Mondioring is a sport that the majority of Courteous K9 trainers participate in. It is a protection sport that consists of 3 phases: Obedience, Jumps, and Protection. Each of these phases is done consecutively and with no rewards (food or toys) and no equipment (collars, leashes, or e-collars). A routine can last anywhere from 10 minutes at the lower levels all the way up to 45 minutes for the higher levels. There are 3 levels to Mondioring- each level getting progressively more difficult.
While all of the exercises are difficult individually, the most difficult part of Mondioring is that no two competitions look the same. Each trial has a different theme and the field is decorated to match that theme. For example, while there is always a retrieve, what the dog has to retrieve is different every time.
Positions at a Distance- The dog must Sit, Down, and Stand on command while the handler is at a distance of 5-15 meters (depending on level). In Level 1 the dog will do one sit, one stand, and one down (in any order). In Level 2 and 3 the dog will do each position twice, in any order. To get full points, your dog cannot move forward, backwards, or sideways. The dog is recalled after the positions.
Retrieve of a Thrown Object- This is basically a retrieve to hand. The dog must hold a sit stay in heel position while the retrieve item is handed over and the handler throws it. At the signal of the judge, the handler will command their dog to retrieve. The dog must go out, grab the object, return, and finish in a sit before the handler grabs the object. To get full points the dog must not chew/play with the item, they must sit, and they have to do it within 15 seconds.
Absence of Handler- This is a one minute out of sight stay. The stay will be done in a down in Level 1 and 2. It can be a sit or a down stay in Level 3. There will be some sort of distraction (people playing with a ball, gunfire, RC cars, etc) during the stay. To get full points, the dog cannot change position, creep forward, or spin around.
Food Refusal- The dog will be placed in a down and will be offered food in some fashion while the handler is away from the dog (the food can be anything as long as it is not harmful to dogs). The handler then returns and heels away. To get full points, your dog cannot change position or eat the food.
Heeling Off Leash- This one is pretty self-explanatory. You must heel with your dog in a predetermined pattern. There will be 3 stops at some point and your dog must stop with you. To get full points, your dog must maintain a consistent position and you can only give your "heel" command once at the beginning of the exercise.
Send Away- The dog must run 20 meters (Level 1), 30 meters (Level 2), and 40 meters (Level 3) in a straight line between 2 markers. Once the dog crosses the line, you must recall them. To get full points, your dog must run straight through the middle markers and recall quickly.
Little Wood- Level 2 and 3 only- This is a scent discrimination exercise. You scent 1 wooden dowel and place it 30 meters from your dog. Then someone else will put 3-4 "blank" dowels around yours. Your dog must find yours and bring it back to you. To get full points, your dog must find your dowel, bring it back without chewing it, all within a certain time limit.
You move into jumps when you are done with all level appropriate obedience exercises. In Level 1 you only have to do one jump of your choice. At Level 2 you have to do 2 of the jumps but one of them has to be the hurdle. At Level 3 you must attempt all 3 jumps. For Level 2 and 3, you can choose the height- but if you do not jump at the max height for the level, you do not get full points.
Hurdle- The dog must jump over and back. The max height is 1m (level 1), 1.1m (Level 2), and 1.2m (Level 3)
Long Jump- This jump focuses on distance and not height. The max length is 3.0m (Level 1), 3.5m (Level 2), and 4.0m (Level 3)
Palisade- This jump is a wall climb. The max height is 1.8m (Level 1), 2.1m (Level 2), 2.3m (Level 3).
After the Obedience and Jump portions are done, then it is time for the protection work. This is where the dog bites the guys in the big puffy suits. The amount and difficulty of the exercises increase as you go higher in the levels. Here is a brief description of each exercise.
Face Attack (over obstacle for Levels 2 and 3)- In this exercise, the dog runs straight at the decoy (who is facing the dog and handler) and bites. The decoy can try to intimidate the dog buy using a rattling split bamboo stick. The dog will bite for 10 seconds and then the handler must recall the dog at the judge's signal and the dog must immediately stop biting and promptly return to the handler.
Flee Attack (All levels)- The decoy will be running away from the dog. The handler will send the dog at the judge's signal to chase down the decoy and bite them. During this exercise, the decoy will fire off a starter pistol with blanks in it. The dog must remain biting for 10 seconds and then the handler will recall the dog at the judge's signal and the dog must immediately stop biting and promptly return to the handler.
Defense of Handler (All levels)- This is probably one of the more tricky protection exercises because it is different every time. In this exercise, the decoys will bring you through a skit that fits with the theme of the competition. The dog must stick with you and you cannot talk at all after the initial command (which is the case for most mondio exercises). The skit can include anything but tends to get longer and more difficult as you go up in the levels. Some examples: you have to sit in a chair, there can be gun fire, decoys trying to distract your dog or try to get your dog to bite before they are supposed to, you sitting in weird positions (like a your head down on a picnic table), the handler crawling on the ground, etc. The dog cannot bite until there is an act of aggression (a hit on the shoulders) by one of the decoys. If they do not bite, all points for the exercise are lost. If the dog does bite, they must stay biting for 10 seconds and then the handler gives the command for their dog to "out". The dog must let go of the decoy but then guard the decoy (but not bite) for 5 seconds. After the 5 seconds, the handler will recall the dog at the judge's signal.
Face Attack with Accessory (Levels 2 and 3)- This looks exactly like the Level 1 Face Attack except the decoy will now try to hold the dog off with some sort of accessory (long streamers, spraying water, etc). The dog must show courage and go through the accessory without slowing down and bite the decoy. If the dog misses the decoy on the initial entry or slows down to try to go around the accessory, points will be lost. The dog must bite for 10 seconds and then the handler will recall their dog at the judge's signal.
Search and Escort (Levels 2 and 3)- The dog and handler will step off the field and then one decoy will hide somewhere on the field. The handler and dog will then step back onto the field and the handler will send the dog to go find the decoy. The dog must search until they find the decoy, but there is a time limit. Once the dog finds the decoy, the dog must bark at the decoy and stay focused on them (but the dog cannot bite) until the handler approaches and asks the decoy to step out and then the escort part of the exercise begins. The dog must stay vigilant and follow the decoy around the field. The decoy will try to run away 3 times throughout the escort and the dog must bite to stop the escape. The handler will ask the dog to "out" at the judges signal after each bite. At the end of the exercise the handler will recall the dog.
Object Guard (Level 3)- In this exercise the handler will place an object (can be anything as long as it can be grabbed and won't hurt the dog) in the middle of a circle and then cue their dog to "guard" and then will leave the dog to go out of sight. Once the handler is out of sight, a decoy will approach the dog to try and steal the object. To get full points, the dog must bite within 2 meters, let go, and return to the object all on their own. When the dog lets go, the decoy must leave the circle and then there will be another attempt to steal the object. In total, there are 3 attempts. At the signal of the judge, the handler will return to the dog and the exercise is over.
Stopped Attack (Level 3)- The Stopped Attack looks exactly like the Flee Attack, but the handler must recall the dog before the dog bites the decoy. To get full points you must recall your dog within 3 meters of the decoy. The decoy will continue running while the dog is recalling to try and tempt them to bite instead of returning to the handler.