's why training cannot be stereotypical. Situations in which a dog has to handle the tasks need to vary all the time. The more variable the training is, the more prepared the dog will be. 

However, not everything is up to the dog during the race. According to Toman, the dog handler can influence a lot as well, either in a positive or in a negative way. “When I started with the mondioring and went to first races, I lost a lot of points due to my mistakes. But everyone has to go through that, because there are sometimes situations during the races when a dog handler responds badly and a dog may also make a mistake then.”  In his opinion, it is mainly important “to be able to keep calm”, focus and most importantly trust the dog and enjoy the race together.

Now it is probably clear that training a dog for this sport is very challenging and not suitable for every dog and person. It takes a lot of time, as well as a lot of patience and diligence from both team members. The instructor says: “Individual training sessions can vary which depends on the fact if they are in or off season. The individual obedience exercises and also jumps can be trained every day but it’s important to also add big and high-quality trainings with excellent decoys.” So, it’s not surprising that the Mondioring Club Czech Republic doesn’t have that many members. It's more than difficult to get the necessary number of points in a test for the given category. 

But training for mondioring brings significant benefits for everyday life. Apart from being even-tempered and controllable, the dog also learns to deal with unknown, unexpected or extreme situations even outside the ring and learns to respond to them appropriately. In addition to a perfectly controllable guarding dog, you’ll also get a reliable, trouble-free companion that isn’t easily disturbed. 

 

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