As a huge fan of all things “Monty Python”- esque, you already know that my sense of the bizarre is highly tuned and ready to work. The sport of Mondio, or “World Ring”, seems custom made for me. “Wait a minute,” you ask. “Aren’t you talking about another dog sport?”
Why YES I AM! And what a sport it is…
Mondio Ring is an amalgamation of the protection sports (Schutzhund, French & Belgian ring, PSA) with a somewhat twisted idea about color schemes. This first picture shows the sense of humor that Mondio has in it’s exercises!
Mondio distractions can take on the most bizarre themes!
The people involved in this go out of their way to make their events COLORFUL and entertaining! If you haven’t yet identified this scene, it’s “Alice in Wonderland” meets Cujo the Malinois…The Decoys also get into the visual assault with their technicolor bitesuits…
Visible in ANY snowstorm or Fogbank!!
Gray is NOT acceptable to these Decoys!
I always wondered where Peter Kriss ended up after KISS went bye bye...
Okay then, this LOOKS like they don’t take themselves too seriously. Well, that may be true in certain aspects of the sport, but the action demonstrates something different. Proponents of Mondio opine that this is The toughest of the Dogsports to succeed in…Mondio was developed in the late 1980’s by an internationally flavored group from every major dogsport. It was designed to “Level the Plaing Field” , allowing those who had made accomplishments in the other sports, to come together and compete in a common, or “World” dogsport.
Like other protection sports, Mondioring has a succession of disciplines to be accomplished by both dog and handler. The 3 events are Obedience, Jumps, and Protection.
OBEDIENCE is based on Control of the dogs actions and reactions, especially when sometimes major Distractions are presented to the team. The photo’s above demonstrate how crazy and over-the-top these distractions can be. Alice in Wonderland? KISS makeup? It can only get crazier as more and more of us get involved…
The Jumping events test the strength. stamina, and willingness of the dog to overcome physical obstacles. Using vertical walls, known as Palisades, large agility tubes, or other flotsam and jetsam, the dogs willingness to jump over, crawl under, or otherwise circumvent obstacles. As you can see, these often have all the color palettes of a Jamaican beach bash!
The Protection work requires that the dog demonstrate extreme SELF-control and discipline. Dogs compete completely OFF-LEASH and collarless thruoghout the entirety of their performance. They are only controlled by the handlers voice or hand signals. Often, this involves scenario’s where the point is to do the opposite of the dogs instinct, such as DON’T attack, or ignoring food treats placed in the ring at strategic points. A clear-headed dog is vital. Just to add to the difficulty, there are NO standard courses that can be studied or practiced before-hand. It’s like a box of chocolate covered dog treats. You NEVER know what your going to get handed! Each Trial adopts a THEME, sort of a 3-ring circus of whatever craziness the Trial judges can imagine. The Wild West, Star Wars, and Alice in Wonderland are just the tip of the iceberg. The actual exercises and standards remain constant, the order in which they are demonstrated, and the theatrical set-ups are entirely in the hands and fertile imaginations of the Judges and their Creative staff. No Mondioring team will ever train by rote, because they don’t know what they’ll face.
Oh yeah...he's wearin' a Kilt!
This is a SERIOUS sport...really!
Up the Palisade!
Mondioring is represented in the US by the United States Mondioring Association, in conjunction with the American Working Dog Federation. Next up, we’ll look at French Ring! Thanks for reading!